Author Archives: Santhana

Be Apptentive

I was spending my sunny Sunday evening with a cold Coke on the side, going through our blog (entre528) to see what our friends came out with analytics section.  While I was fascinated by the choices available, I was trying to choose best one by my own search.

I heard some fight broke between my two younger daughters while there playing on the lawn with Sprinkler ON.  Each one was complaining about other for a small issue I did not know.  It was a regular experience and I chose to remain silent until I heard one of them yelled “You should have told me that…”.  That was my moment and I started thinking about predictive analytics for Social Media.  I immediately gave them some sugar treats to divert their attention and came back to web.   I remembered Andy saying in the class about a tool which would predict the trend of most tweeted words in coming days.  As always, I did not find what I needed from my notes.

While searching for the notes, I came across the presentation for Apptentive in our VC class.  This is sort of proactive (not predictive) analytics where you influence customer sentiments (aka posts / tweets) online favorable to your brand.  Hmmm interesting – I wanted to know more about how they do it to solve my VC case as well Social media write-up.

Call it as Proactive reach or mobile CRM, this platform (api?) will give you the analytics on how many customers had problems with the application on particular step and work with customers proactively.  This will not only enable the app owner to fix the problem in the app or help the customer to configure correctly.

Once the customer gave negative comments in the Appstore, the app owner should live with the post, even though he fixed the problem reactively to the customer.  Apptentive puts the App owner in the driving seat by alerting possible issues upfront.

The impressive lists of companies benefited from Apptentive include Yahoo!, Urbanspoon and

The most fascinating thing about this space, there are many competitors out there in the market place.

  • Appboy
  • Mixpanel
  • Localytics
  • Appoxee
  • Urban Airship

The differentiation may be part of the analytics support by each tool to the app owners.

Current statistics (results) show the boost in the AppStore ratings after using the product. Apptentive claims that Urbanspoon improved customer rating from 3.5 to 4.5 after using Apptentive SDK.

So – all of the app developers who are interested in knowing how their product is received in the market and sentiment, please be apptentive.  This will make you stand apart from those who use descriptive analytics (rear view mirror) because you used proactive relationship management (Windshield mirror).

Good luck with your next app!


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Filed under 2013 - Post 3, Analytics

I need a Social Media tool to …. make it work for me!

All my classmates picked up their favorite Twitter / Facebook tool from the internet ocean. They have experimented and posted how they love the tool.  I have tried few of their tools and it worked like a charm.  So what?  I could not make my mind for any one tool.

Anyways, in the hunt to find my own tool, I did lot of browsing – which was not a news before I started the TMMBA program or a job at Microsoft.  I went through FaceBook and Twitter with a critic eye.  I checked out FaceBook Widgets and binged online with a query string of how to increase the facebook likes? .  Amazed to see paid services and multiple tricks (Many of them never made any sense anyway).

Overall, I can see a thirst for getting more Likes or Followers online. I had my rational hat on and questioned the value of a like or Follower.  There are different price tags found line for a FB Like – from $3 to $136.

I did a quick math on few pages to arrive at money value of FB likes for few pages, using the lowest value per page predicted @ $3.

Name Likes $$ Value
UWENTRE528 73 $219
Microsoft 2,406,427 $7,219,281
Twitter 9,595,597 $28,786,791
Coca Cola 63,278,766 $189,836,298
Facebook 90,931,325 $272,793,975

What I do not know is whether the companies get the revenue from FB.  While I agree that FB / Twitter are important to keep in touch with customers, I am not able to put a $$ value like branding or something against the likes.

Now coming to the point of the tool, I am looking for – I need a Social Media tool to .... make it work for me!

Look at the above tweet on Feb 20, 2013.  I do not know whether Microsoft used that tweet to its advantage.  Many enterprises are facing the situation where in lot of customer appreciations would be buried under storm of tweets a day.  I need a tool to mark the best reference tweets and keep them on top of Twitter or similarly good comments to the top of FB pages.  This will serve as good testimonial for the company.  I believe that would increase the $$ value of the social media tools.

Is there a tool to do that? Should it be part of the application like Twitter or FB?  I will leave that decision to you.


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Filed under 2013 - Post 2, Analytics

Social strategy winner – Starbucks!

Starbucks is a clear winner of having a good social strategy.  In fact to Starbucks “Social” does not mean only an online strategy, it also means creating a social environment in their stores. Though the latter may be attributed to its birth place, Seattle, where most time of the year people spend time indoors, except summer months.  Whatever be the reason, you feel good when you enter their stores.  (not applicable to drive through folks!).

Starbucks has great Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools. However I restrict myself to their interesting initiative called “My Starbucks Idea” through which it interacts with their customers actively and solicit new product ideas and enhancement tips. 

If you are reading this blog, then you are online.  Please check this “My Starbucks Idea” for your own experience.  Based on strategy, consumer and employee participation, feedback mechanism, improvements to existing products and ideas for new products and leadership, I rate Starbucks social initiative as number #1.

  1. The strategy was well thought out and the website clutter free and easy to read.  The postings are classified into Product, Experience and Involvement ideas.  These are very broad but distinct categories and might belong to different teams to own it internally.
  2. Community is incented by providing the scores / online badges.  There is an inbuilt scoring mechanism managed by community in terms of likes, dislikes (negative score), votes and comments.  Participants take pride in getting honors online.
  3. Ideas are voted up by community and best ideas move to top naturally. This is the dream of marketers and product managers – they spent lot of money to create a crystal ball to predict the consumers’ behavior towards their new product or improvement to existing product.  Starbucks gets that with minimal cost and with more accuracy.
  4. Also the site will get the pulse of customers (what is your favorite drink?) daily through question of the day.  The data collected is relevant and from their customers real time.
  5. 40 experienced employees from specific areas are called Idea partners and they rank the top ideas. 
  6. Community enjoys the transparency from Starbucks about the action taken on their idea (Reviewed, under review, implemented, etc). 
  7. Even though the improvements and suggestions are common for any coffee company, Starbucks has used internet to bring their consumers together and made them loyal to Starbucks.
  8. It enjoys the lead in the social media globally through active involvement.  
  9. Through this portal Starbucks introduced new products to the market and gained more customer base. 

Do you know any other company using social media effectively?  Please comment below. 

The screen shots below indicate a snapshot from My Starbucks Idea on 4/4/2013. 


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Filed under 2013 - Post 1