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Social media analytics startup Unmetric’s Lakshmanan Narayan on new products, differentiators

Lakshmanan Narayan

Lakshmanan Narayan

Chennai- and New York-based social media benchmarking startup Unmetric Inc provides social media intelligence platform to agencies and brands across 20 countries. The company has raised $9 million to date across two rounds of funding from Nexus Venture Partners and JAFCO Asia. Techcircle.in spoke to its founder Lakshmanan Narayan to understand its business traction and how it plans to grow further. Here are the edited excerpts:

What are Unmetric’s different business buckets? Which are the biggest drivers?

Unmetric’s primary business focus is providing social media intelligence to large brands and digital agencies that manage social media for multiple brand clients. Our platform provides clients with tools for competitive benchmarking, content and campaign analysis, and creative inspiration – all based on data. Presently, we give access to data across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

The platform is delivered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) and our clients can access all the data, analysis and intelligence by logging in to their account on the Unmetric website. While logging in, the users can ideate, compare and analyse.

The ideate tool shows the exact content proven to resonate well with audiences, providing inspiration to create content that attracts fans, builds communities and drives business results. The content can be filtered by geography, date and brand sector to make campaigns relevant and targeted. The users can tap into our database of more than 30,000 brands to benchmark their efforts. Comprehensive analytics, of its efforts and competitors, help plan and create better content.

While the social workflow is used to be create, publish and listen, our tools enhance the approach to content marketing and create what we refer to as an intelligent workflow.

Are these services provided separately to the clients?

The means to analyse, compare and ideate are all integrated into our platform.

But social media analytics has become a commoditised business. What is your USP?

Publicly available data and high level vanity metrics don’t provide much inherent value. Unmetric’s differentiator and USP comes from the fact that we allow brands to take action from insights.

Unmetric employs a large team of data analysts whose job it is to categorise content and identify groups of content that form campaigns. This manual work, which no computer or algorithm can do, is paired with the number crunching abilities of a computer to provide content and campaign intelligence.

Unmetric is in the position of being able to tell its users what kind of content works best, when it works best and allows them to keep track of all social media campaigns happening in their industry. No other analytics solution offers this level of content or campaign intelligence.

We’ve created a searchable database that we call Inspire, which allows our clients to draw inspiration from hundreds of millions of pieces of brand content for anything from chocolate posts to Diwali to the monsoon season.

We also leverage our role as a Twitter Certified Product to build features that allows anyone to follow all the real time marketing that occurs during live events such as the Oscars or Cricket World Cup.

Finally, we have a team of data scientists working to make the data work even harder for our clients.

What are the different revenue streams?

Unmetric offers an annual subscription and also a pay-as-you-go model for agencies, where they pay only for brands they wish to monitor. These plans start at $490/month for users to be able to monitor up to five brands across all the social networks we offer.

Are you looking at new revenue channels to build on the existing properties or new products?

Other products in the pipeline include a mobile app and a marketing war room product. The mobile app will allow a brand marketer to keep a tab on the visual content being created on a daily basis by the competitors he/she is interested in, all packaged in a live-stream. The war room product is an offshoot of the main platform and customised to work on the large TV screens of social media command centres that have been set up by brands and agencies.

Where does Unmetric group stand in terms of users/clients?

We have over 100 clients right now.

How do you plan to expand further (geographically)? Are these expansions through strategic tie-ups?

We have clients in over 20 countries. Expansion will be organic and we’ll only put a physical presence if absolutely required. Currently we have a number of clients in Europe without having any strategic partnership or physical presence there.

Do you also plan to make any acquisitions?

We have no acquisition plans right now. However, our growth plans do include strategic partnerships with various digital agencies and software firms. Some partnerships such as Shift, a publishing platform, and Social@Ogilvy have been completed.

Shift provides complementary services within the social media eco-system and we have built an API which allows their users to import certain competitive intelligence data into their Shift dashboard. With Social@Ogilvy, we have a worldwide partnership where all of Social@Ogivly regional offices get access to Unmetric.

You last raised funding in 2013 from JAFCO Asia and existing backer Nexus. Is all of that deployed? Are you planning to raise the next round from new investors?

We cannot comment on that.