Boston marketing technology start-up Mavrck believes any brand's most valuable asset is their influential customers. It took to the streets of Cannes, France today to demonstrate why.

Mavrck, a 31-employee startup launched via Techstars Boston in 2014 and backed by $8.3 million in venture capital, today released a solution that extends its influencer marketing program beyond social to other digital assets. 

Called Mavrck DirectLink, the solution allows brand marketers to add an influencer marketing “layer” to an existing digital asset that consumers already interact with, such as a mobile app, e-commerce site or loyalty program. 

Mavrck announced the platform update while presenting at the second annual “Foundry 50,” a program run by Unilever Foundry in partnership with Lions Innovation to identify the 50 marketing technology startups that are "innovating to help brands better connect, engage and relate with their customers."

Mavrck's Take on Influencers

lyle stevens

Influencer marketing is nothing new. Brands leverage community influencers — or those trusted to support a brand and advance conversations — to move past the suspicions which surround traditional ads.

Mavrck CEO Lyle Stevens told CMSWire that ad fatigue, fraud and blockers plague paid posts in social. Word-of-mouth and influencer marketing has grown exponentially in relation to the growing level of noise on social. Renting influencers for one-off campaigns don't work, however.

With Mavrck, he said, "brand marketers can harness the power and social capital of their most valuable marketing asset: their existing customer base with social influence." 

"Our patented influencer activation engine influencer discovers and activates their existing influencer base to create content across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to drive conversions on behalf of that brand," Stevens added.

It leads to marketing that consumers trust because it's authentic, he said, created by an actual person they know in their social feeds. 

"And it's also marketing marketers trust because it is created by their own customers with verified brand influence," Stevens said. "It's not fraught by bots or ad blockers." 

Learning Opportunities

Five-Influencer Suite

Mavrck launched its Influencer Activation Engine in 2014. Companies have used the software to tap more than one million influencers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to promote brands.

The DirectLink product announced today allows marketers to leverage influential customers within a social, mobile, loyalty or commerce experience.

The Marvrck platform includes five influencer solutions:

  • Mavrck Social 
  • Mavrck Mobile 
  • Mavrck Commerce 
  • Mavrck Loyalty 
  • Mavrck Community 

mavrck screenshot

"It’s easier for brand marketers to trying influencer marketing with their existing customer base, and there’s less reliance on incentives," Stevens said. "Activation occurs as an organic part of experiencing the brand’s product or service." 

Mavrck includes customers such as Converse, Hulu and Tom’s of Maine. Stevens is a former information technology project manager at Raytheon, where he designed a secure project collaboration system using the company’s internal social network and analytics engine to identify connected engineers.

Mavrck DirectLink is available now. Mavrck's biggest update before today was with Pinterest integration in May, which enabled marketers to activate their most influential customers on Pinterest, but the company promises another update within the next eight weeks.