Emojis are widespread across the world, and as strange as it may sound, offer a unique way to express oneself. While we all love this texting keyboard, it is a powerful tool capable of much more. It only makes sense to be able to expand and utilize emojis to other industries as well. And that is exactly what Travis Montaque, CEO of Emogi (with a g) is doing. Instead of confining the use of emojis to texting, he believes in utilizing them for brands and publishers. By exploiting emojis, he hopes to create a more emotionally engaged environment for digital advertisement to be used.
Today, Travis takes us through Emogi and why it is such a powerful product.
Tell us about the product or service.
Emogi’s mission is to make the power of emotion universally available and useful. Through a proprietary Emotion Engine that combines big data and emojis, Emogi provides meaningful and real time emotional intelligence to brands. Its platform obtains and analyzes real-time sentiment data from consumers on the web. The patent-pending technology enables campaign optimization, improves the customer experience, refines targeting and thereby deepens brand loyalty.
How is it different? Why another social network?
Emogi is not a social network actually. Emogi is an exciting and scalable solution to low response rates by consumers on the web. Emogi is the first company to leverage emojis to elicit emotional responses from consumers to advertising, ecommerce and media. The way consumers communicate has evolved and Emogi is leveraging this trend to help brands achieve 10x the response rate from their customers. Emojis by nature have cognitive and emotional underpinnings. By allowing brands to deploy emojis across their digital properties we are the first company to collect emotional data at scale on the web.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We are going after the digital advertising market and its $140B+ spend.
What is the business model?
Emogi provides B2B support to brands by enabling their digital properties with emotional response tools and allows brands to leverage the data collected in various ways. Currently, less than 1% of online ads are clicked by consumers. As a consequence of low response, marketers know very little about those consumers who do not engage. Emogi’s technology offers marketers two benefits: It increases consumer engagement with ads by approximately 10x, and it enables marketers to obtain sentiment data for their advertising initiatives. Emogi has a first-mover advantage in this space, with no direct competitors. Hence, pricing is on a value-add basis. Each business partner provides a markup on its own services, and that markup is passed through to Emogi. Emogi uses a tiered pricing model, where tiers are defined by the number of Emogi-enabled ads that are delivered. Tiers are priced on a sliding scale, with higher volumes receiving lower cost per ad. Emogi operates at a high margin: Primary product development has been completed, and higher ad volumes can be delivered with only modest increases in the cost of infrastructure, customer service and G&A.
What inspired the business?
We realized early on that internet users, who love to share their opinions, are continuously looking for simpler ways to convey thoughts and messages. In a previous mobile app developed by the company, we only allowed consumers to respond to content with a single tap on 1 of 12 emojis. We found this feature to be extremely popular and that it increased response dramatically. We decided to take lessons learned from that app and apply it broadly across the web. The behavior we observed in the app held true.
What makes you think that you can turn the science of emojis into a viable business?
It has been proven that a consumer’ s purchase behavior is driven by emotion. We understand that advertising drives emotion and emotion drives behavior. The missing piece here is that marketers cannot easily understand the emotions that their content elicits. Our goal is to empower marketers with emotional intelligence that will allow them to influence consumer behavior and drive higher returns. Emojis have 3 distinct qualities that make them the perfect candidate for this:
- Emojis are internationally understood and used in over 200 countries
- Emojis have rich research application and possesses emotional and cognitive features
- Generally embraced by consumers, emojis have been determined to be the fastest growing language in history
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
Through several recent partnerships Emogi is introducing emotional response in various new channels (email, ecommerce, media). All data received omni-channel can be leveraged by brands in the marketing cloud.
What is the one piece of business advice that you never got?
Building a company requires a tremendous amount of fortitude. Inevitably there are going to be a lot of obstacles thrown your way and pure stamina and an ability to roll with punches are both imperative to the process.
Why did you launch in New York?
We decided to move the company from Miami and launch in New York’s start up ecosystem because we felt that New York 1) would bring us closer to potential clients and partners who span multiple industries, and 2) is rich with talent that could help support the next phase of our company’s growth.
What’s is your favorite restaurant in the City?