“The best thing about Salesforce is how it unites sales and marketing, creating one place to understand every member in a very smart way.”
Genius Group builds a global community of purpose driven entrepreneurs
Genius Group is at the centre of a global entrepreneurship movement, offering education, a passionate community and inspiring spaces for entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and grow their impact. Founded by serial entrepreneur Roger Hamilton, the group includes Genius Central Singapore and Genius Cafe Bali which provide space for dining, co-working and events; resorts in Bali, South Africa and Czech Republic which serve as entrepreneur campuses; and the GeniusU platform which is the digital layer of the group and the largest online platform for entrepreneurs.
The platform connects 2.8 million members to the right network, knowledge, and opportunities based on their personal values, vision, passions, talents, and purpose. What’s more, it does so with the intent of helping entrepreneurs to have an impact in the world and accelerate progress to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This is why all business activities are aligned to these goals and members are encouraged to donate to charities in areas like education. It is also why Genius Group is using its platform for good and enabling members to barter and trade services as they work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Salesforce underpins this aspect of the platform and has helped GeniusU to build a successful community of purpose driven entrepreneurs.
When asked for the secret behind GeniusU’s success, Genius Group CMO and Board Member Suraj Naik said that it came down to introducing an innovative concept and using data and automation to scale quickly.
“You’ve got to design member journeys in a very intelligent way to deliver personalised services. And you’ve got to automate as much as possible in the background,” Naik said.
When Naik first took charge of the technology, members were flocking to new online services and events. In 2015, things got really crazy when GeniusU launched Genius Test – an app designed to help people discover their special talent and passions. When it launched on Facebook, 10,000 people took the test in the first month alone.
Suddenly GeniusU had 150,000 members on its hands and new members were signing up at a rate of 10,000 a week. The sheer scale of GeniusU’s success threatened to blow its systems apart.
“It was clear our CRM couldn’t cope with the volume of data or provide useful reporting tools,” said Naik. “So we decided to work with the number one provider in the category – Salesforce. Imagine sketching a design for your business on a whiteboard. With Salesforce we designed a system that worked for our business and scaled as business boomed.”
“Imagine sketching a design for your business on a whiteboard. With Salesforce we designed a system that worked for our business and scaled as business boomed.”
Naik got down to work with Sales Cloud, migrating the membership database and creating member profiles based on information captured from online testing. Immediately the company’s salespeople were geared up to chase leads and opportunities, working with flags and triggers to manage members, promote the right combination of learning services, and close deals.
It was a watershed moment that laid the foundations for GeniusU’s core proposition – enabling entrepreneurs to grow their income and impact.
Adding Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder to the mix introduced targeted email promotion and broader campaign management that takes members on a one-to-one journey across channels and devices, through every phase of the marketing lifecycle.
Rich data drives smarter segmentation and targeting that pinpoints specific member interests and preferences, right down to individual styles of learning.
“That’s the beauty of Journey Builder – we design member journeys in a very intelligent way to gauge individual responses, tweaking things as we go,” said Naik.
Continuing this data-driven approach, GeniusU is now using Einstein Analytics to predict which leads are likely to convert. This has been especially valuable during COVID-19 as GeniusU has ramped up online activities like webinars and is generating thousands of new leads.
In GeniusU’s first year of using Salesforce, it boosted overall members to 800,000-plus and now has 2.8 million with 1,000 more joining every day.
The company is making waves in social media, too, notching up over 700,000 fans and followers across various channels, with thousands tuning in to Roger Hamilton’s educational videos on Youtube.
With Marketing Cloud, GeniusU’s social media team is able to provide these fans and followers with a more personalised experience. For example, when someone downloads an e-guide promoted on one of 20+ social media channels, GeniusU knows who responded (and who didn’t) and launches advertising that specifically targets both groups.
GeniusU is continuing to leverage the 360 degree view of its members in Salesforce to personalise their experience even more. Combining this data with its own algorithms for example, GeniusU is able to provide members with personalised recommendations on who to meet and how to upskill based on their stage of business growth, global location, and other personalised information.
The company is also using Salesforce to track and measure the collective progress of itself and its members towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This includes every charitable donation resulting from a purchase on its platform or from one of its resorts and cafes.
In response to COVID-19, GeniusU has leveraged Heroku to quickly create its Trusted Buyer’s Club where members can barter and trade products, committing to do business within its community, thereby supporting each other. “We always had the idea to create something like this, and seeing it was something our members needed right now gave us that urgency to act,” said Naik. “It provides a supportive community where people can continue to promote their products and services and get the feedback they need to improve.”
Next, the company is looking to introduce location-based push notifications to keep members up-to-date and engaged about GeniusU programs wherever they happen to be. These will include alerts to notify them when other GeniusU members they want to connect with are nearby.
All of this innovation on Salesforce is supported by GeniusU’s virtual technology team which collaborates seamlessly across Singapore, India, Australia, and Bali. The virtual team is also there to support the needs of the business as it grows, and based on the recent acquisition of Entrepreneur Resorts Ltd, it shows no signs of slowing down. The acquisition expands the Genius Group’s offering to include new resorts, lodges, beach clubs, and city co-working hubs, providing members with even more locations to connect and grow their talents.
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