It’s difficult for any company to add customers and increase revenue, no matter what stage it’s in. But for a relatively new startup – mind you one that’s just two months removed from a pivot towards a more viable business model – D.C.’s Encore is blazing trails in the social media analytics world. About a quarter of the way into their angel round of funding, Encore has already attracted great investors from the local area. And what’s more – they have added a customer of epic proportions that’s going to make a great difference for their platform: The Consumer Electronics Association.
Encore provides brands with real-time social insights to identify the key conversations of their users’ social engagement. For CEA, the task will be no different, explained Encore Founder James Li. “It will basically entail sending them alerts everyday to multiple members of their team and telling what’s surfacing up – different opportunities that they should really be taking advantage of, whether it be influencers who are talking about their upcoming conference in January that they could partner with or trending topics inside of the electronics industry.”
CEA is a great franchise customer for Encore as it pursues more consumer-oriented companies in the future. Currently, some other organizations they work with are Georgetown and Wedding Wire. The hope is that Encore can really flex its muscle with CEA and show them the power of social media insight during less-focused on times of the year. “CEA is thought to be known most for its CES conference in January in Vegas, and it’s been known to be pretty cutting edge during that conference,” Li said. “But the real value that we’re trying provide is helping them be more engaging during the rest of the year, and I think that’s a struggle that a lot of brands face. The words we used when talking to CEA were ‘being proactive instead of reactive.'”
And for other current customers, Encore seems to be a useful tool. Currently, the startup is logging a 60 percent open rate for insight emails and a 45 percent click-through rate on recommended actions. In an industry like software as a service (SaaS), Li said numbers like that are unheard of. The industry standard is something like 32.6 percent open rate, 2.7 percent click through rate, per research from MailChimp. “We want to make sure we’re providing every day value to these marketers, and one way of seeing that is open rates,” he said. And take what Anupam Chakravarty of Georgetown University had to say:
“Encore’s alerts cut through a lot of the clutter and noise that comes with social media management, helping me find useful content from influencers that I often miss in my dashboard. The alerts to my inbox are perfect for quickly drawing my attention to current conversations about my brand, and are just as easy to archive if any of them aren’t useful – which is less than 10 percent of the time.”
Next, they plan to chug along and add more features and value to their platform. Part of that will be identifying specific trends in what people are talking about and implementing brand advocates, or people who “mention a brand multiples times within a given period of time. These enhancements will hopefully come soon, but will be released on a rolling basis as Encore raises more funding. Currently, they have several investors lined up, including Michael Goldman of Exhilarator and SwitchPitch, and angel investor Bill Smith. However, they’ve also been meeting with some undisclosed members of the Next Gen Angels here in D.C., which Li said is ” a really cool process because they all tend to be younger and they’ve gone through really similar entrepreneurial experiences recently.”