Engagement Labs Releases Q1 2020 Results

MONTREAL, Quebec — June 19, 2020 — Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) released results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2020. Condensed interim consolidated Financial Statements and Management Report are available on SEDAR’s website at www.sedar.com.   First Quarter Financial Highlights
  • TotalSocial® revenue increased by 11% to $972,419 in Q1 2020 from $878,302 in Q1 2019.
  • Total revenue increased by 7% to $972,419 in Q1 2020 from $911,368 in Q1 2019.
  • Gross profit was $457,368 for Q1 2020, an increase of 17% compared to $389,963 for Q1 2019. As a percentage of revenue, the gross margin increased to 47% for Q1 2020 from 43% for Q1 2019.
  • EBITDA(1) loss improved by 19% or $168,628, to -$700,732 for Q1 2020 from -$869,360 for Q1 2019.
  • Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA(1) loss improved by 64% or $359,371, to -$203,494 for Q1 2020 from -$562,865 for Q1 2019.
  • Operating expenses (including an impairment loss on goodwill of $361,134) decreased by 3% or $48,504, to $1,345,853 for Q1 2020 from $1,394,357 for Q1 2019.
  • Net loss for Q1 2020 decreased to -$894,111, down 30% or $375,025 from -$1,269,136 for Q1 2019.
  • Basic and diluted loss per share was ($0.00) for Q1 2020, compared to ($0.01) for Q1 2019.
  • As at March 31, 2020, the Company was holding cash of $591,764 compared to $844,107 as at December 31, 2019.
1 EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization. Number for comparative periods were revised to exclude SRED credit tax, variation on exchange, and bank charges in EBITDA. Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as EBITDA to which the Company adds stock-based compensation including the grant of stock options, restricted shares units, and restricted share awards as these expenses do not result in any use of operating cash flows by the Company, severance payments, impairment loss on goodwill, write-off of intangible assets, change in fair value of investment in shares, expenses related to acquisition or disposal of business, and loss on extinction of debt and equity components of convertible debentures, which are extraordinary and non-recurrent expenses, and Board remuneration, which is paid in shares units. EBITDA and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA are provided as a supplementary earning measure to assist readers in determining the ability of ENGAGEMENT LABS INC. to generate cash from operations and to cover financial charges. They are also widely used for business valuation purposes. These measures do not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies.   “I am pleased with TotalSocial revenue growth of 11% in Q1 ‘20 vs the same period a year ago, and also that our cost containment activities have led to a four point improvement in gross margin and a 64% reduction in our Non-GAAP Adjusted EBITDA loss – which is the lowest since the launch of TotalSocial —  both of which have been priorities for us,” said Ed Keller, CEO.  “We understand that COVID-19 and the economic recession in the US and around the world will lead to a challenging business environment, so operating as efficiently as possible is a major priority for us as it is for so many companies in this environment.  While we are encouraged by these Q1 2020 results, on top of our performance improvement in 2019, COVID-19 has led to a significant reduction in marketing spend by major brands of the type who are our customers and with it a pull back in spending on services of the type we provide and this will have a revenue impact on our Q2 results.  We are encouraged by recent reports in the press about ad and marketing spending picking back up in Q3 and Q4, but it is impossible to determine the extent or length of financial implications of these events for the moment.” Keller continued, “Subsequent to Q1 the company has received financial relief from the Canadian and US governments in the amount of approximately $710,000, as noted in our Financial Statement.”

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    About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Disclaimer in regard to Forward-looking Statements Certain statements included herein constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management at this time, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. Investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, Engagement Labs does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements to reflect, in particular, new information or future events. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com  

Disney+ surges from last to 1st place in ‘most beloved brands’ this spring

Marketing Dive  

AUTHOR: Dianna Christie  PUBLISHED: June 15, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • Disney+ is the most loved brand in offline consumer conversations, followed by Amazon/Prime, according to Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial study shared with Marketing Dive. The new streaming platform jumped from last place to first — up 410 spots — since 2019, now ahead of the other 600 brands on the list that was measured from March to May.
  • Food Network was the most loved brand in online conversations, followed by Apple and Spotify. The NFL, HGTV and Netflix also ranked on the list as entertainment and media streaming services were among the most popular brands on the list this year. HGTV was the only brand to rank on both the online and offline leaderboards, rising from No. 23 to No. 6 in online conversations.
  • Personal hygiene brands and online drugstores and grocers also benefited from the pandemic as consumers focused on staying clean. Nivea jumped from No. 159 to No. 3 on the offline list and Colgate increased from No. 43 to No. 6. Online grocers Publix and H-E-B made the top 10 as consumers stocked up on pantry staples, per Engagement Labs.

Dive Insight:

The researcher’s latest ranking highlights how consumers’ favorite brands shifted during the early days of coronavirus-related lockdowns to focus on media and entertainment brands, grocery stores and personal hygiene products. The data suggests that people spent their time at home entertaining themselves with content. Netflix, HGTV, Spotify, and the NFL — surprising, given that most sports games were canceled during this time — were all among brands that benefited from this growth. Food Network saw improvements in rankings thanks to two lockdown trends around higher levels of entertainment viewing combined with the spike in home cooking as restaurants were limited to takeout and delivery offerings.       Read the full Marketing Dive article, here.
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Disney+ Surges from Last to First in Offline Conversation Amid Pandemic

MarTech Series  

Nivea and Colgate, Also Gain Offline; H-E-B and Publix Gain in Social Media; HGTV Gains Online and Offline

The impact of the 2020 pandemic is being strongly felt in online and offline consumer conversations as consumer priorities and interests have shifted. Entertainment, and particularly streaming services, are among brands benefiting the most, consistent with earlier reports from Engagement Labs. The TotalSocial rankings are based on a combination of metrics including how much conversation brands earn, how positive, whether consumers are sharing brand content, and how well the brand is connecting with the most influential consumers. The top brand for offline conversation in March – May (the “Covid quarter”) is Disney+, which zoomed from last place to first since before its November 2019 launch. HGTV also rose remarkably, from 300th to 9th in 12 months, reflecting much more time for watching television, and interest in home improvement among people stuck at home. Indeed, HGTV is the only brand to appear in both the online and offline TotalSocial Top Ten, having risen from 23rd to 6th online. In online conversations, the Food Network moved up to first place, thanks to increased interest in home cooking during the pandemic, as reflected in more positive conversations about the brand online. Media and entertainment brands perform particularly well online, capturing eight of the top ten positions, with big gains for HGTV, Spotify, and the NFL.       Read the full MarTech Series article, here.
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Word-of-Mouth Sentiment Of Biden Soars, President Remains Mired In Negative Territory

MediaPost   by Joe Mandese @mp_joemandese Net sentiment about Democratic challenger Joe Biden has improved dramatically in recent weeks, moving the presumptive nominee close to a net positive sentiment and increasing the margin with the incumbent to 38 points. While both candidates have remained relatively close — and well under water — since early March, the President’s net sentiment remains mired at -44, according to a weekly tracking study by Engagement Labs. “Conversations about politicians generally are more negative than positive, the opposite of the pattern we see for consumer brands,” notes Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller, adding, “Yet net sentiment for Biden among all Americans is just barely negative now, at -6, compared to -44 for Donald Trump. “Differences of this kind around word-of-mouth sentiment have been shown to be predictive.  In the last days of the 2016 election a sharp trend in Donald Trump’s favor preceded his narrow victory over Hillary Clinton.” The margin was likely spread in recent weeks due to the President’s handling of multiple crises, especially his militaristic response to civil protests that sprung up nationwide in reaction to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. In contrast, Keller says Biden’s “basement strategy” is “producing positive conversations and positive results.” If the sentiment trending truly is a predictive indicator of election outcomes, Democrats should be in a good position for both House and Senate races this fall, as the margin of net negative sentiment between Democrats (-22) and Republicans (-53) currently is 31 points.     Read the full MediaPost article, here.
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Disney+ Surges from Last to First in Offline Conversation Amid Pandemic

Nivea and Colgate, Also Gain Offline;

H-E-B and Publix Gain in Social Media;

HGTV Gains Online and Offline

  NEW YORK, NY (June 11, 2020) – The impact of the 2020 pandemic is being strongly felt in online and offline consumer conversations as consumer priorities and interests have shifted. Entertainment, and particularly streaming services, are among brands benefiting the most, consistent with earlier reports from Engagement Labs. The TotalSocial® rankings are based on a combination of metrics including how much conversation brands earn, how positive, whether consumers are sharing brand content, and how well the brand is connecting with the most influential consumers. The top brand for offline conversation in March – May (the “Covid quarter”) is Disney+, which zoomed from last place to first since before its November 2019 launch. HGTV also rose remarkably, from 300th to 9th in 12 months, reflecting much more time for watching television, and interest in home improvement among people stuck at home. Indeed, HGTV is the only brand to appear in both the online and offline TotalSocial Top Ten, having risen from 23rd to 6th online. In online conversations, the Food Network moved up to first place, thanks to increased interest in home cooking during the pandemic, as reflected in more positive conversations about the brand online. Media and entertainment brands perform particularly well online, capturing eight of the top ten positions, with big gains for HGTV, Spotify, and the NFL. Notably absent from the Top Ten lists versus a year ago are Trivago, Audi, and USAA offline, and Disney World online. Declining interest in travel and automobiles during the pandemic explain these declines. Why Disney+ Leads and Bests the Other Streaming Competitors Although Netflix and Amazon earn enormous conversation volume, Disney+ outshines them on the TotalSocial ranker for March to May 2020 due to Disney+ having a more favorable positive-to-negative conversation ratio, and due to the high share of people talking about the brand being socially-connected influencers. “I can’t think of another brand that literally went from zero to number-one so fast,” said Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller of Disney+. “The combination of a great brand, a successful holiday season release, and then a pandemic keeping people at home has provided the perfect storm for Disney+ plus to succeed in the streaming marketplace. It’s also notable that while the social media conversation curve quickly flattened for Disney+, the offline curve has plateaued at 40 million conversations per week,” Mr. Keller said. “Online and offline conversation trends frequently diverge, which is why it’s important for marketers to measure both conversation channels.”  

DISNEY+ CURVE HAS FLATTENED ONLINE, BUT PLATEAUED OFFLINE

Personal Care and Retail Gain Not all the brands gaining conversation in 2020 are flashy entertainment brands. After Disney+, the biggest offline improvement is for Nivea, which jumped 159th to 3rd on the list, and Colgate which jumped from 43rd to 6th. Online, big gains were registered for drugstore and grocery retailers H-E-B and Publix. These brands are benefiting from consumers’ increased focus on consumer staples, and limited retail options, during the COVID-19 crisis. For the same reason, we saw some stunning gains for a wide variety of household and personal care brands that did not rise high enough to break into the Top Ten, including Campbell’s (+215 places), Degree (+169), Crest (+223), and Bayer (+224) offline; and Dial (+214), Gerber (+217), Downey (+180), Bounty (+67), Glade (+110), and Charmin (+172) online. “The COVID-19 pandemic has reshuffled consumer conversations, in line with changing lifestyles. In fifteen years of tracking, we’ve never seen so much change in such a short time,” Mr. Keller said.   ###   About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company’s TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics. Engagement Labs has a proprietary ten-year database of unique brand, industry and competitive intelligence, matched with its cutting-edge predictive analytics that use machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal the social metrics that increase marketing ROI and top line revenue for its diverse group of clients.   To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.   About TotalSocial® TotalSocial® is a premier data and analytics platform that provides brands with unique insights, improved marketing ROI and strategies to grow revenue. Fueled by actionable online and offline data, TotalSocial is the only platform that encompasses and listens to the entire social ecosystem. TotalSocial offers unique, proprietary data about brands, its industry and competitors. With cutting-edge diagnostics, patent-pending predictive analytics and machine learning, TotalSocial identifies business opportunities and provides recommendations and a roadmap to grow revenue and achieve business and marketing goals.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc, VP of Marketing Engagement Labs 732-846-6800 vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com      

Conversations About Trump Turn Increasingly Negative, Even Among Base

MediaPost   The gap in sentiment between social media conversations about 2020 candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden expanded to 34 points after the first week of protests related to the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, marking the largest gap since Biden became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.  Both candidates ended May in net-negative territory, but Biden was at just -12 versus -46 for Trump. The net sentiment of these every day, offline conversations is important because the defeat of Hillary Clinton was predicted when her net sentiment dropped below Trump’s after the release of the James Comey memo prior to the 2016 election, as reported in the Huffington Post and in Clinton’s book, What Happened.  Whereas social media conversation is of questionable predictive value because it is “totally unrepresentative of America,” according to the New York Times, word of mouth is far more representative and predictive.   Republican Sentiment Turns More Negative The shift against Trump in late May was driven mainly by Republicans, whose net sentiment for Trump fell from +49 to +28 the last week of May. Although traditional polling continues to show high enthusiasm among his base, the shift in Republican conversations  are a potential precursor to changes in voting intent, and thus represent an early warning sign for the Trump team. Even prior to the Floyd killing, and its aftermath, the President’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was driving Republican criticism of Donald Trump. For the eight weeks ending May 31, a majority of Republicans talking negatively about Trump (66%) were sheltering at home due to the pandemic, a larger share than Republicans nationally (52%) who reported staying completely or mostly at home. Also, 29% of Republicans talking negatively about the president were from the Northeast—the region hit hardest by the pandemic—much higher than the share of Republicans overall living in the Northeast (19%).     Read the full MediaPost article, here.
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These Were the 10 Most “Talkworthy” Marketing Campaigns in 2019

MarketingCharts AARP and Playstation made waves with their marketing campaigns last year in terms of conversation offline and online, respectively, it seems. New data from Engagement Labs shines a light on the brands whose marketing campaigns accounted for the highest share of consumer conversations about the brand in 2019. Marketers and advertisers know that consumers are highly trusting of product or brand recommendations from friends and family, and frequently discuss products on social media. This word of mouth, whether online or offline, remains highly influential amid the rise of digital marketing and increasingly targeted advertising. Engagement Lab’s rankings are derived from a list of more than 600 brands, and are based on the percentage of conversations about a brand in which people were talking about the brand’s marketing or advertising. Offline, AARP climbed 6 places from 2018 to take the #1 spot (89.3%) with its “Saving for Retirement” campaign. AVON rose by 2 places to #2 (87.5%), replacing GEICO which dropped a spot to #3 (83.4%). Some brands in the top 10 had significantly more “talkworthy” campaigns in 2019. At #4, Toshiba jumped 65 places (82.7%), while Hasbro rose by some 217 spots to #5 (80.2%) and CoverGirl by 44 places to #6 (76.9%). In terms of online discussion, technology and video gaming dominated social media buzz. Playstation stayed at the #1 spot with 73.5% of social media conversations about the brand referencing its marketing and advertising. Playstation was followed by Nintendo at #2 (70.6%), with Xbox at #3 (70.3%) and Pokemon at #4 (69.3%). As seen in previous research, the video game industry has a strong foothold in the US, with 65% of US adults playing video games. Marketers in this industry have the passion of gamers on their side when it comes to creating buzzworthy campaigns, as demonstrated in Playstation’s big-budget 2019 campaign “It’s Time to Play”.       Read the full MarketingCharts article, here.
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About TotalSocial® Want a better understanding of the online and offline conversations around your brand? Are you a journalist who wants to use real data to measure the brands you’re reporting on? Are you a company who wants to gain further insights into your brand’s marketing strategies to develop effective campaigns to reach your audiences?

Pandemic Puts Streaming Media at Center of American Conversation

Streaming-TV The streaming media business is expanding with the arrivals of HBO Max later this month and Peacock in July. Disney+ may well get another jolt of energy with its announcement that it will air the musical Hamilton starting on July 3. Their timing appears to be fantastic.  Due to the shift toward streaming media during the pandemic, consumer conversations about the leading streaming media services are up 100% from a year ago, more than any other category of media or entertainment brand. TV channels, shows, and websites are also up, while movies, movie theaters, and video rentals are down. 020-05 EL04 STREAMING MEDIA-01 (1) Even though most Americans are quarantined, bored, and desperate for home entertainment, the new streaming brands cannot assume success. The rising conversation about streaming brands this year hasn’t helped Roku, Spotify, or Sling TV who are losing out in a conversation dominated by Hulu and especially Netflix. American consumers were talking about Netflix nearly 148 million times per week throughout April, up from 102 million times in January, a 45% increase. Hulu was mentioned in conversation about 49 million times per week in April, up 32% since January. Disney+ also did well, with about 36 million conversation impressions in April, but it hasn’t gained during the pandemic.  The picture is quite a bit worse, however, for Roku, Spotify, and Sling, each of whom earned less than 10% of the conversation earned by Netflix in April, and all three are tending down since social distancing began. 020-05 EL04 STREAMING MEDIA-02 (1) The HBO/HBO Now brand was rising in consumer conversations in the run-up to a late May launch of the HBO Max streaming service. In April HBO enjoyed 14.2 million conversation impressions per week, more than double its January figure of 6.1 million. The likely reason was season three of Westworld, a dystopian science fiction series in tune with an pandemic environment, even if series viewership was down versus season one. Confirming the importance of programming to HBO talk levels, last year’s Game of Thrones series finale drove discussion of HBO to its highest level ever. The domination of Netflix and Hulu in consumer conversations also shows up in relation to the more traditional cable and broadcast networks. By the start of May, Netflix was earning 150 million conversation impressions per week, and Hulu 59 million, putting both ahead of Fox News (47 million), CNN (44 million) who were themselves up by huge margins, 67% and 100% respectively, since January. 020-05 EL04 STREAMING MEDIA-03 The traditional broadcast networks were well behind the others in conversation volume, despite large increases, including ABC (20 million), CBS (16 million), NBC (15 million), and Fox (11 million). The success of the Netflix and Hulu platform brands in driving consumer conversation contrasts with the difficulty network brands have had in creating brand loyalty and engagement.  Traditional broadcast networks were frustrated consumers felt more affinity to their programs than to the network brands. “Content is king” became the explanation. Three years ago—long before any thought of a pandemic—media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg predicted what we now see in conversation data. “We’ve all grown up with this idea that content is king,” Katzenberg told The New York Times. “And I realized, it actually isn’t. Content is the king maker, it’s not the king. The king is the platform. HBO is the king. Netflix is the king. Spotify is the king.” Long live the new kings.

The most talkworthy brands—which ones are generating the most jabber online and off?

Agility PR   by Richard Carufel | May 21, 2020 | Public Relations   Word of mouth has always been the best marketing a brand can get—nothing beats authentic advocacy from the people you trust the most: family and friends. So the real achievement for brand marketers is to get regular consumers to do the talking for them—online, offline, social media, dinner talk, smoke signals, it all works.   Which brands are leaders in generating jabber among these frontline crusaders? Social intelligence firm Engagement Labs honors the most talkworthy marketing campaigns online and offline every year, and just announced its 2019 TotalSocial Brand Awards winners.   PlayStation, the video game console, and AARP, the advocacy organization for the 50+ population, grabbed the top spots of the brands most successful in driving consumer conversations with advertising and marketing. PlayStation bested in social sway for online (via social media) and AARP for the role of paid and owned media in driving offline buzz (primarily via face-to-face conversations).   Nintendo stands out among 600+ brands as the only one to place in the top 10 both offline and online. Nintendo moved from third to second place for the most talkworthy marketing campaigns online, while Nintendo Switch ranked number 9 for offline brand sharing. Driving the brand’s charge to the top of 2019 were its kickoff marketing of Animal Crossing, successful sales of video games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Pokémon Sword, to eSports tournaments and events.  

Advertising and marketing is a great conversation starter

It reminds people why they like the brand, or what is new and worth checking, thus providing a trigger for conversations and recommendations. Media and marketing plays a significant role in driving conversation, which in turns play a crucial role in the decision-making process, driving an estimated 19 percent of purchases, according to the firm’s analytics published in the MIT Sloan Management Review. About half that impact comes from offline conversation and the other half from social media—making it important for brands to master both.     Read the full Bulldog Reporter/Agility PR article, here.
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For more information on TotalSocial®  or to request a demo, visit www.engagementlabs.com For sales contact us at: sales@engagementlabs.com For media inquires contact us at: media@engagementlabs.com
About TotalSocial® Want a better understanding of the online and offline conversations around your brand? Are you a journalist who wants to use real data to measure the brands you’re reporting on? Are you a company who wants to gain further insights into your brand’s marketing strategies to develop effective campaigns to reach your audiences?

Leading U.S. Insurance Provider Signs TotalSocial® Contract

One-Year Engagement Contract Valued at CAD $400,000

  NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ and MONTREAL, QC — May 20, 2020 – Engagement Labs Inc. (TSXV: EL) (the “Company”) announced today that it has signed a new client which is one of the largest and top providers of insurance in America. The contract is a one-year agreement with a total value of CAD $400,000. It follows a proof of concept engagement, previously announced, and has options to extend the contract for additional years. The TotalSocial® platform now serves 13 verticals with the addition of insurance. “In today’s challenging environment, we are delighted that our data and platform is to be used by our Client to make key strategic decisions regarding their marketing efforts. Our Client, one of the country’s largest advertisers, is using TotalSocial across several marketing initiatives including targeting demographics and real-time campaigns effectiveness evaluation,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs. “The insurance vertical is a very competitive industry with a strong emphasis on marketing performance,” said Steven Brown, President and Chief Revenue Officer of Engagement Labs. “The fact that TotalSocial is being used by a leader in the industry speaks to the impact that it has on marketing results and business performance.” To learn more how to improve your marketing ROI and increase sales through social intelligence, reach out at: totalsocial@engagementlabs.com.

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  About Engagement Labs Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com   Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.   For media inquiries please contact: Vanessa Lontoc / Ed Keller, CEO Engagement Labs vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com / ed.keller@engagementlabs.com