The middle of May saw a pretty big announcement in the influence marketing and social business space.
Influence platform Traackr and Social CRM platform Nimble announced a partnership that would see seamless integration of the two solutions, and allow much more effective management of influencer outreach programs.
As of today, our users can connect their Nimble accounts to their Traackr projects and centrally manage influencer outreach efforts. It’s a huge step forward in closing the loop on influencer marketing. What makes the Nimble-Traackr duo worth considering is that now you have Traackr’s contextual influencer identification and content tracking coupled with relationship management tools that enable you to create a plan, implement that plan, document the results, and even follow-up periodically with a complete interaction history.
Up until now, companies that have invested in influencer marketing have faced the challenge of reconciling siloed solutions to manage their marketing programs with discovery, research, engagement and management happening in different places, making it difficult to truly nurture relationships. Using Traackr and Nimble together provide users the ability to perform influencer discovery and tracking, relationship building and nurturing, as well as activating and measuring results.
When I heard about this partnership, I was ecstatic. From a personal point of view, it was validation for the methodologies Sam Fiorella and I talk about in the Influence Marketing book, and what the future of that vertical looks like (integration between complementary platforms).
From a business and marketing point of view, it’s the kind of common sense partnership we see too little off, and yet one that reaps dividends for all involved – the two partners, their clients, and anyone looking to effectively use social media to drive leads, sales, customer service and more.
While this particular partnership is built around influence marketing, it offers a path that other businesses could [should] take when it comes to their own customers and the solutions they offer.
Social Behaviours and Decision Making
For any business, one of the primary goals – if not the main one – is understanding its customers better. These could be existing or potential, as well as stakeholders or employees.
Take it beyond customers, and switch the wording a little, and you get the same thing – donors, political party supporters, activists, etc.
If we, as businesses, can understand what makes our customers tick, and offer them solutions based on their freely submitted data and information, we can identify certain behavioural aspects and provide a message or solution accordingly.
Tie that into their social behaviours online, and then use complementary software that monitors, analyzes, segments and recommends, and we’re moving into an area where we can truly be smarter about how we meet the needs of our customers.
Not only that, but we understand what makes potential clients or strategic partners tick.
Whereas before it could take months or even years to gain enough knowledge to turn a cold call into a warmer introduction, using Traackr’s identifying process along with Nimble’s project management tools gives us data we can really use to break the proverbial ice.
- New contract details;
- Personal and professional milestones;
- RFP timescales;
- Deciding factors;
- Competitive influencers;
- Peer connections.
Information in business is king – analytical information even more so. The Traackr/Nimble partnership brings this information to us in a more cohesive manner than before.
Collaborative Consumption is the Way Forward
Apart from the obvious business solutions the partnership brings, it also enables both companies to fine-tune their own offerings based on how their clients are using the new combination.
For instance, while Traackr has an excellent influence marketing solution, especially when it comes to identifying who influences the influencers, they don’t go quite as deep on the measurement path when keeping track of where someone is in the purchase life cycle.
For a sales team, this information is more key than knowing who the influencers are in a particular vertical – that would fall more to the marketing team to handle.
With Nimble’s integration, a sales VP could allocate team members different leads, at different stages, and base success criteria on how well that sales person moves the potential client into the next stage of the decision-making process.
Each time the lead is moved into a new section – from awareness to research, for example, or research to intent to buy – a new set of influencers could be identified by Traackr. The warmth of that lead would then either increase or decrease based on what needs to happen next.
Alerts are set up to monitor sudden spikes in activity, or mention of certain keywords that would suggest the intention to buy soon.
Now, instead of influence being used for promotion and social share of voice, it’s a true, lead generation tracking tool. All because two companies decided to partner as opposed to leaving clients to figure out how to connect all the dots themselves.
The Possibilities Are Limited Only By You
It’s this kind of forward movement that today’s technologies allow and, for the smarter companies out there, actively encourage.
Developers that build their solutions with Open APIs in mind – the ability for different technologies to connect to each other reasonably easily – are the ones that will be positioned to lead the marketplace.
It’s one of the reasons ArCompany doesn’t tie itself to specific vendors. We may announce strategic partnerships but we’ll still present the most relevant solution(s) based on a client’s specific needs.
At this moment, we’re working with a technology vendor in Toronto to provide the next level of content analysis for both brands and bloggers, and how that solution can tie into other technologies based on verticals and goals.
While we may not be technical engineers, we know what our colleagues in this space are asking for, so it makes sense for us to partner with a vendor that can deliver on these needs, while looking ahead to see how much further we can take the basic premise.
As the conversation around social media and business matures from “oh, nice to have” into an actual business conversation, partnerships like the Traackr and Nimble one will become ever more prevalent.
It’s about time.