November 29, 2013
“The best advertising tool in the world is word of mouth,” says Daniel Jurado co-founder of Spokeable. “When existing customers refer among their existing network, that opinion has value, and that value has more ‘call to action’ force than any other advertisement or promotion available.”
Jurado, along with his other co-founder Anthony Worku, saw that thousands of Americans go out of their way to post images of food they eat, clothes they wear, and brands they support every single day. That is, these consumers were employing the “best advertising tool in the world.”
When consumers specifically tag businesses to these photos of food, clothing, and brands, they are acting as unofficial spokespeople, tapping into their personal social capital via word of mouth. And while large corporate businesses have marketing engines to understand the trends and data associated with this form of advertising, small businesses typically don’t.
Spokeable was built in order to give small businesses the tools they need to track, monitor, and manage word of mouth advertising data while also building relationships with their customers. The catch here is to give small businesses something large corporations don’t have by tying everything full circle back to the users.
“When we saw the inefficiency in local commerce we simply asked ourselves who would be the best spokesperson for local businesses,” says Jurado. “The answer, to us, is whoever the local target market can relate to.”
When users successfully promote small businesses with photos, they are rewarded with a promotional deal. The users then have the option to redeem it or pass it on to their network of friends encouraging further sales from existing clientele while also targeting new potential customers within the same demographic.
We see word of mouth advertising tactics taken by a good number of startups, but Spokeable seems to employ a slightly more aggressive approach to a typically laissez faire strategy. Instead of sitting back and watching word of mouth happen organically, they are actively integrating ways to catalyze a reaction between businesses and users.
Small businesses get direct access to their user data, users get something in return for their hard work, and the development team quickly applies change to the platform when necessary based on trends and directions in the marketplace. Additionally, in a brilliant play, Spokeable is effectively marketing themselves as users help market small businesses. The combination of everything has led to a strong positive initial reaction to the Spokeable services.
“Moving forward, the other big question is how we transform ourselves from the development and incubation stage into a structured multi-tier business without losing the core culture that makes us who we are?” asks Jurado. “It’s a daily challenge but it’s a good test of our strength and commitment.”
The tightly woven net of positive company culture and passionate employees is helping the Spokeable team to turn any big challenge into an even bigger triumph. There are already reward platforms available, so the challenge will be ever present, but Spokeable sees room to thrive in the marketplace and they don’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
Spokeable was featured at Tech Cocktail’s Miami Mixer & Startup Showcase on October 1st.
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