While mega-platforms Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter dominate social media, there’s one startup — the San Diego-based event marketing firm, Eventful — that is betting the farm on smaller, highly focused social communities coming together around common interests via their “Demand it!” platform.
“The Demand it! service is unique because it serves as a direct bridge between social media engagement/impressions and actual consumer buying decisions (i.e. commerce). We answer the question, 'What should we go do tonight?' and drive commerce around that,” Jordan Glazier, President and CEO told brandchannel. “We put consumers in control of influencing, shaping, and determining the outcome of entertainment experiences.”
A pedigreed group of Silicon Valley heavyweight investors are supporting Eventful's growth, including eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, Zynga founder Mark Pincus, entrepreneur Esther Dyson, global telecommunications giant Telefónica, and VC firms Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson and Bay Partners.
The value-add for marketers promoting movies, live entertainment and local events includes a sense of ownership around new releases; aggregated demand; driving commerce through specific calls-to-action; and generating buzz on social media.
Examples of major brand marketers (primarily Hollywood studios, but that's expanding) who are already leveraging Eventful’s community of 20 million entertainment consumers with content from 3,000 license partners to create social marketing campaigns include:
Paramount Pictures: 1.5 million plus consumers influenced the distribution strategy of a motion picture for the first time with Paranormal Activity, generating hundreds of thousands of ticket & DVD sales.
MGM: Drove over 100,000 people to advance screenings for Hot Tub Time Machine and generated pre-release buzz for the film which directly impacted ticket sales for the movie.
Universal: Hundreds of thousands of college students determined the location of a "Red Carpet Movie Premiere" for the first time with Your Highness.
KISS: The legendary rock group became the first major artist to book an entire concert tour based purely on consumer demand, resulting in over $5 million worth of ticket sales.
Disney: 1,550,000 people pledged to buy tickets to African Cats, with a portion of ticket purchase going to African Savanna wildlife.
AMC: In a first, a theater chain let fans determined which cities an independent film would be released in, leading to ticket sales/box office results for Mooz-lum.
Eventful has been refining their model for entertainment brands and is now focused on other industries, products, services, and consumer brands.
“Our partners have indicated to us that we’re their highest ROI marketing partner. We see an approximately 40% conversion rate from engagement to commerce when consumer demands are met,” said Glazier.
“Research shows that a (Facebook) 'like' or 'tweet' conversion is less than 1%. A 'like' is a sign that someone has raised their hand and indicated a willingness to engage. A 'demand' is a sign that someone has gone a step further and indicated a willingness to purchase, attend, view, or take an action.”
Reminiscent of the analog echo, “I want my MTV!” – “Demand it!” is what Eventful hopes will become the digital refrain for today's wired youth.