Crowdtap, The People-Powered Marketing Platform, Joins #SMWNYC as an Official Event Sponsor

We’re thrilled to announce Crowdtap as an Official Event Sponsor of Social Media Week New York. Crowdtap is the “People-Powered Marketing Platform” designed to deepen relationships between brands and the people who love them by putting brands back where they belong, inside the hearts and minds of their consumers.

At SMW New York, Crowdtap’s SVP of Research & Analytics, Peter Storck, will kick things off in a session hosted by IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). “Social Media Measurement: How Everyone Wins” takes place Tuesday the 23rd at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre.

Peter will join industry leaders in social media to provide clear definitions of commonly used terms, as well as help attendees on both the buy and sell side know what questions to ask when selecting vendors understanding social measurement best practices.

Then, on Wednesday the 24th at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre, Crowdtap will host a session exploring the new and emerging behaviors of Millennials, Gen-Z, and Gen-Alpha consumers. From skipping ads and DVR-ing television shows, to installing ad-blockers and bypassing branded messaging, these behaviors have all become a common part of the Millennial experience, and Crowdtap is at the forefront of understanding where everything is heading.

This session, “Bracing For The Ad-Blocked Future: How Brands Are Moving Beyond The Impression” will bring together industry leaders including Afdhel Aziz (Brand Director, ABSOLUT Labs, Pernod-Ricard), Tracy Echikson (Marketing Consultant, Ricola Brand Team), Joanne McKinney (Chief Strategy Officer, The Burns Group), and Sean Foster (CEO, Crowdtap) for a first-look at winning marketing programs that have invited consumers to help shape and tell a brand’s story.

Skipping Ads and DVR-ing Shows: Crowdtap’s CEO, Sean Foster, To Lead a Talk at #SMWNYC on Emerging Millennial Behavior

Skipping ads. DVR-ing television shows. Installing ad-blockers. These behaviors have all become a common part of the Millennial experience – and what’s more, they are behaviors that are engrained in subsequent generations of consumers (Gen-Z and even Gen-Alpha).

Sean Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Crowdtap, will lead a session at SMW New York with leaders from ABSOLUT Labs, Ricola, and The Burns Group to discuss the age of ad-blocking, how brands must evolve with this emerging trend, and why working alongside your customers to unlock their ideas, opinions and stories can overcome this barrier.

Sean’s session “Bracing For The Ad-Blocked Future: How Brands Are Moving Beyond The Impression, Presented By Crowdtap” will take place on Wednesday, February 24th at 9:00am at the SVA Theatre (EDU Stage).

★ Register today by purchasing your pass ★

About Sean Foster

“Sean Foster is CEO of Crowdtap, the People-Powered Marketing Platform. Sean joined Crowdtap in May 2014 with a proven track record of building great consumer experiences, developing thriving communities and scaling successful organizations. Prior to Crowdtap, he served as CEO of dLife, where he successfully transitioned the business from a media company to a branded products and services company, ultimately resulting in the sale of the company in late 2013.

Prior to dLife, Sean was responsible for a $120 million consumer e-commerce business as President, Online of Avon Products, Inc. Previously, Sean served as CMO for The Gilt Groupe where he delivered hyper sales growth and led the development of the flash sales model.

Sean held numerous executive roles at Weight Watchers International. During his time at Weight Watchers, he was responsible for all US, UK, Canada, Germany and Australia sales and marketing for the online division as the Vice President of Marketing for Sean also held several key sales and marketing roles at (National Discount Brokers) and Club Med.” (via Fast Company)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from visionary speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: AlleyWatch

People-Powered Marketing Is The New Fuel Of Human Connectivity

In today’s hyper connected world, it’s a no-brainer that brands have found creative ways to leverage social platforms to engage consumers. The industry as a whole has come a long way in using social to create brand advocates and influencers. One session that really explored this new relationship was Crowdtap’s “People-Powered Marketing: A Crash Course in Putting Consumers at the Heart of Your Brand” with speakers: Lee Hurley (VP of Digital and Social, Weight Watchers), Matt Britton (CEO, MRY), Joseph Klicsu (Senior Manager of Digital Communications, Energizer) and Sean Foster (CEO, Crowdtap).

People-powered marketing is a shift by brands to put consumers at the heart of marketing efforts, and empower them to drive product ideation, validation, strategy, content creation and earned media. Sean Foster, CEO of Crowdtap, said “Stop calling them consumers. They’re people.” At the core of it, consumers are people. As a brand or marketer, you can’t make that conversion from person to purchaser without a human connection. Brands need to inspire consumers to become advocates and influencers, who talk about the products they love and share content about the brands they genuinely like.

Individuals do love brands – they just don’t always love the relationship they have with brands. Today’s consumers are eager to be part of an interactive conversation on social, with brands and without. By giving consumers this personal ‘in’ to your brand, organizations have the ability to inspire authentic conversations, which can help shape product messaging, marketing, ideation and consumer loyalty.

Matt Britton, CEO of MRY, reminded us of a particularly important rule of thumb for brands to keep in mind. “Social media was never about brands, and it never will be. We need to create content that adds value.” The intrinsic relationship between brands and consumers ultimately lies in the value brands can provide. By creating content that consumers resonate with in a genuine way, it creates a human connection, and brands can enter the hearts and minds of the people who love them most, which is certainly more than a simple Facebook ad.

The author of this article is Jodi Kovacs. She is a PR professional in New York and works at Kite Hill PR, a strategic communications and media relations consultancy. You can follow Jodi on Twitter @jodikovacs724.

Session Preview: CEO Of Crowdtap Explains What It Means To Be A People-Powered Brand

In our day-to-day lives, we’re faced with countless reasons for wanting to engage with brands and businesses. Of course, we have customer service questions, but we also want to tell brands when they’re doing something right – and what’s more, we want to share our own ideas about how the brands we love can evolve and grow with us as consumers. After all, it’s our experiences with brands as consumers that shape the very definitions of those brands.

Sometimes simple social interactions cannot achieve these engagements effectively, and at scale, and that’s where Crowdtap comes in. Billed as the People-Powered Marketing Platform, Crowdtap helps marketers place real consumers at the heart of their marketing – from consumer insights and innovation to content creation and media distribution.

At #SMWNYC, Crowdtap CEO Sean Foster will explain what it means to be a people-powered brand, and offer up tangible examples of brand marketers who are leveraging the consumer voice across the entire marketing lifecycle. We recently caught up with Sean to get a sneak preview of his much-anticipated session:

What’s the state of brand-consumer relationships today?

The relationship between brands and consumers is broken. Most Millennials say they do not trust traditional advertising at all – yet marketers are still talking at their audiences, pushing messaging on them in disruptive ways. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Media-savvy consumers are passionate about the brands they love. In fact, nearly half of Millennials today believe that brands “play an essential role in their lives.”

Put simply, consumers want to be heard. They want a seat at the table – so much so that they are investing their own money to co-develop new products via platforms like Quirky and Kickstarter. The brands of the future are those that are putting people at the heart of it all – and that’s the definition of People-Powered Marketing in its simplest form.

What’s the difference between crowdsourcing and People-Powered Marketing?

People-Powered Marketing replaces the linear model of engaging consumers with an iterative cycle that elevates the consumer voice across all stages of marketing and product development. Crowdsourcing is a piece of that, but does not represent the complete scope of what’s possible for marketers today. At Crowdtap, we’re evangelizing a model in which consumers are involved at ALL stages of the marketing lifecycle. Beyond crowdsourcing (co-creation), this might involve giving product feedback, validating creative and creating content around their own experiences with brands. It’s an iterative, ongoing process versus a one-off campaign.

What can marketers do to help their brands become more People-Powered?

Becoming more consumer-centric is as much of a mindset shift as it is an operational shift. Marketers have to have the desire to make the leap, and understand that brands are no longer defined by executives in board rooms, separate from the consumers who experience them on a daily basis. They should not only realize, but appreciate, that their customers are increasingly calling the shots – and know how to balance consumer needs with business objectives. From an operational standpoint, managing ongoing conversations with consumers is not achievable at scale without the tools to make those engagements seamless and actionable for marketers. Our platform makes it easy for marketers to engage in two-way conversations with consumers that result in agile consumer insights and powerful word of mouth.

For more insights into marketing’s people-powered future, catch Sean’s session at the #SMWNYC Campus Headquarters (Highline Stages) on Friday, Feb. 27 at 10:45 a.m.

About Crowdtap:

Crowdtap, the People-Powered Marketing Platform, is a new operating system for brands powered by the people who love them. Our platform makes it easy for brands to put consumers at the heart of their marketing to drive product ideation, inform marketing strategy and create authentic content that fuels earned media.

In 2014, Crowdtap was named one of the 100 Most Promising Companies in America by Forbes and the No. 54 fastest-growing private company in the Inc. 500 List. The company has been ranked as the No. 3 Best Place to Work in New York by Crain’s, and the No. 6 Best Tech Company to Work For by Mashable.

With a growing community of passionate members, Crowdtap works with leading brands including General Mills, Heineken, Kraft Foods, P&G, Verizon, Walmart and Yum Brands.

Visit for more information.

My Day as a Social Media Week Speaker

This is a guest post by SMW veteran Joyce Sullivan.

This is my 2nd year as a Social Media Week NYC speaker and attendee. After getting my feet wet last year curating and moderating a panel on the emerging world of social media for financial services, I thought I’d dive in again talking about Social Media Strategy for Financial Services.

We finished our setup work on Monday with our live event on Tuesday, Feb 14th – and yes, I wore red on stage for Valentines Day! The planning and prep paid off, as we had a full house at @NYITManagement Auditorium. We had good feedback in person, and via our Twitter feed using our hastag#SMWFinServ. If you missed us, and want to know about all the fun facts on how to do social media in the highly regulated financial services industry, this link’s for you!  We also Storified our tweets! You can also catch me on Livestream or on Twitter @JoyceMSullivan and @SocMediaFin.

My Day as a Social Media Week Attendee

With my SMW presentation complete, it was now time to enjoy the talks from the other side of the stage. I had a full day starting at Big Fuel bright and early listening to Rachel Stearne (whom I met in the elevator on the way up!). So great to hear what’s going on in the NYC digital space with Rachel at the helm as Chief Digital Officer for Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Free wifi in the parks is today a reality but just a beginning. It may be a bit longer before we have it on the subways, which Rachel mentioned was one of the biggest requests. However, the city will be providing lots of support for the NY Tech start up community. Rachel encouraged all to check out all the NYC Digital happenings.

As part of her first 90 days with the City, she created the Road Map for the Digital City outlining a path to build on New York City’s successes and establish it as the world’s top-ranked Digital City. They make it easy to keep up with these news making and news breaking innovators: @rachelsterne @edpilkington @nycgov @NYCDigital.

I had planned to head over to another venue but since I had a front row seat at Big Fuel (check out my pics of the stage!) I thought I’d hang a bit longer and see what’s going on with social TV. Yahoo! kicked off the event with Patrick Albano on stage introducing the next talented panel for Social Television: Opportunities for Broadcasters and Advertisers. I absolutely loved the Into Now app demoed by the sartorially resplendent Edwin Wong of Yahoo!.

Though I’m trying to stay neutral (for now!) with the upcoming 2012 US election, the talk by Edward O’Keefe of ABC News demoing their new OTUS News app they developed with Blue Fin Labs is a game changer. And for the finale we had Beth Reilly of Kraft Foods showcasing the success and fun of engaging their audience with their latest Cheesy Skillets Liquid Gold spots. Who would have thought Velveeta could get this much of a rise out of folks.. well, the Liquid Gold Blacksmith guy has a little bit to do with it!  Keep up with these app makers: @intonow and @OTUSNews and @kraftfoods.

Next up was my fave Joe Fernandez of Klout interviewed in front of a digital fireplace by Big Fuel CEO Jon Bond. I’ve been an early adopter of Klout and have watched them soar and swoop down – a bit – in the last few months. They continue to be the digital global influence leader. It was interesting to hear after the US, the next biggest countries for Klout are #2 Brazil and #3 Japan.

Joe told some inside tales about the handlers of the rich and famous coming to see him and asking why some other big star had a higher Klout score. For such a successful global influence disruptor, Joe is very down to earth and approachable. See what I mean: @JoeFernandez and catch Jon Bond at @JonBond57.

Time to walk around and check out the rest of the goings on at Big Fuel. Yummy (and free!) food from @wholefoodsNYC in the back was a good way to refuel. The charge stations throughout the floor gave me a chance to charge up my devices and meet others. As I turned around to say hello to the folks around me, I met @BeVisible, whom I have followed for the past year but had never met in person. Always great to meet old school in real life.

It was a double header day for Joe Fernandez who was also on the Global Influence panel. Along with Joe, we got an insightful and fun perspective on how this group influences their online community from Funk Flex aka @FunkMasterFlex, along with Brandon Evans of CrowdTap, moderated by Ben Luntz of Big Fuel. It was especially fun to have Funk and Joe sharing their views on how to be influential. Joe said he started following Funk right before this event to get to know him. This Livestream is definitely worth another listen. It’s on my replay list.

It was time to get some fresh air and check out another venue. I decided to go to a non-hub event to check out the ‘indie’ SMWNYC scene. I picked “Can We Tweet Yet, Social Media in Financial Services” hosted by Joanna Belbey of Actiance a few blocks away. It was a nice sized group and with a slide show, and some handouts, Joanna took the group through the ins and out of social media regulation in a clear and approachable manner.

This was great live theater; no livestream for this one, folks, though you can follow more of Joanna’s insights on twitter: @Belbey  and on BelbeyBlogs.

I wanted to also attend Email and Social Media up at Thomson Reuters taking place at the same time uptown. I had heard Wendi Caplan-Carroll of Constant Contact speak at other events and wanted to catch her latest insights. Next best thing?.. watch it on Livestream and find out what Fanbruary is all about! Great intro by Brady Hahn of Crowdcentic introducing Nick Hahn (any relation?), Wendy Caplan-CarrollNoel DescalziGabby Bernstein, and Josh Mendelsohn. So many great insights of how to use email marketing as part of social media to reach your target audience. Being authentic is key, and you can see all the insights here.

And my day is done! Being on the Social Media Week stage and watching the events on stage, are both exhilarating AND exhausting. Everyone have fun out there!


Joyce Sullivan is a recognized industry expert in social media networking through emerging social media networking tools. A financial services industry veteran, Joyce speaks frequently on the convergence of social media and the financial services industry. She’s been recognized for her social media networking expertise through seminars, and you can watch Joyce’s interview with CNBC anchor and journalist, Maria Bartiromo, on career reinvention and the use of social media networking on “Wall Street Journal Report with Maria Bartiromo.” Keep up with her online.