Editor’s Note: Eskimi had a good 2012, with accolades like crossing the 10 million users mark, and launching some new product and features. We got CEO, Vytas Paukstys to answer 7 questions covering areas including: Eskimi Music, Fan Club, Mobile money, Nigerian brands, and opportunities.
Q1. How was 2012 for Eskimi – your milestones and top moments, and did you meet/surpass your expectations?
2012 was a year of preparation, hard work and learning. We were working to improve the product, started working with the largest brands in Nigeria, and did a lot of market education on how mobile marketing can be used and what the metrics to track the performance are. We see that 2012 was the year when brands understood that digital marketing is a good channel to communicate. We did a lot of seminars, webinars, and workshops for brands to show what mobile media can offer.
I think we have reached that point where the market actually believes that mobile in Nigeria is up to 10 times larger than traditional web and that this is the most important media currently.
We reached our goals in terms of growth, sales and partnerships. I guess the main things that we achieved include: launch of our mobile money platform, launch of our developer API, introduction of advanced and unique tools for brands, getting main brands in Nigeria to start using Eskimi as their marketing channel, becoming second mobile destination position in Nigeria, and launching Eskimi Premium Fanclub functionality
Q2. You have just recently joined forces with iROKING for Eskimi Music, how has that been so far in terms of reception?
This is a very recent product and we kept it in testing mode for the first weeks. We see that users are getting back to the service, downloading songs, but we will announce the statistics later on. Now I see that this is one of the products that people were missing. There are many illegal content sites where people cannot get quality content. This new product changes the mobile music market. And it creates sponsorship opportunities to brands.
Q3. Now you’ve got a new feature on Eskimi – tell us about Eskimi Fan Clubs
Eskimi Premium Fanclubs is a new functionality for brands to engage with their users. Our main goal is to deliver high participation and engagement rates, show that it can be much better than the traditionally used media (like Facebook pages). Fanclub is a branded page but with a lot of gaming and engagement features like Treasure hunts and Photo competitions. The participation rates we have seen so far are amazing. Pepsi fanclub reached 50,000 fans in less than a month and one of the last posts was commented and liked by 21,000 people. This is an unseen participation. People are really spending a lot of time in these clubs.
Q4. What has been the reception from brands and Eskimi users, and what are future plans to have this become core of Eskimi usage?
Brands love the numbers and they speak for themselves – we are delivering up to 20-50 times better participation rates than Facebook. We understand that Facebook has a strong brand among businesses, but we always explain that the eye balls, time spent and positive engagement is what matters. We will be launching a lot of new fanclubs in the next 6 months. The best thing is that Eskimi users like it a lot – they love the games, prizes and Eskimi coins incentives. We can even give instant airtime prizes for the most active participants. Any brand that wants to have their fan pages on Eskimi should contact us.
Q5. Any other features we should be expecting from Eskimi soon or this year?
We have recently launched J2ME chat app to improve the chatting experience and make it realtime. We will be pushing it further. We are working on our HTML5 and Android applications. The smartphone market is still very very small, but we will launch these new platforms to be up to date for the users. We are also launching a new B2B portal to showcase what Eskimi can do for your brand.
Q6. One question you wished we asked you?
Here it is: What would be your message to the brands and advertisers in Nigeria?
I guess this one: Eskimi is here for you. We have a strong advertisement and product team not to only deliver simple traffic campaigns. We think a lot for the brands to deliver the end result and not only clicks. We do consulting on campaigns, landing pages; mobile phone optimization reports to check if the landings are compatible. Agencies that we worked with are saying that Eskimi delivers best conversion rates and best engagement rates. I guess this is the most important metric.
Q7. Any opportunities for our readers at Eskimi at the moment?
Yes! There is. Eskimi is looking for the best sales manager from Nigeria. The person should have digital marketing or just digital experience, sales experience and maintain active contacts in the digital and media space in Nigeria (agencies and brands). Anyone interested should shoot me an email to email@example.com.
Thanks Vytas for taking out time to answer some of our questions. We’d be expecting stats from the Eskimi music product, and sure looking to open OTEKBITS fan club as soon as possible.
Readers can send in questions they’d like to ask tech entrepreneurs, and we’d try to get them answered – send to firstname.lastname@example.org.