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Pivoting: From EyesAndFeet to UnMetric [Interview]

Yesterday we profiled an interesting social media benchmarking tool called UnMetric. We simply loved the product and certainly believe that it has a big potential as it addresses an important need in social media landscape.

Chennai based UnMetric finds its core IP in EyesAndFeet, a startup that demoed at UnPluggd2. EyesAndFeet is targeted towards US based local businesses (like restaurants) and provided them analytics around social media usage of their competition.

The team pivoted from EyesAndFeet to UnMetric and here is an interview with Lux, cofounder sharing the story.

a. Walk us through the EyesAndFeet to UnMetric journey.

EyesAndFeet.com is still up and running. However, we aren’t focusing on it at this time – simply because our current resources allow us the luxury of focusing on just one product. I think EyesAndFeet is still relevant and useful, but the revenues are further downstream and would be a typical freemium model – sign up 50,000 businesses – get 10% of them to pay $30/month…requires deeper pockets than what we have. So here’s what happened…

Earlier this year, I was in the US – pitching EyesAndFeet to potential GTM partners (like Amex Open Forum, etc). During the course of this (and some conversations in India), two things happened:

a) I met restaurant owners, restaurant consultants etc – while they saw benefit in EyesAndFeet, I saw how much of a challenge it will be to cost effectively reach these people and get trials going. While possible, it would take time – and money.

b) I met a lot of old friends and classmates (I try and stay/catch up with as many friends as I can when I travel). I’d demo eyesandfeet to anyone who would listen. In the course of these casual conversations, I had (on a few occasions) friends at Citi, Amex, Pepsi etc saying “this is interesting; wish we had some competitive intelligence on social media – for our sector”  – that was when I first thought of Unmetric, and that we might be better off focusing on enterprise customers rather than small businesses. For various reasons, while we could leverage some of the learnings from EyesAndFeet, we built Unmetric on Google Web Toolkit – unlike EyesAndFeet which is built on Ruby on Rails.

That time, when we decided to (to use a cliche) “pivot”, was a difficult time. My co-founders, Kumar and Jose (tech gods, great friends, and classmates from over 20 years ago at IIT Madras) had just drunk the EyesAndFeet koolaid, and here I was, trying to convince them otherwise. Once we were all convinced, we set to work and rapidly built Unmetric over 6 months! Interestingly, I also kept sharing wireframes, mockups, alphas etc with “friendly” potential clients – to gauge their feedback. If the initial response is anything to go by, I think we have certainly struck a chord.

EyesAndFeet will continue to run, and hopefully, very soon, we can afford the luxury of having a team taking that forward too.

b. What’s your target segment?

For buy in: CXO/VP/Director of Digital Marketing / Marketing / Social Media / Community

Usage: Community managers / Social Media Managers

Companies: Verticals mentioned at unmetric.com ; initial focus on Fortune 1000 companies – US / India / Singapore.

c. Currently you do not allow adding FB pages (like that of Pluggd.in). What’s the rationale/roadmap?

You can recommend a page (in the add FB page pop up, for instance, you can recommend a brand or even a sector); we’ll add it (after manually verifying and categorizing it) and after accumulating a week’s data, will make it available to users.

d. Engagement score : how do you calculate this?

It’s  a weighted sum of Likes and Comments (default: comment = 3 Likes; user can define the weight) divided by a heuristic estimate of impressions and factored to give a decent round number. No one, except the FB page admin and FB itself knows the exact impressions, so we have estimates based on a model we have developed that gives average impressions as a function of page likes (it’s a logarithmic relationship is the best I can say at this time). As a relative measure (brand A vs B, or Brand A at time t1 versus Brand A at time t2) this works well.

e. Monetization plans – freemium?

No freemium; just a 5 day free trial.

We’re pitching to enterprise CMOs and their tribe – and focusing on companies that are already ‘sold’ on social media – demonstrated by the fact that they currently use/subscribe to some sentiment analysis / related apps like Radian 6 or Neilsen Buzzmetrics.

At this time, we’re offering 3 plans – priced at $1000, $2000 & $3000 per month (payable annually – pay for 10 months for annual plan, i.e. 10K, 20K, 30K). These offer the ability to monitor 10,30,60 brands respectively (half on FB, half on Twitter) at any given time. You can change your “monitored brands”any time, though. You are, for example, trying the 30 brand package = 15 FB brands + 15 Twitter Brands.