From left, eDealya founder and VP product Ophir Sweiry, director of R&D Alex Pretsev, founder and CEO Chaim Zucker.
Say you sell toys, and you’ve set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. Now, how can you entice your fans and followers to make a purchase? Random tweets won’t get you far. But if you knew when a member of your social community welcomed a new baby, you could leverage the good news with a personalized message of congrats and a discount coupon or gift card.
This is the revolutionary idea behind the new Israeli startup eDealya. It enables brands to be in the right place at the right time for each individual fan.
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“When social [marketing] came along, Facebook pushed businesses to spend money on building new communities, and they got to the point where millions of people were following them,” says eDealya CEO Chaim Zucker.
“But at the end of the day, the COO realizes the company is pouring money into this channel to get brand advocates — and that’s good, but what are they getting out of it besides a very fluid return on the ‘Likes’ and followers? To solve that problem, we will help them engage the already created communities in a relevant way.”
eDealya takes targeted marketing to a whole new level. The service’s patent-pending platform analyzes the activities and intentions of its clients’ Facebook fans and Twitter followers, scores each lead on a relevancy scale and sends automatic messages to individual fans with a timely and relevant brand offering.
‘Like’ your customers
“Until now, most brands treat social as the new television,” Zucker tells ISRAEL21c. “But social is all about relevance and context. We allow the brands, through our software platform, to engage with their social community through ‘engagement triggers.’ The triggers could be planned vacations, birthdays, graduations, weddings, promotions, events like marathons — whatever makes sense for your business.”
eDealya has about 100 engagement triggers in its toolbox. Sticking with the toy store example, perhaps one of your fans or followers just had a new baby. eDealya will find the relevancies and send a message, such as ‘Hey, Jim and Pam, thanks for being our fan. To help you celebrate Junior’s arrival, here’s 10% off a toy from our infant collection.”
Or if one of your fans is planning a vacation and you sell magazines, eDealya could send a voucher for a copy to be picked up at a bookstore in her area. Your business gets a return-on-investment boost, while the fan gets something she’d probably buy anyway. “I’ll get a magazine to read on the beach and it may as well be your magazine,” says Zucker. “Why not offer something your followers expect, at the right time?”
He points out that this sort of customized relationship amounts to the fan “getting ‘Liked’ back in return. Our technology allows the brand to create personal, relevant engagement with fans and followers who are not strangers, because they already ‘Liked’ the brand.”
Sounds a bit like Big Brother? Well, Zucker counters that surveys indicate people overwhelmingly “Like” brands in order to get something in return. And an offer packs the most punch if it arrives at the moment it’s most relevant to their lives. Many brands have already been doing this in a low-tech way, by asking customers to provide their birth date on forms so they can send a discount coupon to use during the month.
“It’s up to the brand to decide when to engage,” Zucker says. eDealya’s three plans, which cost $49, $199 and $499 per month, allow businesses to choose a certain number of engagement triggers, automatic engagement messages and reports.
Negev and New York
Zucker and co-founder Ophir Sweiry, both 36, met while working at the Israeli network services solutions company Amdocs. Zucker was director of product management and business development for web products.
“One of my main tasks was creating a new Amdocs ecommerce product,” Zucker says. “I had to learn about the life of marketing people, and one of the things that came up all the time is that they weren’t so savvy in the social marketing space. From there, Ophir and I decided to pursue this opportunity. We’ve built this product that solves some of the problems that marketing people have.”
They established eDealya in January 2012, and have raised nearly $1 million from two Israeli venture capital funds, including one that is backed by Israel Chief Scientist’s Office.
Alex Pretsev, their R&D director, was also formerly at Amdocs. Zucker describes Pretsev as “a tech geek who is a brilliant coder and an all-around player in technology.”
The company’s office is in the Negev, near Beersheva. “We also have a presence being established in New York because Madison Avenue is there and many [potential] clients are there,” says Zucker. “We want to offer services to a variety of clients from large to small – even local businesses looking for tools to engage fans in a personal way.”