Crowdtwist CEO customer engagementCustomer engagement, through greater insight to first-party data, can lead to strong emotional connections that build brand loyalty, according to Scott Matthews, the new CEO at CrowdTwist.

Launched in August 2009, CrowdTwist is one of the marketing industry’s pioneers of multichannel loyalty and analytics solutions. CrowdTwist’s roster of customers includes TOMS, UFC, Pepsi, Nestlé Purina, L’Oréal, and Zumiez.

Before he began his post at CrowdTwist earlier this month, Matthews served as CEO of WebCollage for four years until the company’s successful exit to Answers.com in 2013, when he became General Manager of Answers Syndication.

Matthews discussed his views on customer loyalty and his goals for CrowdTwist with Loyalty360.

How would you describe the state of loyalty marketing today, and where do you see the challenges and opportunities for companies?

Loyalty is constantly evolving. The days of traditional spend and get programs are waning. Consumers no longer want to receive a flat discount—they want to be rewarded for their spending habits and for socially engaging with their favorite companies. They want to take action. The opportunity for brands is to expand their programs to include a more comprehensive multichannel loyalty initiative that incentivizes and rewards customers for all the actions they take with a brand across channels. With greater insight to first-party data, companies can build more CrowdTwist CEO Customer Engagementemotional connections with their customers, drive incremental sales, and increase their bottom line.

How important are multichannel loyalty programs for marketers trying to gain a competitive edge and differentiate themselves?

Multichannel loyalty programs incentivize consumers not only to spend more, but also to engage frequently. Unlike brands with traditional spend-and-get programs, brands that use multichannel programs consistently deliver value to consumers, and have them the tools to spread positive Word-of-Mouth about their products and services. This strategy drives more frequent purchases and larger average order value—and ultimately, more market share.

Data reconciliation has been a pain point in this process. How would you say that is right now for CrowdTwist?

As brands try to connect with consumers across more places than ever before, they struggle with the ability to link data across channels to individual customers. This is a challenge for many brands, especially those that operate single-channel loyalty programs. At CrowdTwist, we offer a solution that helps marketers tie, measure and quantify customer value based on all the ways they interact with a brand. We help companies obtain a complete view of their customers and give them access to actionable data. The result is targeted marketing that drives behaviors and actions across all channels.

Is the onus on brands to develop deep relationships with its customers and, if so, where does social media fit in all of this?

Consumers have different IDs across social platforms and so they are fragmented and not unified. They consume marketing messages across numerous channels and touchpoints, so it’s up to brands to build relationships with their customers and prospects. Social media is just one channel to help organizations accomplish that. Loyalty companies should develop strategies and technologies around social channels to drive deeper, more engaging connections to their customers. Brands can then capitalize on all the data and insight they collect from consumers’ social interactions and develop more relevant and meaningful relationships.

What are loyalty marketers doing well, and in what areas do you still see them challenged?

Many loyalty marketers are still challenged by fragmentation, lacking both a cohesive view of their customers and a strategy for communicating with them across channels. But that’s certainly changing—we work with plenty of loyalty marketers who are successfully adapting to social and mobile technologies by tracking and engaging their customers where they’re spending time.

As the new CEO at CrowdTwist, what are your short-term and long-term goals for the company?

For the short term, we are focusing on building functionality that interprets the brand’s social loyalty activities that drive better personalization with CRM. We’re also looking to increase the effectiveness of display advertising with CrowdTwist’s aggregated first-party social data.   

For the long-term, we plan to concentrate on accelerating the innovation of CrowdTwist’s platform. This year, we are poised to introduce new offerings and features that will help brand marketers take their campaigns and programs to the next level of performance. We also plan to invest in building out the CrowdTwist team to support our fast-growing list of clients.  

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