Digital, Digital & Mobile — September 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Create accurate relationships with The Appreciation Engine


“Pinpoint affinity and focus on the fans that matter” – The Appreciation Engine helps companies and musicians to gather the right information about their core fans, the ones willing to share data, and the ones who will be ready to take action. Annabel Youens joined The Appreciation Engine as Chief Marketing Officer and used to live in Jakarta when she was a kid – but that’s not what we’ve discussed about! Discover this new solution that will help you get straight to the point.

Music Weekly: What’s the story behind The Appreciation Engine?

Annabel Youens: The Appreciation Engine was created to recognize and reward fans & consumers who do genuine and natural word of mouth marketing. There are a lot of tools & online services that let companies create marketing campaigns: “tweet to win”, “comment to win” and random prize draws. We feel these kinds of campaigns don’t really allow companies to connect with their best fans and plus we’re all getting sick of those spammy messages in our feeds. So the Appreciation Engine was born – we allow companies to see who their most natural, active & dedicated fans are in real time. This makes it incredibly easy for companies to build relationships with these customers & appreciate them for all the natural word-of-mouth marketing they do. After all, everyone wants to be recognized & appreciated.


How does the Appreciation Engine allow companies to connect with fans?

The engine allows companies to hook in their own API keys from any social network. Then they take our social sign on widget & add it to their site. Fans simply sign on to their website and authorize a social network so the Appreciation Engine can listen to that fan’s activity related specifically to the company. The company can then use our two main tools to connect with these fans:

Social CRM Dashboard –  the company can identify their truest fans in real-time and send them branded messages via email, Twitter or Facebook. Coupled with filtering tools like geography & social network companies can focus on the fans who are the most engaged & continue to develop that growing relationship.

Appreciation Engine API – we offer each company their own API. They can take this feed of fan activity and display it on their website. For eg. bands could display their top Soundcloud listeners, a TV show can display their top watchers on Netflix, a film company could show the fans with the most cinema checkins on Foursquare. This powerful information can be used in all sorts of ways including offering customized user recommendations on their site and in email newsletters, as well as showing customized advertising based on the users social preferences.


How does the the API listen to the fans’ activity? What kind of data is gathered? And is it customizable?

Privacy is very important to us and that’s why the fan has to authorize the listening to their social networks. Once they’re hooked-in our proprietary engine listens for mentions, hashtags and keywords related to the company they’ve authorized. This information is displayed on the dashboard for our clients to download or pull in real-time from their API. We also gather key demographic information to help our clients create fan profiles & develop products & services that fit their fans. We also work with our clients to customize some of this data like pulling in sales information & attaching it to fan profiles. And most importantly we never sell any of this information to 3rd parties and only the companies the fans have authorized will see this data.


Is The Appreciation Engine designed for bands first? What are its other applications?

Our first love is the music space and that’s where we tested & developed the Appreciation Engine over the last four years. We’ve worked with major artists like Thievery Corporation, Ke$ha, Ok Go & Cody Simpson to help them run campaigns for their fan bases. And now we’re expanding our engine to other verticals in the media & entertainment space. TV, Film and Music are all verticals that are looking to connect with their fans across so many channels. Our Appreciation Engine can help them condense all this information & give them tools to make powerful connections that ultimately lead to building brand advocates and increasing sales.


How do you think it will change the way artists and fans interact?

We hope that companies start to realize that online conversations with their truest fans are really important. It’s shown that light-weight interactions with fans (like tweets, email chats & facebook conversations) lead to heavy-weight interactions (like purchases). A lot of companies are so focused on getting a sale & sending a coupon they forget that fans want to connect & be treated like people, not like a wallet. And on the other side fans will start to feel appreciated for their opinions and not just their dollars. As users become more aware of how their online data is being used it will become more important to have authorized access. In an ideal world fans & consumers will be contacted by the companies they love when it’s appropriate, not just generic newsletters – but targeted and specific information that gives consumers more choices, better prices & connects people together.


How does The Appreciation Engine differ from similar services such as Music Metric or sister service MusicHype?

The Appreciation Engine listens to private data, where a lot of other services like Music Metric track public data. Our engine also pulls this private data together to create a complete fan picture, where as other public services could display the same person as distinct fans. Our sister service MusicHype is perfect for small and emerging bands who want to connect and appreciate their truest fans. It doesn’t offer any customized social sign-on branding or the API tools – these tools are better suited for labels and large bands and major companies.


About The Appreciation Engine