Posts Tagged ‘influencers’

Congratulation to Pursway (formerly Datanetis) and Elery Pfeffer

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

image A little more than a year ago I wrote here about Datanetis, a cool company and technology that helps its customers to identify influencers within their customers database.

Datanetis just got funded with a $6 million Series A investment from Battery Ventures, and changed its name to Pursway. It also seems like there are new large customers on board.

Elery is a good friend and I’m very happy for him and his team.

Here is the press release.


The influencer’s five qualities – S.W.A.R.M

October 25, 2009 6 comments

In an effort to understand the new Influencers Marketing phenomenon, I decided to try and identify some of the influencer’s characteristics and skills. This information is based on my experience, observing several individuals whom are perceived as influencers by me and others in the online world.

I can envision few derived action items possibly taken following this information:

  • Building influencer’s self training curriculum
  • Learning to identify upcoming influencers
  • Learning how to influence the influencers

The influencer – SWARM

I came up with the SWARM acronym to help remembering them, because it reminds me the metaphor for describing the human behavior following an influencer call for action; like a swarm of bees reacting to environmental change.

Virtue Underline Skills Impact Tasks
S – Storyteller Know how to tell a good story. Hers and others. Vision, Inspiration Collect inspiring stories to share.
Focus on possibilities and not on constraints.
W – Well-rounded Technology, Marketing, Selling, and Communication savvy Respect Read outside of your domain. Work on turning week points to strength.
A – Ahead Patience, Analytic, Confidence, Distinctive Leadership Be curious. Make very little assumption. Ask questions and look for answers. Reverse engineer. Try to write, and explain how it works.
R – Resist Can see outside the common thinking.
Extract signals from a lot of noise.
Priorities Read a lot before making an opinion or taking side.
Read a lot to build solid baseline for comparing it with new information.
Read Seth Godin – reading his blog posts regularly is a good training for counter thinking.
M – Motivating Know how to break it all to manageable tasks so other can execute. Education Design a plan from one point to the next including tasks, milestones, and objectives.


How can we use this knowledge for Influencer Marketing – ideas:

  • Building influencer’s self training curriculum – thanks to the internet, social network, social media, and many additional empowering technologies and tools, more people now have the potential of gaining influence. The growing fragmentation of the long tail to micro niches introduces more domains where individual can become an influential force. Here’s lies the need to train on mastering influential skills.
  • Learning to identify upcoming influencers – for building new ways searching for people and their influence level within domains. You can see an initial approach by wefollow listing the most influential twitter users per category. Here is the list for technology. I can only guess that it is based on retweet counts. It should be easier to start building relationships with influencers early on than when they become too popular.
  • Learning how to influence the influencers – if an influencer is a great storyteller and also attentive to this method of communication, then maybe coming up with an interesting and inspiring story is the way to start building the relationship with her.
  • Your thoughts about influence?

    What do you see as the key virtue and skill for becoming an influencer? How do you plan to find rising influencers in a new niche? As a marketer, planning to leverage an influencer’s call for action in order to convey your message, how do you plan to approach her?

    Picture credit: umjanedoan

    Podcamp4 – a sense of urgency!?

    August 9, 2009 Leave a comment

    time-is-running-out I had a great time at Podcamp4 Boston yesterday but I left it with some sense of urgency. I can’t write now a long post explaining each point in detail because I’m running out of time leaving for my vacation so for now I will leave these points short and simple for you to think about.

    Urgency for what?

    • To start branding yourself today in order to mitigate near future economical and social changes.
    • To get into social networks now while you still have access to business leaders, and influencers before they shut you off.
    • To collect data that may not be there tomorrow:
      • Network data – your contacts database
      • Conversation – targeted conversational data (taged)
      • Brand related – what people are saying about you, your company, and product

    Self branding – with population growing old and poor you need to take care of your future career now before it is too late. Read about self branding here.

    Access – you can still chat and build relationships with CEOs and influencers on Twitter and Facebook. Yet, I do see examples of people stepping back from this open fall all policy.

    The Data

    • Depth of data – I built few tools for searching Twitter using Twitter Search API and I keep seeing the guys at Twitter shortening the duration that you can query back for (less than two weeks back).
    • Another thing is that you don’t want to become too dependent on digital network as the only way to access your contacts. What if it is down for a day or two (or more)?

    There is no better time than now to start participating. Your thoughts?

    Datanetis – highly scalable solution for finding influencers mathematically

    December 28, 2008 1 comment

      I recently noticed on LinkedIn that one of my old friend is now the CEO and founder of a new start-up company named Datanetis. I sent him an email because I was intrigue and it was also a good opportunity to catch up.  Elery Pfeffer and I worked together few years ago in a small start-up called Nester Software (later the name changed to Plataine) he was a student back then and I was thinking about moving to America. He is one of the brightest people I ever met.  Elery graduated from Tel-Aviv university in computer science and in a country with so many bright people and very few universities, it is as hard to become a student in Tel-Aviv university as it is in one of the Ivy League education institutions over here. Yet the thing that makes Elery a great friend is his strong integrity and generosity. Later he become the President of Nester, I made it to the state and we kept the friendship and mutual respect going.

    Elery was kind enough to spend an hour with me over the phone and through GoToMeeting session he presented his new creation. Now, I was even more excited. Datanetis is the real thing! It is not another dot com web2.0 bubble company. The company has a real product with multiple patent pending applications describing algorithms for finding influencers, highly complex (real barriers to entry), and scalable. Datanetis is selling it to the enterprise as a hosted solution and providing new data about whom should the bushiness focus his best marketing effort on – leads to influencer on other leads. And they already have large customers around the world.

    Elery view of the new marketing is revolutionary.

    “The new marketing is not just about customer’s monetary value but also about the customer’s social value to the organization.”

    For someone that has been working building software for the marketing automation industry over 8 years now and is familiar with multiple solutions for finding the right prospect out of many, it was an eye opener. I’m evidencing the progression from mass email campaigns through marketing to target individuals with a matching/relevant offers (data mining, behavioral pattern, collaborate filtering, recommendation engines) to finding customers that can market for you – agents.

    Finding subtle connections between individual and causality.

    Followers buy only in networks where influencers buy first

    Quoting Harvard Business Review:

    “The only path to profitability growth may lie in a company’s ability to get its loyal customers to become, in effect, its marketing department”

    So who are these loyal customers?

    Datanetis’s software is capable of both automatically generating social networks from low level CRM data within the customer database and to mathematically identify influencers and followers. This information could be used to increase the return on every marketing dollar spent on new product adoption(x5-x70), new customers acquisition(x12), churn prevention (x10-x30), conversion, product cross sell(x6), higher product virality, and significant cost reduction.

    From Datanetis’s experience, social network marketing using influencers is comprised of two cycles. The first is the closed friends cycle, from the results it seems as if they almost decide simultaneously to follow the leader. This first wave peaks around 4-5 weeks from the beginning of the campaign. The second wave peaks around 9-10 weeks traversing through the rest of the social sphere. This may indicate that the customers are going through different decision making processes at different locations on the social network graph (influencers affinity). This knowledge offers Datanetis customers ways to fine tune their campaigns over time.

    In my opinion this disruptive technology will force changing some of the operations and thinking in the marketing department going forward.

    Viral marketing is not just hit and run but a multiple acts campaign.

    Another interesting finding that Elery shared with me is the lack of influencers trivial characteristics. Any attempt, so far, trying to map influencers based on demographic, product adoption or any other factor distinguishing them from the population failed.

    This is what Datanetis found about these individuals only after finding them using their software:

    • Social Influencers are not celebrities and resellers
    • Influencers typically
      • represent 7-15% of the total population
      • has influence in 3-5 different subject areas

    Datanetis successfully executed hundreds of large scale social marketing campaigns and is globally active in Retail, Telco, Gaming, Internet, and Hospitality industries.

    Here is what that Elery suggests to the marketers out there:

    “Don’t focus only on turning leads into sales, focus on turning influencers into ambassadors for your company.”

    The influencers phenomenon is covered vastly on the web ever since the invention of digital social networks and the social graph. From what that I read so far it seems to me that we are still in the experimental/research phase. I was excited about finding a real application with proven method for finding influencers. Maybe Datanetis will help pushing this new science forward.


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