It is that era of the modern age where the existence of businesses, ventures and firms have gone digital, online and, more importantly, social. Social media is consistently proving to be the best bet for marketing, branding and promotions. Gozoop has gone a step ahead and launched its latest digital product known as Zozolo Social ROI which enables the brand to increase its social engagement on various platforms and at the same time leading the engagement to sales.

In this interview, Ahmed Naqvi, Co-Founder of Gozoop, takes us through his company’s latest find and his vision on the development of social media-driven services in the long run.

The general belief is that social media is a platform meant for engaging and branding since people are not there to buy products. What is your opinion on that?

Yes, social media by its nature is a branding platform and all results are not tangible. However, in the end, all branding should lead to sales in the long run. That is the end objective for a business. Further, all sales need to be tracked so as to calculate return on investment. As a digital agency, the number one question we are asked is – How do you measure ROI through social media? That’s exactly the problem that we are solving through our Zozolo Social ROI product.

Our innovation team, the one that had developed our Social Commerce product, which also featured on Mashable’s Fast Pitch, was given the task of enabling brands to measure Social Media ROI effectively. With inputs from our Social Media team and our clients, we have  developed a product that enables ROI tracking of a brand’s social media presence through a great mix of technology and customer behavior on social platforms.

How exactly does the Zozolo Social ROI product address this problem of Social Media ROI?

The basic idea is: Constructive Social Engagement = Loyalty Points = Customer Gratification.

Zozolo’s analytics system tracks every social action – likes, comments, game plays, tweets, etc. These actions get converted to points based on a customizable loyalty points system built on the social media objective of each brand. For eg., some brands may prefer giving a higher significance to application plays while another brand may want to push more points for fan participation through comments. The set filters only incentivize sensible social engagements.

The Loyalty Points finally convert to a defined gratification, which can be in the form of brand merchandise, exclusive gifts, coupons or any other experience that a brand would like to offer to its loyal fans. Gratifications in the form of coupons that are redeemable at sales (whether online or offline) can be easily tracked and thus, enable ROI calculation from Social Media.

Which was the first brand that adopted the Zozolo Social ROI product and how were the results?

Zozolo went live on Dell’s social media presence in October last year and the result has been solid. I cannot share numbers but all the metrics- Social Media Generated Sales, Organic Fan Growth, Engagement & Application Plays – are strong.

We are also implementing this solution for some of the leading Social Media brands such as Fastrack, Myntra, AXN, Mad Over Donuts and Mumbai Indians, among others.

We have recently started pushing our product in our other geographies, namely, Dubai and Singapore. Coffeol, a leading café chain in UAE, is live with Zozolo on itsFacebook page.

Does Zozolo simply track Social Media ROI or does it also help improve the metrics for brands?

Brands that have implemented Zozolo have witnessed a dramatic increase in organic engagement rates and fan building. By organic we mean without any Media Spends support. This puts them in a position to reduce media spends on Promoted Posts and Fan Building. Implementation of this product can lead to immediate cost savings for brands. In the long run, the savings are quite significant.

Are there any other applications of this product?

The product is versatile since its core is social intelligence. The data that Zozolo monitors and analyses through the Dashboard are valuable to brands. If analyzed well, this data can really influence how brands communicate with their fans and followers. Some brands are using Zozolo to identify and interact with their key influencers while some are using it primarily as a means of organic fan building so as to save costs through decreased media spends.

Though Zozolo works best as an umbrella social loyalty system across all platforms, it also has a campaign specific application. AXN used Zozolo’s platform for the AXN Thrillionaire Awards as a campaign application.

How can brands that sell offline determine their ROI?

Zozolo’s ROI product can be integrated with Point of Sale (POS) systems of retailers through an API. Retailers can merge their offline loyalty system with the social loyalty system to have one common currency for all customer / fan actions. We are currently integrating this solution for Mad Over Donuts.

This is the second digital product introduced by Gozoop. Is there a conscious pivot from services into products?

The plan was always to be a global digital services and products company. Services create the cash flows that incubate our products. Services also give us great insights into the solutions that are needed by clients and how we can make innovations around them.

We are fully committed to our services business and will continue pursuing our geographic growth strategy. However, we would like our digital products suite to contribute to at least 15% of the revenue for the next financial year.

Lastly, how do you see social media evolving from here in the near and long term?

We are seeing a major uptrend in interactive content – short videos, polls, crowd source elements – as brands attempt to engage on a deeper and more intelligent level. Campaigns are becoming more real and to add to this development, Facebook has introduced hashtags. Google Plus is taking steps to increase its significance in the social media landscape. Brand managers are increasingly shifting focus from pure engagement metrics to ROI metrics.

One thing is clear -The pace of social media evolution is increasing day by day. We need to be on our toes to keep up and drive the latest and the greatest.

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