New York loyalty and rewards platform CrowdTwist is taking loyalty-creation to new heights after a $9 million Series B investment round.
While Adland’s account managers focus their efforts on optimizing relations with key agency clients, no one with media jobs in online advertising agencies is unaware of the importance of cultivating customer loyalty. And CrowdTwist, which was founded by NY compadres Irving Fain, Josh Bowen and Michael Montero in 2009, has fast become a leading supplier of multi-channel loyalty and analytics solutions for brands, marketers and advertisers.
Essentially, intrigued account managers may wish to know, CrowdTwist provides tools to help its clients create online loyalty programs. Co-founder and CEO Irving Fain says that the new cash will help it expand beyond the “intense fervor around gamification” with which it’s been associated, and deliver “long-term, sustainable value to brands.”
According to Mr. Fain, CrowdTwist’s unique appeal resides in what it actually does with loyalty programs, how it puts them to work: they become sources of valuable consumer data on an “omni-channel” basis (i.e., across offline, online, social and mobile channels). Not only that, but all the data that gets sucked up is opt-in and owned by the brand instead of a third-party provider. Business-savvy account managers will quickly see that that’s a key differentiator vis-à-vis the competition.
Fain told TechCrunch journalist Anthony Ha:
“In a world where brands want to customize their experience based on who you are and the things that you care about, they need to look at eight or nine different platforms and points of data and recognize they all come from the same individual. Otherwise they’re never going to be able to deliver on the promise of true personalization.”
The data CrowdTwist’s tools generate can be used to tailor pitches to different customers, significantly improving sales in the process (the startup’s clients typically see a 20 percent hike in sales).
And since launching in 2009, Fain insists, more clients than ever before are pursuing “multi-channel loyalty.” For instance, brands specializing in consumer packaged goods sold through drugstores or supermarkets can use CrowdTwist to create more direct relationships with their clients (the startup’s newest clients now include L’Oreal USA, Ultimate Fighting Championship, Sports Clips and USA Track & Field).
The new round brings the company’s total investment to $16.2 million.