Being Bullish About Customer Engagement

an interview with
Jay Samit CEO, SocialVibe

Jay Samit, CEO of SocialVibe, an innovative and rapidly growing digital advertising platform, will be speaking at next week’s Pivot Conference in New York City.  (By the way, last year’s conference was both inspiring and enlightening and was among the best of its kind.) Here’s my brief but informative interview with Jay who is particularly bullish about 2012 and his promise of consumer engagement.

DN: As 2011 winds down, are you thinking “good riddance” or “darn I’ll miss it?”
For SocialVibe, 2011 has been an amazing year. When the economy is tough, brand managers need to justify each and every ad dollar they spend. This has been the year for value-exchange engagements. Hundreds of brands have jumped on the bandwagon increasing our reach to over 600 million consumers per month.

DN: Can you boil down your Pivot presentation to one or two key insights?
Impressions are the least effective way to measure advertising. Measure consumer engagement. Value exchange advertising turns consumers into brand evangelists generating millions in earned media.

DN: Looking back at 2011, what new things did you try?
SocialVibe expanded our value-exchange engagement platform beyond Zynga in 2011, to encompass Facebook credits, premium content, and mobile. With a broader reach of over 150 million American consumers per month, we are now able to pair the product message with their exact audience. The result: millions of consumers opting in to spend over a minute with their favorite brand and sharing that message with dozens of friends online.

DN: Is the current economic uncertainty effecting your plans for 2012?
SocialVibe is expanding globally in 2012. The success of our London office has us now running social media advertising campaigns in dozens of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. With a reach of over 660 million consumers, Japan and Asia are SocialVibe’s next area of expansion.

DN: Looking ahead to 2012, are there some emerging trends that you hope to capitalize upon?
Providing a rich media solutions for small and medium size businesses is a key growth area for SocialVibe. Today we reach hundreds of millions of consumers for the top 300 brands in the world. In 2012, we want to give smaller businesses access to this targeted, engaged audience of consumers.

DN: Are you particularly proud of something new that you tried or recommended in 2011?
Great topic for another story: SocialVibe is now providing our advertising solution to the Presidential Election of 2012. We have clients from both sides of the aisle. The amazing thing is that political ad campaigns generate results even better than brand campaigns because people love to talk politics.

DN: Finally, among the trends I’m tracking are complexity (for marketers) and data-overload (for consumers). How are you responding to these?
Consumers on the Internet are inundated with marketing messages and have learned to tune them out. The secret is to enter the conversation by finding the “pause moments’ when consumers can and will pay attention. SocialVibe has published over 100 case studies illustrating how brands in virtually any category can achieve great results.

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