Back in June we wrote about Zokem receiving a 2 million euro investment and the company pivoting towards a new area of business. A short while ago, I sat down with Hannu Verkasalo to talk about the progress they’ve achieved in the recent months after their pivot and to see whether it has been successful. In short – it has, and it has taken the company very rapidly in the new direction. There seems to be a lot of interest from market research companies in the data Zokem is able to gather to further understand consumer behaviour.
One of the reasons why Zokem has attracted interest is due to the fact that they have been able to gather data that has been previously unavailable. In the early days of the company, they collected very personal and intimate data about the mobile phone usage and shared this with the phone owner’s friends in a manner that the owner allowed it. This didn’t go down too well, but now the same data is being used in research to better understand consumer behaviour on an aggregate level. Needless to say, many crave for this detailed understanding of mobile phone users.
For example, Zokem is able to analyze how people use different applications in their phone. Mobile games, which have been praised to become the next big thing don’t appear to be so in Zokem’s data. The basic functionalities of the phone; messaging, web browsing and talking appear at the top of the chart of which perhaps web browsing may be the single most impressive data.
Not only is Zokem able to tell how people use their phones, but they are able to tell for example how people move about in town during the weekends. What are the movement patterns and places people wish to visit. They do all this with applications installed on the phone. Zokem installs their applications with the help of operators and users themselves. People are always able to opt-in to sharing their data to Zokem and nothing is automatically shared by default.
So the new business model is obviously to better understand consumer behaviour on many levels and then sell this data onwards to market research companies for example. Individual companies can also dig into the Zokem data with Zokem’s self service tools. These will be in place to help companies buy and analyze certain sets of data that they only need.
Zokem has already been doing some small projects over the summer with different companies in five-figure sums. This is a very interesting pivot and without a doubt a successful one. It will be interesting to see how Zokem is able to capitalise the immense knowledge they are able gather. One of the biggest questions will remain though – how are they able to build certain kinds of applications that will allow people, all over the world, to help gather data. I’m sure this hasn’t been left without a thought.