Interview with Joe Lichtenberg – VP, Business Development of Eluma
Below is an interview with Joe Lichtenberg – Vice President, Business Development of Eluma. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out! http://www.eluma.com/. You can also view Eluma’s demo at http://www.demo.com/demonstrators/demo2006fall/79812.php
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
Eluma: Eluma provides brandable desktop community software that lets brand marketers deliver the best community and web 2.0 features to its community of users, in the context of their brand, and on their turf, instead of sending their users off to social networking sites. Eluma also provides a direct connection to users desktops through which brand managers can serve time sensitive alerts including content, video, and advertising for late breaking news, promotions, etc.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
Eluma: There are social networking sites, there are web 2.0 community feature vendors, there are desktop alert vendors, but there is no vendor providing brandable desktop community software (on the desktop vs. on a website) with desktop alerts.
Product Description: Eluma is the only brandable desktop application that drives customer loyalty and incremental revenue through the power of communities. Eluma enables marketers to create an always-on connection to their users, and to leverage the best aspects of social networking in order to provide users with the ability to collaborate with their most trusted source of information-their peers.
Market Opportunity: According to DMA’s Email benchmarking Council, email click-through rates are at all-time lows; while the 2005 Edelman trust barometer reports that “a person like me” has reached the top spot as the most credible source of information about a company or a product. In response to these trends, marketers are seeking new communications channels and are increasingly incorporating social networking into their marketing initiatives.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
* Desktop alerts
* Functionality (in the desktop app and in the toolbar) to rate, tag, and comment directly on any information in the community, or any information anywhere on the web
* RSS aggregator
* Content panel (for displaying any type of content)
* Discover (for discovering any data or metadata in any community)
* Minibrowser for displaying content or rich media such as video
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
Eluma: We are a B2B2C play. We target marketers with a user base that exhibits a high degree of loyalty (sports teams, investment sites, political committees and sites, entertainment, music, television, newspapers, etc.). Marketers brand Eluma and distribute it to their end users.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
Eluma: Mobile, other collaboration tools like archived chat rooms.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
Eluma: Our roadmap will be driven by brand marketers and community leaders.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
Eluma: The name Eluma is a play on illuminate. There is a ton of info online. What is the best way to find valuable information? Peer recommendations. 68% of users say that a peer is now the most credible source of information. How do you find a peer? By joining a community of like minded people and seeing what they recommend. That’s what we’re all about – it’s the power of communities.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative.
Eluma: It’s a brand new paradigm around how a marketer can leverage the new web 2.0 (democratization of the web) tools to bring the power of peer recommendations to their communities, while creating an environment where community members can get more of what they want. We augment the community functionality on a brand’s website with tools for their most loyal users.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
Eluma: Funded by Sebastian Holdings. Company and product was launched at the DEMO show on 9/25.
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