Kwanzoo Builds Content for Cross-Channel Marketing


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I first bumped into Kwanzoo about a year ago at a conference trade show and was frankly puzzled at what they offered. The mechanics were clear: a tool to generate HTML-based forms, surveys, banner ads, and social sharing links that could be used on Web sites or embedded in emails. What puzzled me was the advantage of this over anyone else’s HTML content, including the content that could be generated using standard tools within most marketing automation systems.

Since this particular mystery ranked somewhere between the fate of Amelia Earhardt and Nacza Lines in my personal priorities, I didn’t investigate further. But the company reached out to me recently and provided a clearer explanation. Here’s the story.

What makes Kwanzoo special is it creates a sequence of Web pages that can be deployed as a single unit. A typical sequence would be a survey followed by different offers depending on the visitor’s answers. The entire sequence is built in Kwanzoo and deployed as a code snippet which displays the survey and calls the subsequence pages from Kwanzoo when appropriate. The second thing that makes Kwanzoo special is that its pages can be deployed on a client’s own Web site, on external sites and ad networks, embedded in emails, within Facebook, or on a mobile device. Users can also apply Kwanzoo tags to conversion pages to track results.

These capabilities make Kwanzoo substantially more versatile than a conventional marketing automation system, which would rely on campaign flows or manually-embedded links to manage the page sequence and could only deploy on emails or microsites generated by the marketing automation system itself. By contrast, users design the flows by filling out a simple form within Kwanzoo and then receive HTML snippets – simple calls to Kwanzoo-hosted URLS – that can be embedded anywhere. Kwanzoo also provides a powerful editor to build the Web pages and offers.

Data captured by Kwanzoo can be directly posted to Eloqua, Marketo, Constant Contact and The Eloqua integration is especially elegant, using an Eloqua Cloud Connector (i.e., a parameterized API call) that makes the Kwanzoo pages available within Eloqua’s own content builder and can read Eloqua cookies in real time to help guide the response selection. Integration is on the way with other marketing automation and CRM systems.

Users can also apply IP-address-based visitor identification to tailor responses to named accounts and different industries.

Kwanzoo says this versatility addresses some critical pain-points for marketers, including needs to create content and capture data across multiple channels and to create more personalized interactions. True enough. But the system has its limits, most notably that sequences are limited to a couple of steps, a few data inputs, and a handful of actions, and that it doesn’t maintain its own marketing database.

In other words, Kwanzoo is more a bridge between different marketing channels than an integrated marketing system. It’s easy to imagine Kwanzoo-captured data making its way back to multiple systems (marketing automation, CRM, Web site, mobile, etc.), which is not the ideal situation. There’s certainly a market today for this approach: Kwanzoo has landed about 25 clients since its launch in 2010 and seems to be growing nicely. Still, you have to wonder whether integrated platforms will eventually add similar capabilities tied directly to their own databases, making Kwanzoo’s external bridge less necessary.

But that’s Kwanzoo’s problem, not yours or mine, eh? At the moment, it’s worth a look. Pricing is based on number of impressions and starts as low as $499 per month to put Kwanzoo units on Web pages. It quickly rises to $2,499 to embed units in emails, post data other than basic lead capture, support mobile formats, and use IP-address information for targeting.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


  1. David,

    We really appreciate your very interesting, and balanced review of Kwanzoo. You raise a couple of key points where I thought I could provide some additional clarity:

    1. You’ve said: (Prospect interaction) sequences are limited to a couple of steps, a few data inputs, and a handful of actions, and that it (Kwanzoo) doesn’t maintain its own marketing database.

    – First, glad that you like the ability to define, and execute marketing flows (prospect interaction sequences) across channels. Many B2B customers find this quite compelling, where they can engage a prospect on one channel (e.g. email or Facebook), lead the prospect onto another channel (their website landing page) and continue the interaction there to lead the prospect down a conversion path.

    – What we have seen is that overly long prospect interaction sequences don’t seem to work. It’s hard for the marketer to maintain a prospect’s attention for more than say 3 interaction steps or clicks.

    – As these sequences get longer, it’s also harder for marketers to build out these marketing flows or sequences that they can deploy across channels (e.g. email and website landing page) on a self-service basis. That’s been the other key consideration here for us.

    – BTW, we do have our own marketing database. What we track is engagement and interaction data at a detailed level, that complements what’s tracked in an MA/RPM system. For lead captures in short lead forms, we do provide marketers the option of maintaining lead data inside Kwanzoo, if they want to use us independent of an MA/RPM/CRM system. BTW, we do see this option being used today, even at some large enterprises (surprise! surprise!)

    2. You talk about marketing automation/RPM/CRM systems offering what we provide, at some point in the future. Point well taken. Is that not true for any business? 🙂

    We find an interesting contrast in focus/core DNA between them and us, that we believe will allow us to continue to create value for mutual customers.

    For instance, here at Kwanzoo we believe marketers really want to do the following:

    a. Think of the prospect first, who they are, what’s their persona or profile.

    b. assume that the prospect will interact with their business or brand across one of many different marketing channels.

    Today’s MA/RPM/CRM systems have more of a channel-centric view (e.g. they assume prospect interactions when they visit a Company’s website or RPM-powered microsite or landing page). They then assume the interaction continues through nurturing email triggers. That may or may not be the case.

    c. plan for having a smaller “unit of interaction” with the prospect than website landing pages. First, it’s really hard to bring the prospect over to the landing page at all.

    Second, the initial point of interaction could be anywhere, and the real-estate at that point is precious and very limited. So think 300×250 size content & ad units, and not landing pages that are 1 or 2 clicks away from the prospect.

    d. assume that today’s prospects want and expect richer interactions in many different content formats (polls, mini surveys, social promotions w/incentives, short lead forms, videos, interactive testimonials, more). Simple banner promotions do not work as well anymore.

    e. Next, maintain context at the marketing & ad unit level, track interactions, and continuously push each prospect down a buying journey, with a series of conversion steps.

    f. Finally, have easy ways to integrate the interaction data and prospect data back into other enterprise systems, so the overall prospect profile is much richer for deeper analysis.

    This is a whole different way to approach multi-channel prospect engagement, interaction and demand generation.

    We see lots of opportunities to innovate around:

    – more kinds of interactive marketing & ad units,
    – more marketing channels as they emerge
    – deeper connections into a range of existing marketing systems

    We are addressing key areas, and solving problems, both top-of-funnel and mid-and-lower-funnel in a fundamentally different way…where we expect to continue to bring value to customers.


  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comment Mani. One point I should have made in the original post is that Adobe is also a potential competitor — arguably the most likely. After all, they already have the dominant tools for content-building (Dreamweaver, etc.) and Web visitor tracking (Omniture), which are the two key pieces of Kwanzoo’s offering. I long ago predicted that Adobe would combine these to create “smart content” that would adjust to customer behavior, although so far Adobe hasn’t listened. But they could.

    In fact, I agree with you that it’s unlikely marketers will be able to find one system to handle all their customer interactions. There’s always a new channel that the big suites haven’t yet integrated. So there should be a continued need for systems that can bridge multiple channels and post the data back to channel-specific systems.


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