The social media monitoring market has grown too fast with a huge number of players catering to different needs of analytics in the last few years. We have players who provide social media listening services along with companies providing social media brand monitoring, engagement solutions and online reputation management solutions too. Unmetric, headquartered in New York, is known to provide social media brand and competitor monitoring to Fortune 500 brands globally and to Indian markets.
The company was founded in 2010 by three IIT Madras alumni Lakshmanan (Lux) Narayan, Joseph Varghese and Kumar Krishnasami. Initially known as EyesAndFeet and based in Chennai, the company started by helping local businesses such as restaurants and spas, understand and use social media.
But in a year, the founders realized that there was more value in analyzing the data being generated by large enterprises. So the classic pivot happened in early 2011; Unmetric was founded and within a month, they raised the first round funding of about Rs. 16 crore from Nexus Venture Partners. By third quarter of 2013, they raised another Rs. 34 crore ($5.5 million) in the second round of funding.
Today the company is providing intelligence by monitoring social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn while serving brands like Subway, Campbell’s, Toyota, Chevrolet, Cafe Coffee Day, HDFC, to name a few.
To know more about Unmetric and the social media monitoring market, I invited Lux, CoFounder & CEO to a new episode of Conversations. The conversation was an exciting and insightful one, as we have been working closely with Unmetric from the early days of our inception as a startup.
After a quick round of introductions and the journey of Unmetric, Lux shared his thoughts on:
1. US and Indian markets: Lux informed that US is definitely an evolved market in terms of tech and social media so the acceptance of Unmetric has been rapid. But that doesn’t mean India isn’t a good market. Over the years, Unmetric has signed up quite a number of forward thinking brands in India. However, the breath of the funnel is not big and typically the Indian markets have a service mindset rather than a product one, he shared. Though things are changing fast in India too.
2. Social Media ROI: The whole ROI question in social media is not endemic to only the Indian market but it is the same in US too. Lux thinks the problem is that ROI is bracketed in the same bucket as accountability but it is not the same thing. We are asking ROI of a medium which is still not 5% of a marketing budget, it is as good as being penny wise and pound foolish. But people still ask the ROI of digital and social since the medium has too many numbers and metrics around it, so people assume that you can come up with more metrics from different variables.
The other problem that Lux highlighted is that ROI is an engineering term where it is known as return on literal investment where the investment was on fixed assets. The same formula can’t be applied on social. In fact the biggest social media campaigns that became a huge success later on were never made keeping in mind the ROI. Lux feels we need not spend too much time figuring out ROI and put efforts in communicating through the channels, the numbers will throw automatically.
3. Challenges and road ahead: One of the challenges for Unmetric today is that there are more than 250 social media analytics companies and it has become difficult for a marketer to differentiate products. Most of the time people consider Unmetric to be a social media listening solution or an online reputation management or engagement product. However, Unmetric is indeed tackling a very niche market and Lux expects that the line between different solutions becomes clearer for marketers going further in 2014.
Click on the video to see through the entire conversation:
Disclosure: Unmetric is an advertiser at Lighthouse Insights.