Taykey, Inc. is a research firm with a trends-based technology that unlocks real-time consumer insight on what people are feeling and thinking about brands. Founded in 2008 by Amit Avner and Itay Birnboim, Taykey has recently secured $9 million in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital.
Taykey’s key players boast high-level backgrounds with the Israeli Defense Ministry. Co-founder Amit Avner began programming at age 10. In short, this isn’t your ordinary demographics research firm.
Case in point, Taykey worked with Pepsi to drive awareness and participation for the “Pepsi Refresh Project. ”In the first two days of a targeted Facebook campaign, Taykey engaged over 17,000 relevant consumers. In another Facebook campaign, this time for Pepsi’s Lipton Brisk brand, Taykey generated a 200% increase in engagement in just two days.
So are traditional advertising agencies using the wrong research to power their campaigns, and is the internet and social media still not being tapped for data in the right way? We spoke with Taykey’s CEO Amit Avner about the future of branding and the next step in consumer insight.
BP: With Taykey’s view on the (diminished) power of demographics, does that include the methods used by traditional advertising agencies?
AA: We simply believe that targeting based solely on rigidly defined demographics is an outdated way of advertising. We target based on interests and trends, so instead of targeting 20-30 year old females in New York (hoping they’re interested in Lady Gaga), we’ll target people who are talking about trends that we have found also relate to Lady Gaga, and continue to find other interests that relate so that we don’t exhaust audiences and are always discovering new, relevant audiences.
BP: The social web has become so incredibly fractionalized, what is the future of navigating consumer affinities towards brands?
AA: Navigating the social web requires brands to constantly keep their ear to the ground for consumer preferences. We utilize a complex algorithm to continually measure online conversations from all over the social web, making it a simple process to find everyone who is discussing a topic that relates to a brand and serving them a relevant advertisement from that brand.
BP: Luxury brands are still highly resistant to innovating social media. How would Taykey be able to service such a client?
AA: It’s all about the clients, even luxury brands are starting to accept that today’s world is social and online, and they want to be a part of it. They are working with companies like Taykey (and others) to continue reaching new audiences.
BP: In my opinion, most traditional web advertising loses impact over time and doesn’t authentically connect with customers. How is Taykey changing that?
AA: That’s exactly what Taykey believes as well. We seek to continually discover new audiences by following trends in real-time –- we call this “unlocking the flock.” People move in flocks online, jumping from one topic to another, so by predicting trends of the flock, we are able to place relevant ads in front of a steady stream of new audiences.
BP: There are several new, what I call “social shopping” apps out there — one, called Pose, just launched this month. How do you see them coming into play in terms of social media advertising?
AA: It would depend on how the information is gathered for social media advertising. Taykey is 100% privacy-safe, which means we don’t tag or cookie people.
BP: What is the biggest mistake most brands make in managing their online presence?
AA: Thinking that by just “buying ads” with no content, or value to the customer, they will get user attention and win business. Having followers is fine, but you must build a community for them to attain true value.
Learn more about Taykey at www.taykey.com.