If you hang out on the Internet long enough, you accrue friends from all over the globe. Some of them you end up meeting sooner or later at a conference, which is nice because it’s always good to have one more person you can hit up for a quick iPhone charge. Then there are others you may never meet face-to-face.
Such is the case with Martin Klingac Svarc since we connected well over a decade ago. Don’t ask me where we met. That memory is lost somewhere in what I call my former Guinness Brain. It was probably on some Internet startup social board, or through a fledgling technology where we discussed new IP and how it could affect advertising.
If you study the game long enough, you intrinsically understand that advertising has many of the same qualities around the world. However, direction, execution and employment of the strategies are often vastly different. Mr. Svarc, has an advertising mind as progressive as anything I have seen in the States, and has done some of the best work Prague and throughout the Czech Republic. He is one of those special individuals in my contact list that causes me to perk up and drop what I’m doing when he says, “listen.”
Yes, like E.F. Hutton, you old-ass hacks!
As progressive as this young man is, it came as no surprise to me when he shifted from an advertising model to an intellectual property model with a technology startup called Brand Embassy.
Really, Justice? There are a ton of new tools out there. What makes this one so special?
Well frankly, you’re selling Brand Embassy short if you think of it as simply a tool. I think it's fair to say that in the next five years, referring to influencer/social customer-care dashboards as “tools” will be like saying you find an occasional use for "the e-mails."
I won't bore you to death with all of the reasons why I think this application is worth using, but there are a few key features you should know about. It has many of the features you would expect to find in an engagement tool such as HootSuite or Social Sprout. But more importantly, it credibly ranks the influence power of the engager to your social channels. Let me repeat that in English: It tells you who has social mojo and who does not. Another differentiation I see is that it feels like something brands will want to use; not necessarily just social media agencies. Like it or not social firms, bigger brands are going to start to control engagement on the client-side.
From my perspective, Brand Embassy is also incredibly useful for social customer service, with rich reporting as it pertains to response and resolution times. This is a little bit scary for advertising agencies that might hang their hat on controlling all the social offerings for their customers. I think this product is best suited for the social engagement needs of larger companies. I’m not sure what the tipping point is. However, it’s safe to say your local lawnmower repair shop may not need the exhaustive amount of potential influencer services this tool provides.
Then again – what the hell. There’s a lot of competition out there for the hearts of consumers with an affinity for mulching blades.
These days it seems like everybody wants to run their own social media, and thinks they can do so with the flip of a switch. But as Hans and Franz used to say, “Hear me now and believe me later.” It's probably in your best interest to hire a social professional to manage this level of engagement.
Brand Embassy’s functionality runs deep, so I will just scratch the surface for you:
- Extensive brand keyword monitoring across more than 60 million discussions and blogs globally
- Customizable social graph for your applicable research
- Various levels of automation allow time-saving prioritization
- Thoughtful CRM (that understands Social Media) features are a forefront to the service
- Rich filtering options include influencer, date and discussion
- Brand ambassador profiles and groups
- In-app commenting or collaboration with social teams
- A lot of very sexy reporting to show off how great you are to the powers that be
- An endless array of campaign and keyword tagging for greater granularity
- Incredibly clean well-thought-out UI and UX
One more important caveat to consider when you begin your quest for the ultimate social media toolbox: Of course price is always a consideration. But there are variables depending on the nature of your business – and I have no way of knowing where you are. That being said, look for products that are aggressively evolving.
My position as Global Social Media Social Director of Kaseya gives me an insider’s view of software that is not only staying ahead of the curve but is establishing a roadmap to be an industry creator. Based on what Brand Embassy divulged to me, I can confidently say they intend to stay well in front of the competition by creating the curve, not following it. So much so, that Red Herring awarded them the next-level customer care platform and moreover, Brand Embassy is just recently nominated as one of the Top 50 startups; Pioneers Challenge in Vienna! That's cool to me, but I'm a nerd.
There is a free demo online. Give it a whirl and tell me what you think. And for the record, this is not a sponsored post. Love it, or hate it, I’m more than happy to deliver any constructive feedback directly to the cats that make the changes. Big cats. Extra hairy, with sharp teeth!