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Chuck Schaeffer Kwanzoo Engagement Marketing Platform

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By Chuck Schaeffer

Interactive Ad Units For Increased Conversions

Kwanzoo is a Silicon Valley start-up founded in 2009 by veteran technology pioneers including CEO Mani Iyer. The company publishes a SaaS digital marketing platform designed to engage online visitors across websites, social networks, email and mobile channels. Interestingly, Kwanzoo began as a developer of websites for trivia and games. And in order to scale that model the company began widgitizing the content and offering components to publishers. The solutions evolved into an ad platform which then culminated into a multi-channel engagement marketing platform.

The company's target market includes mid-to-large B2C and B2B companies. The company began acquiring customers in April 2011, and today counts 35 clients. While the Kwanzoo customer count is small, its growing and includes some impressive names—such as Hitachi Data Systems, HP, Oracle, RealNetworks and SAP.

Digital Marketing Purpose

The business objective of the Kwanzoo software is to increase the volume of top of funnel leads—by engaging online prospects with interactive apps which include polls, surveys, shares and opt-in—and collectively increasing online lead conversions over a variety of channels.

To meet this objective, the digital marketing software responds to the Who, What, Where and How questions of online visitor engagement.

  • Who? Kwanzoo interacts with both recognized and anonymous visitors. To identify online visitors, the system can integrate with Neustar IP Intelligence (which uses reverse IP lookup and an IP database) to identify the company or integrate with Eloqua to identify the contact. Kwanzoo will soon also integrate with DemandBase for additional IP address lookup data points.
  • What? Using processes similar to A/B or split testing, Kwanzoo can test different messaging over different creative units in order to identify what messaging best resonates with visitors and achieves the highest response rates.
  • Where? Across a variety of online channels, including web sites, social networks and email. Kwanzoo ad units can engage and interact with prospects directly on a blog, website or social network such as Facebook.
  • How? Using five different interactive marketing ad units, including polls, surveys, social shares, opt-ins and banners.

Even with marketing automation solutions such as Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot and HubSpot, marketers are normally confined to using a single text ad or banner to drive all traffic to a single landing page. With Kwanzoo, the interactive ad units can be employed within a text ad, email or banner to leverage online visitor engagement in the forms of questions or surveys and whose answers then direct the visitor to a more relevant landing page for increased conversions. The company is currently working with Eloqua to extend this capability to include progressive profiling.

Digital Marketing Capabilities

Kwanzoo's software is encapsulated into five interactive ad units.

  1. Smart Poll—this ad unit poses a single question, permits users to select a single radio button response and then presents an offer based on the answer selection.
  2. Smart Survey—Surveys use multiple questions with instructional logic that then leads to the most appropriate or targeted offer.
  3. Smart Share—social sharing extends reach using email or social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. This ad unit goes beyond traditional social sharing components by offering an incentive which is then delivered in the page following the share action.
  4. Smart Opt-in—permits marketers to collect leads or build their lists from the interactive ad unit in the email, text ad or banner placement and before the landing page. The ad unit can include a double opt-in if desired.
  5. Smart Banner—enables A/B testing and visitor engagement within the banner (and before arriving to a landing page).

Despite some advanced technology, the engagement marketing platform is squarely designed to be configured and used by non-technical marketers. In fact, much as with SaaS solutions in general, Kwanzoo enables marketers to implement, modify and refine digital marketing campaigns without IT involvement.

The software leverages a WYSIWYG interface with simple background and image uploads and some finer controls designed to let marketers configure new ads. At this point there is no access to the ad unit code for custom behaviors or hidden data capture, which is unlikely to be an impediment for basic marketing programs but may pose a hindrance for advanced marketers.

Once a particular ad unit is configured on the Kwanzoo platform, the marketer inserts a line of code in the particular channel. The ad unit may be embedded into the channel or simply displayed within an iframe. Interestingly, for inserting ad units into email, the system converts the ad code into an image with a client side image map (slices) for reader selection and interaction.

Kwanzoo currently support iOS and Droid mobile devices, with an eye toward more ubiquitous HTML5 mobile support in the future.

Kwanzoo delivers a campaign dashboard, basic reporting and simple analytics such as impressions, click-throughs, split analytics and conversions. Unfortunately, the system doesn't capture budgets, expenses or revenues so its unable to show ROI figures, however, ROI can likely be calculated with an integrated marketing automation or CRM system. These online performance metrics are somewhat redundant for marketers using lead management systems, however, are more likely to be new and helpful information for the majority of marketers using only traditional CRM systems such as Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle (Fusion, Siebel or OnDemand), Salesforce.com or SugarCRM.

Kwanzoo Take Away

The company has more than just an interesting name (which itself is taken from the Jerry Maguire movie). Kwanzoo is introducing innovation which aids marketers in two strategic endeavors—increasing online conversions and growing top of funnel leads.

As interactive ad units are a nascent interactive marketing sub-category, competitors tend to be diverse. Popular solutions such as SurveyMonkey may provide deeper capabilities within one ad unit type, but don't offer the breadth or suite of ad units or the dynamic nature of serving a creative based upon visitor behaviors.

Looking forward, the company intends to deliver more types of interactive ad units, integrate with more lead management and CRM systems, and has highlighted increased functionality such as lead scoring (based on interactive lead behaviors) and messaging related to the lead's buy cycle stage; feature sets that are part of increased integration with Eloqua and possibly other marketing automation software providers.

So once you have optimized your email open rates and are seeking the next step to increase conversion rates, consider including an interactive poll or quiz inside your email to increase the clicks, redirect readers based on their input to more targeted landing pages, and drive them to a conversion event. End

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With Kwanzoo, interactive ad units can be employed within a text ad, email or banner to leverage online visitor engagement in the forms of questions or surveys and whose answers then direct the visitor to a more relevant landing page for increased conversions.

 

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