Interview with Gigya’s Patrick Salyer

by Tyler Suchman on May 1, 2012

This interview is part of 42 Terabytes’ Social Rewards Executive Series, an ongoing compendium of interviews, company spotlights and case studies with the top executives from the leading social rewards platforms.

 
Patrick Salyer
CEO
Gigya
Founded: 2006
 
 

Tell us about the state of the social rewards / gamification industry when you started, and what it looks like now.

When Gigya entered the market, there were no gamification vendors that addressed the need of connecting gamification to users’ real identities, real friends and real needs to be social. Our philosophy as a company has always been that users want to bring their social identities with them across the web and that is especially true when users are participating in competitive, gamified environments. Gigya released Social Gamification Platform, so our clients can easily tie rewards to user actions that are enabled by other parts of our social infrastructure technology. For example, with Gigya, clients can easily reward users for commenting on content and sharing to social networks because Gigya also provides the commenting and sharing systems to our clients.

How have you pivoted as a company and why?

The launch of our Social Gamification Platform wasn’t so much a pivot for us as much as it was a natural extension of our business. We’re focused on offering companies end-to-end social infrastructure – everything a website or app needs to be social. In order to provide that comprehensive line of products, we felt that we needed to offer gamification so that clients could have their entire on-site social needs addressed by one vendor. Today all of our Social Gamification Platform clients have implemented other parts of our platform for their sites’ social infrastructure by using our Social Plugins and Social Identity Management Platform.

What are the strengths of your platform?

Simply, it’s social from the ground up. We’re the only gamification vendor that can really say that. Our platform automatically integrates with everything else Gigya does. So that means that whether you want to reward users for logging in with their social identities (Social Login) or commenting, reacting or sharing (Social Plugins), you can do it seamlessly through Gigya. Our focus is on allowing our clients to reward users for behaviors that actually impact the business. Things like viewing more pages, engaging with content and social network sharing are all behaviors that Gigya enables and by adding a gamification layer on top, we’re able to amplify that engagement and generate the kinds of metrics that matter to our clients.

Give us a brief case study or success story for your platform.

One of our clients, Verizon Wireless, has seen some pretty stunning success using our Social Gamification Platform. They use several of Gigya’s products for a community site called Verizon Insider which acts as a hub for local events and news for Verizon subscribers. Gigya worked with Verizon Wireless’ digital agency, Modal, to provide VerizonInsider.com with its social infrastructure. By using our technology, the site saw some really strong metrics – all relating to the fact that gamification was tied to users’ real social identities. For example, on average, users who are logged-in with Social Login spent 30 percent more time on-site than users who sign in with native site login. Additionally, over half of the site’s users participate in the site’s gamified elements.

What is your own current Social Media Strategy for your platform?

This goes back to our premise that gamification needs to be social from the ground up. That’s something we work with our clients to develop. Part of the reason we’ve seen such high adoption rates among our clients is because they understand that gamification really amplifies all the other technology we’re powering on their sites.

What are the hardest parts of your business to scale?

People. We’re in hyper-growth mode right now and we’re honestly trying to keep up with the demand in almost all areas of our business – product, sales and client services. We’re in the midst of an incredible expansion and our technology now touches more than 1 billion unique users per month. While it’s exciting to grow at such a fast pace, we’re focusing on doing so strategically so that we can meet the market demand for our technology while ensuring that we’re still offering the best enterprise-class client services available.

What inspires you personally?

Innovation and the desire to drive businesses all over the world to new social heights. I was Gigya’s first US employee when the company first started and I’ve remained here because of the amazing developments our team has made over the years. When we first started, we were a scrappy startup basically founded on the idea that people wanted to be social all over the web. I’ve witnessed and been a part of a team that has taken that concept incredibly far by developing a product suite that doesn’t just firmly establish us as the leader in social infrastructure but that brings real value to our clients. It’s inspiring to look back and take stock in how we’re now able to offer all this technology under one roof. More than anything, it makes me excited for what’s ahead of us and for the additional products we’ll soon be offering.

About Gigya

Gigya’s mission is to socialize the rest of the web. We provide websites with a complete social infrastructure that creates immersive social experiences for users and provides unparalleled customer insights for businesses. Gigya equips businesses like ABC, Pepsi and Verizon with a comprehensive solution to socialize their online properties. Our technology enables seamless registration with Social Login, increases traffic and time spent on-site via Social Plugins and Gamification and transforms marketing by leveraging permission-based social identity data. Gigya works with more than 500 enterprises and touches more than one billion users per month. Our platform extracts the real value from social networks, empowering online businesses to attract, engage and understand users like never before. Visit Gigya at gigya.com.

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