Extole helps spread word of mouth for brands

Extole's social advocacy platform helps brands turn customers into social advocates who spread word-of-mouth recommendations and brand information with friends and social communities.

Specifications
Extole's social advocacy platform helps brands turn customers into social advocates who spread word-of-mouth recommendations and brand information with friends and social communities. Platform features include tools to launch referral-marketing programs, manage rewards and incentives, and access Facebook's open-graph technology. Advanced analytics provide measurement across programs and channels.
 
Cost
Three package options are available, starting at an average price of $3,500 per month.
 
Ownership
Privately held.
 
User
Steven Tristan Young, senior director of customer acquisition and brand awareness at Seamless, has been using Extole's social advocacy platform for nearly two years.
 
How do you use it?
It runs our customer referral program. We set it up so it's a private label program that's powered by Extole but sits on Seamless.com. Visitors to our site click on a “refer a friend” link and a box pops up telling them how to share Seamless with their friends. There are multiple ways for them to do that – they can type in an email addresses, post on Twitter and Facebook, or use a personal URL that Extole's platform assigns to them. Any time a person clicks on those posts or that URL and then places an order on Seamless, it gives a credit back to the customer who shared the post or the URL.  
 
If there's a problem we call or email our account person. They determine if the problem is on their side or ours, and we go about resolving it. They're very responsive, and we don't usually have a lot of problems. There are always tech things that happen, but it's just part and parcel. The important thing is to escalate and deal with it quickly, and Extole is very good about that.
 
How does it serve your business needs?
It's driving awareness and getting our customers who are the most passionate about Seamless to share the product. It ultimately drives sales – friend referral is a powerful way to drive sales. Customers that come through a friend referral are always more valuable than those that come through any sort of paid marketing.
 
We spend our time coming up with marketing campaigns to support it versus having to run it, so that's a good use of our time. We try to be strategic about where we promote it, such as at various customer entry points and high-traffic areas of the site. We run different reward offers of varying amounts throughout the year for the people who are referring their friends.  

How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It's a JavaScript add-on.
 
What are the main benefits?
It's easy to use.
 
It's Extole's job to improve the product, and they can leverage all the learnings they have from different clients. It's cost effective from a resource and time standpoint.  
 
What are the main drawbacks?
There aren't really any drawbacks. If there were I would not be using it.
 
What would you like to see improved / added?
I'd just like them to continue to figure out how to leverage emerging technologies.
 
I'd also like to see continued improvement overall with the email experience because that's still one of the strongest drivers of referrals.
 
Competitors
Zuberance: provides social applications that make it easy for companies to systematically identify brand advocates, drive social recommendations from them, and track results.
 
Amplifinity's Advocacy Management Platform: allows clients to design, deploy, and manage advocacy programs.
 
SocailTwist: a customer acquisition platform that creates social referrals.

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