Every now and then an idea comes along that makes me pause and say “Damn, that’s good”. It’s usually either seeing something being done smarter, breaking new ground with an existing idea, or something that just feels like it’s hitting the market in stride. I think addvocate is going to do all three of these things.
My perspective is coming from having had the chance to pitch or work with numerous Brands with 10,000+ employees such as; Round Table Pizza, Farmers Insurance, and chipotle, which all were working hard on understand social media, consumer engagement, social commerce, ROI, and developing compliance for a brands employees outlining how they cam interact with Social Media on the brands behalf or what oversight the brand has in the personal social media activity with it’s employees. Which usually means the architected compliance around social media activity forces the brand to be waiting for the next defamatory statement from monitored employees. Leaving brands in a constant reactionary position, awaiting the next PR disaster.
I think addvocate will turn this problem upside down. addvocate brings together; Gamification + Loyalty Programs + ROI Measurement & Compliance for Brands. From what I have learned about the soon to be launched service; Brands will be better positioned to incentivize employee’s with trackable content supported by incentives, leader boards, prizes and social clout within their organization. addvocate is giving Brands tools to enable their employees to be brand ambassadors with approved content, and measured engagement while building loyalty between the brand and the employee through rewarding their social activity on the Brand’s behalf.
I had a chance to briefly meet Marcus Nelson, addvocate’s CEO & Founder up at a Google Venture BBQ this past month. His previous role was directing Social Media for SalesForce, which I can imagine was an ideal landscape for assessing enterprise pain points around; employees + social engagement, and the potential market within that space.
Hearsay Social based here in Los Angeles is in this space, but appears to be focused on organizations from the banking & insurance sectors filled with commission rewarded employee’s. Who I would imagine are much more open to using tools their employer introduces to sell to their friends and followers. Enabling sales oriented employees to sell through social media introduces a new landscape of legal compliance, sales tracking, and ROI, which Hearsay seems well positioned in. However not all brands will desire to create a conversion within Social Media or want to enable sales through their employee social media channels. addvocate will be a great fit for brands that want to grow consumer loyalty, test new products, prove out research, share creative campaigns, and yes even introduce a transactional product or offering, but only after a brand’s employees have bridged an authentic relationship with their followers and friends on the brands behalf.
Some of my thoughts on who will pick-up addvocate may seem broad but could make sense for any of the following companies; Linked-in, SAP, SalesForce, Badgeville, or perhaps even Microsoft with their evolving cloud solutions and the recent acquisition of Yammer.
All in all, if when addvocate launches they take the “used car salesman” out of employee enabled content and help build better relationships between Brands and their employee’s; They win. Looking forward to seeing addvocate in the wild. -JOHN