Lakshmanan Narayan Talks About Unmetric

Lakshmanan Narayan Talks About Unmetric

unmetric

I was quite excited about Unmetric while reviewing it. One of the reasons was that it measures your social media performance and the other being it’s in-depth monitoring.  This was the reason that led us to divide our post into two parts, one for Unmetric Facebook review and the other for Unmetric Twitter review.  We also thought that a review would be incomplete if you don’t listen to the thoughts from the founders. So we got in touch with Lakshmanan (Lux) Narayan, creator of Unmetric and the email interview we did is shared below:

 

1. Hi Lux! Before we speak about Unmetric we would be excited to know about TechOrigami and a bit about yourself.

My co-founders at TechOrigami are Kumar & Joseph, both of whom are my classmates from our days at IIT Madras, from over 20 years ago. Kumar is based

Lakshmanan Narayan

in Coimbatore, Jose is in Chicago, and I’m in Chennai. Needless to say, we have fantastic chemistry; that, coupled with complementary skills makes for a great team. Speaking of ‘team’, the rest of our amazing team are spread across Chennai, Coimbatore & Singapore. We also work with many freelancers and consultants in India & abroad, and have some people working for our product at DesiCrew, a rural BPO. As you can imagine, we use Skype, Yammer and a lot of other tools quite liberally – for the 13 of us to stay connected and in sync.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for a little over half of my 16 ‘working’ years. Currently, besides TechOrigami, I am also a co-founder at ShareMyCake.org, a section 25 (non profit) company that my wife leads. Before TechOrigami, I was a co-founder at Vembu Technologies (who, incidentally, are also angel investors in TechOrigami). The “corporate” part of my working life included stints in Media & Advertising in India and the Middle East. I graduated from IIT Madras & IIM Calcutta, and I don’t play golf.

2. I have played with Unmetric for some time now and I find the comparison feature quite cool. How important do you think is monitoring social media initiatives?

We believe that most brands and companies are are flying blind on social media and that  the absence of relative benchmarks so far has proved a detriment to big brands who are used to competitive benchmarking and intelligence on mass media and the internet.

Unmetric provides marketing teams and social media practitioners with data that was unavailable so far — competitive benchmarks. Besides comparing the performance of competing brands, Unmetric also benchmarks brands against their sector so they know if they are “on par”. We think this is critical to a more scientific adoption of social media in the enterprise.

3. I believe this product is not for SME’s, keeping the price in mind. So whom are you targeting in the Indian market?

True. This is not for SMEs at this time. The focus is on large and established brands and companies from dynamic and competitive sectors like telecom (we are talking to most of the key players), banking, airlines and automobiles. We are also targeting some of the FMCG majors (multiple brands and categories from multinational companies) and a few retail and travel brands.

Our larger (and primary) market is the US market – with a focus on Retail, Restaurants & Cafes (QSR), Technology, Aviation & Auto.

4. I have seen there is a huge database of brands. Do you have a criterion for adding new brands and if one wants to do so how is it possible?

This dataset is rapidly growing as a result of our own research and initiatives, and inputs from our users – who can suggest any brand to be added, and  in most cases, see it added within 24 hours. This mix of primary research and curated crowd-sourcing is working well for us.

5. Sentiment Analysis is a great feature but going further can we have a feature where we see the actual content that is associated to +ve or -ve sentiments?

That is something we plan to have in the future as we fine tune our algorithms and build the product. At this time, the (relatively) brief & informal (slang, etc) nature of social media comments and text poses challenges for sentiment analysis too – but we’re getting around it. We’re especially strong with our proprietary heuristics and algorithms (that are under the hood of many features in Unmetric)

6. Unmetric shares Klout score. Is it being used anyway when you are calculating the Engagement score or is it just a feature?

It’s just a feature; Klout is one of over 20 things we measure. And no, it is not an input variable in the Engagement score especially since the latter is pertinent to Facebook, and Klout has its metrics anchored in Twitter. While Klout is certainly interesting and relevant, we believe that a multi-dimensional, sector aware score is needed for brands. We will be announcing  this “Unmetric Vector Score” soon. And no, it still won’t have anything to do with Klout.

7. Finally Lux, how do you see the Indian social media market evolving? Can we assume that brands are evolving from WHY to HOW?

Not sure if I understood the question correctly, but let me add my 98 paise (at today’s exchange rates 🙂 anyway…

Most brands started with “WHY NOT”, in our opinion. In other words, their think probably went something like “WHY NOT have a Facebook page and Twitter ID”. Reasons were typically one or more of: it costs nothing to get started /  our consumers are on social media / our competitors are on social media / the boss wants it.

Some brands then evolved to “HOW best do we use this new medium” / “HOW do we equip our team/agencies to deliver on this”, and in a related context to…

“HOW are we doing – compared to others like us.”

“WHAT is working for other brands on social media.”

Unmetric’s focus is on answering the above questions!

 

Lux, loved the witty answers! However we would be excited to see if Indian brands start finding Unmetric a good bet for monitoring their social media presence.  Unmetric has some amazing features that we discussed in our review and the Unmetric Vector score could add a new dimension. We wish you luck for future endeavors J

As a brand, do you measure your social media performance? If so then are you keen to try out Unmetric?