Corporate Vision March 2017

60 CORPORATE VISION / March 2017 , Ed Keller, of Engagement Labs, talks to Corporate Vision about how they have become an award winning firm. The Power of Social Extends Beyond Social Media Engagement Labs is a technology and analytics company that helps brands to drive sales and improve their marketing ROI by tapping into the power of social influence. “We are unique compared to other firms who are in the social influence analytics arena, in that we are the only firm that monitors both offline consumer conversation about brands as well as social media conversations,” explains Ed, telling us more about the company. “Together these have been proven to be important drivers of sales. Many companies are focused on social media but ignore the influence that real world consumer conversations have on their performance, or fail to understand the ways in which they can help to drive word of mouth if they make it an important part of their marketing strategy and goals. This is a mistake, because word of mouth is a bigger driver of sales than social media. Further, word of mouth and social are not mirrors on each other. Very few brands are performing well on both dimensions. Yet, only when brands look at the two in a holistic fashion and understand how to optimize their performance in driving conversation and consumer advocacy both online and in the real world can they fully capitalize on this wonderful asset to drive sales. “Our work is on behalf of major consumer marketers across multiple verticals, including leading brands such as Avon, AT&T, CBS, ESPN, RBS, and Toyota, among others. We work primarily in the US and the UK, although we undertake global assignments on behalf of major marketers in these geographies.” At the heart of the business is a new, patent-pending data solution called TotalSocial™. Ed explains more about this brand, the rationale behind it and its ongoing strategy. “TotalSocial is the only comprehensive social data solution that measures and reflects insights about both online and offline consumer conversations—the single most important asset for brands and a proven driver of sales. Uniquely, TotalSocial comprehensively measures and quantifies the voice of the consumer. Bringing together social media listening data with face-to-face conversation metrics into a single performance dashboard, TotalSocial is designed to enhance marketing ROI and impact sales. The analytics allow marketers to track and evaluate social marketing effectiveness for their brand, category, and competitive set. TotalSocial is built on the four essential drivers of a brand’s social marketing performance: volume, sentiment, brand sharing, and influence. Consumer conversations and advocacy online or face to face, can make or break brand sales momentum; using TotalSocial marketers are equipped with the insights they need to harness the full power of social influence. “TotalSocial is integrated into a single dashboard to allow marketers an enhanced ability to understand their performance, diagnose areas of weakness as well what’s driving success, and provide predictive tools to know what levers to pull to optimize ROI and sales. We have continuous programs in the US and the UK. And for some clients we are conducting TotalSocial performance tracking in markets around the globe. “Our strategy is to develop a predictive analytics engine that will allow our marketing clients to understand exactly how the chain of social influence works, and to let them know what type of enhanced business outcomes will be derived from performance improvements on the different metrics that comprise their TotalSocial score.” Being a successful CEO is no easy task, and Ed highlights the key attributes he believes have led to his award-winning appointment. “To me, the key to being a successful CEO is balancing the big picture (vision and strategy) with paying careful attention to the details,” he states. “I believe in keeping my eyes on the horizon, about three years out, and at the same time making sure that we’re doing all the little things that need to be done in order to keep our people, our sales, and our financial results meeting our goals. “Another skill is being able to identify and developing great people. Many of the key people in my business have been with me for a five, 10, even 20+ years. But at the same time, we are always looking for new talent with new skills to help us innovate and evolve. “Innovation is exhilarating to me. The pace of our innovation over the past has kept me extremely motivated. And there is more to come in 2017 as we sell what we’ve built, deliver on our roadmap, and plan for the future.” Of course, it’s not necessarily been a smooth road and Ed tells us more about the challenges he has had to face. “I’ve had the interesting experience of facing two seemingly opposite challenges. In 2005, when I launched a predecessor company, it was before Facebook and Twitter, and it was sometimes difficult to get clients and prospects focused on the importance of peer-to-peer social influence. It was not as ‘sexy” as social media in the eyes of some. New entrants tracking social media were popping up almost weekly and. the challenge was to stand out from the literally hundreds of companies that were chasing the shiny new toy of social media analytics. Today, we are in the sweet spot with TotalSocial—the only data solution that embraces all forms of social influence, both online and offline. We now stand out from the crowd, and we’re getting meetings, and making sales, more easily than ever before.” 1702CV32