Social Startups: Crowdtap Connects Consumers with Brands
Millennials spend a significant portion of their total media time-upwards of 30 percent-with user-generated content (Ipsos MediaCT research). Along with changing media consumption habits, younger generations say brands play "an essential" role in their lives more so than older generations do, according to a recent Havas study. And millennials believe they have the power to control whether a brand succeeds or fails.
As a result, we can no longer employ the traditional marketing strategies we've relied on because a brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is. A brand is instead only what consumers tell each other it is. Brands have always lived within consumer experiences, but the difference today is that these experiences are broadcasted publicly and at greater scale.
The challenge marketers face today is finding a direct pathway between the engaged consumer and the marketing process, a means by which to give those consumers a voice that matters throughout the process.
Say Hello to Crowdtap
Founded in 2009, Crowdtap solves the problem by making it easy for brands to put people at the heart of their marketing, empowering them to drive product ideation, inform marketing strategy, and create authentic content that fuels earned media.
"Our job is to help educate the industry through research and data that marketing has changed," says Anna Kassoway, the CMO for Crowdtap. "Consumers now play a critical role in the success of a brand, and the great brands of the future will be powered by those who love them - not simply those who lead them."
A People-Powered Marketing Platform
At the very heart of the Crowdtap mission is connection, a deliberate and transparent value exchange between brands and people. While the marketing platform helps brands connect with consumers, it also facilitates connection between consumers and brands. From the very beginning, it was designed to empower consumers through the brands they love. Members join Crowdtap to connect with and be heard by the brands they love and get recognized for their time and the platform ensures their voices are both heard and recognized.
Crowdtap works mostly with brand managers at Fortune 500 companies and their partners at PR, marketing, and creative agencies. The company's clients span from food/CPG and personal care to retail and telecommunications - as Kassoway says, "people-powered marketing is really resonating across a host of verticals."
Predictions for the Future
It's becoming more and more apparent that the Millennial generation (as well as other incoming generations) don't trust advertising (per McCarthy Group); however, they are passionate about and invested in their favorite brands. In fact, in a recent IBM study, a full 75 percent of "brand enthusiasts" said they want to submit ideas and give feedback on product innovation. "The future of marketing is becoming increasingly consumer-centric and consumer-powered," Kassoway predicts, "and more brands will seek solutions that facilitate a more cohesive marketing process."
Crowdtap is in a period of rapid growth; earlier this year, they cemented a place as the fourth fastest-growing marketing company in the 2014 Inc. 500 (No. 54 out of ALL private companies in the US). The company isn't without competition, though. There are several other companies out there providing specialized insights, focus groups, content creation, and media distribution similar to Crowdtap's. However, it's important to note that Crowdtap's People-Powered Marketing Platform is the only end-to-end solution available that "enables brands to fully empower consumers throughout the marketing process."
Crowdtap looks forward to continuing to promote the unique company culture that's landed them on the Crain's Best Places to Work List for two years running, as well as on Mashable's List of the Best Places to Work for in Tech.
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