The Silicon Review
Founded in 2019, Affogata came into being after leveraging years of experience helping businesses grow, engage, and manage their online brands. Its advanced technology enables customers to distill actionable insights across an organization and deliver them to the right stakeholders in real-time. The portfolio of clients utilizing Affogata to provide a customer-driven experience includes Wix.com, Fiverr, Lemonade, eToro, MyHeritage, Plarium, and other top brands.
Affogata’s platform gathers information from an expansive array of open data sources – both about the brand and competitors. It then combines this information with data from internal sources to provide actionable insights to businesses. The platform’s vast array of data sources includes niche sites that have critical importance for specific segments, such as gaming forums, fintech communities, and more.
Affogata’s actionable insights are accessible to multiple stakeholders in a company, allowing them to collaborate with the same agility as a startup. Marketers, product managers, data analysts, customer success teams, PR teams, and other relevant stakeholders utilize Affogata’s transparent data insights to to collaborate on comprehensive, multi-team efforts. This collaboration empowers proactive product development and marketing operations that can be adapted rapidly to shifting customer needs and market conditions.
The Affogata platform replaces multiple tools that are typically only focused on listening or actions, enabling a high level of automation and proactive responses at the ideal moment triggered by the data. These responses range from ensuring that online communities are free of spammers and bots to detecting anomalies and responding in real-time. Moderators, for example, are saved countless hours in manual work, customer support issues are resolved quickly, and customer satisfaction soars.
In a brief interview with us, Sharel Omer, the CEO and Co-Founder of Affogata, explained how the company’s platform is helping businesses get the clear picture of the customers’ point of view in addition to obtaining data analysis for the business’ POV. He also shared deep insights on how Affogata is helping companies win in the marketplace. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. Where do you think the modern enterprise data analytics system is lacking, and how is your company filling the void?
The focus of existing data analytics systems is primarily internal and structured - enabling analysis of the data collected by a myriad of internal systems (e.g. CRM, ERP, app backends, etc). This is necessary and useful, but it’s only half the picture - namely, it’s the business’ point of view!
Affogata provides the full picture, by delivering the customers’ point of view in real time by leveraging data from anywhere your customers are talking to you or about you, your market, your competitors, and your products, and displaying it in a single repository. From there, analysis is completed with a focus on actionable insights that are surfaced at the right time.
Q. Any company, startup or a big company in the market, can’t hit the target without having a well-defined strategy. What is your approach towards facing global competition?
We practice what we preach by focusing on our customers. Our vision is centered on the customer – enabling them to understand and engage with their own customers better and far faster, giving them a distinct edge vis-a-vis competitors. This vision serves as our guiding light and we work closely with our customers, many of them world-class brands, to deliver on their strategic and tactical priorities. The clarity is part and parcel of our putting the customer in the front and center, which enables crisp execution, and keeps us several steps ahead of the competition.
Q. COVID-19 is one of the first business-impacting global events that we have experienced in decades. How is Affogata addressing the needs of customers with mission-critical data during the current pandemic?
The pandemic accelerated the migration online, pushing the customer journey to become even more digitized. In turn, this means that the data trails produced during that journey increased significantly. The result is that our solution went from a “nice to have” potential differentiator to becoming a clear top priority for leading brands (since customers make decisions and make their voice heard online) while the solution itself grew even more impactful (thanks to the increasing amount of data for us to analyze).
Q. Trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain. How do you maintain this with your employees?
We maintain trust with our employees by committing ourselves to radical transparency and when we say that – it’s a two way street. We always make clear what we expect from our employees and try to set those expectations with them and pave the journey to meeting those expectations with regular feedback. We also keep our employees informed of the macro-level news and vision for the company during our weekly meetings. We want them to always have a sense of our plans and our commitments to them on the macro level in addition to the team level. It also helps that since our founding team has Israeli roots, it’s part of the culture to talk directly and although it can have its drawbacks, it’s fantastic when it comes to maintaining trust.
Q. Can sentiment analysis be used to focus on the customer feedback verbatim where the sentiment is strongly negative?
Sentiment analysis is important, but it’s only the first step. Without proper context (which changes from industry to industry), trend analysis, and deeper understanding of the interaction and the language used - you don’t have something actionable on your hands.
Q. Big Data is expected to continue to play a vital role in the ingestion, computation, storage, and management of information. How do you interpret this?
As the customer journey moves online and our digital lives become richer, the data we generate grows. This means big data is only going to become bigger.
Q. What are some of the significant challenges you faced in initial years? How did you overcome them?
Our solution enables brands to change the pace they innovate and respond to customer needs. This is amazing - but it requires the right customers to make use of it, which we had to learn the hard way. We overcame this issue with the results and reputation of the brands that leverage our solution, names like Wix.com, Lemonade, and MyHeritage, they’re all now well-known globally for their customer-centric approach and leaders in their respective areas and the market understands that it is no coincidence they all use our platform.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
Always! Our customers come to us with their hardest problems and expect solutions. They want deeper insights, from the faintest signals, and services that are customized to their particular use cases and industry. As it turns out, when you solve an exceedingly difficult problem and add industry-specific features, it turns into a steady stream of new features. We expect to launch several offerings in the coming months.
Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers?
Data is only getting bigger so our company’s services continue to expand to accompany data growth. We have exciting things in the pipeline to deliver deeper actionable insights to our customers, which is all I can say for now. As for our team, we continue to grow and are on course to double our headcount by the end of 2021.
The Leader Upfront
Sharel Omer, CEO and Co-Founder: Sharel is an Israeli entrepreneur whose passion for personal connections and building relationships has made him dedicated to bringing the consumer voice’s power to brands and organizations. He’s the CEO and Co-Founder of Affogata, a leading Consumer Intelligence Platform that enables brands to be truly customer-obsessed by bringing their customers’ voice to the right teams in the organization.
Prior to Affogata, Sharel served as the CEO and Co-Founder of Communit360, a social media management and intelligence platform, which helped thousands of marketers and small businesses increase their ROI from their social media activities.
Sharel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yafo, and a Degree in Engineering in Computer Science from SELA.