How Askem Strengthens Brand Leadership – An Interview With Itai Herman, CEO and Co Founder at Askem

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Askem is the first hybrid research and engagement platform that allows brand, organizations and researchers to acquire qualitative AND quantitative data simultaneously. Their cutting-edge, patent-pending technology is able to surgically target and engage even complex and hard to target audiences in masses.  

Read below to hear the story of the company from its CEO and Co Founder, Itay Herman.

How did you found Askem?

Two and a half years ago, I founded Askem with three partners.  We began by attempting to solve a simple problem;  gaining consumer insights and information.  Today, existing solutions force you to choose between qualitative methods of research or quantitative methods, while in order to make the data actionable and reliable you need both.  We’ve created a platform that allows you to get qualitative information that is cost effective and unparalleled in the market research industry.

What caused you to shift from a consumer app to a B2B platform?

The first thing that we noticed is that people, contrary to common belief, like to answer questions.  What they don’t like are surveys.  But its not that people don’t like the notion of a survey,  its just that surveys communicate with people in an antiquated fashion.  It’s a boring experience.  Our product combines interactive features and gamification aspects to surveys in order to make them more appealing.  What we have found is that while regular surveys have a refusal rate, or drop rate of 93%, our surveys have a completion rate of 93%.

Another reason is the profound methodological shift in approaching responders.  We go out and find the exact target audience, and target them in their “natural habitat” so to speak. The fact that they interact with these questions in their everyday digital life, enhances the user experience.  We live in a time in which market research is ready to break free from the pool and go swim in the ocean.

How is Askem used by Businesses?

We offer a self service dashboard, that allows brands and marketers to conduct their own services through our platform.

Additionally, we provide research services in which we conduct the research ourselves, transform it into a research questionnaire, design it, and create a survey out of it.  

Lastly, we have partnerships with larger companies, such as Nielsen here in Israel, who use our platform for their clients.

How long have you been focusing on this model?

Internally we have been focusing on this model in stealth mode for about a year.  We revealed it for the first time two and a half months ago.

How has it been received?

It’s been received amazingly.  In less than two and a half months we have been able to work with Nielsen, Strauss Group, Superpharm, and Coca-Cola, and are working on overseas projects as well.

What does 2015 have in store for Askem?

2015 is first and foremost the year to make our unique and disruptive abilities and offering known.  

Secondly, market research is a $40 Billion a year industry, and 40% of worldwide revenues are in the hands of four major players.  We intend to collaborate with at least one of those four international research groups.

Finally, we plan on 2015 being the year that Askem becomes cash flow positive, which according to our estimations will occur in six to seven months.

How do you go about acquiring new users?

Up until now we have tried numerous approaches.  For example, with Strauss Group we conducted our own thorough research, showed up on their doorstep, and let our work speak for itself. Two days later we began working with them.  Other times, we have been challenged by a company to prove our efficiency.  

What is the lifetime value of a customer?

We have various products which lend to different types of customers.  One of our products is custom research, which is a one time expense for customers.  Alternatively we have ongoing products for monitoring trends and consumer projections, and that works with a monthly retainer.  We also have products for defining and then creating mass retargeting lists of desired audiences.  Those lead generation campaigns, are priced per user.  We also sell a bundle of responders in order to conduct research.

Do you have an exit plan?

I actually believe that Askem has all the potential to become a great business on its own, and I would like to see it through.

Is your technology patented?

Our technology is patented, we already have patents for our UX and design, as well as a very advanced profiling algorithm, and we are submitting another patent.

What is the number one thing you would like people to know about Askem that they don’t know?

In my opinion there is a complete misconception of the entire market research and survey industry of being something dull and tedious.  This however is not the case.  The existing methodologies are tedious, but data itself is exciting.  When you do it the way that we do at Askem, meaning conducting research in ways that people actually communicate with one another, the insights you receive from data are fascinating.   Askem has the ability to prove to the world that research is not only a very lucrative industry but a very sexy one.  

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Yonatan Mandelbaum

Investor Community Manager, iAngels