The fever surrounding soccer in Latin America is undeniable, especially in Brazil, where the anticipation for the 2014 World Cup builds more and more each and every day. Given the country’s love of the sport, it seems only natural that it would be a perfect starting point for a startup looking to break into the Brazilian marketplace in a big way. Enter Propzmedia.
Propzmedia is a social marketing platform that enables brands, agencies and publishers to reach and engage users through multiple devices and digital channels. It completely integrates user registration, profile management, social coupons, gamification plugins, reward and referral systems, and extensive analytics.
Propzmedia founders have thus far concentrated their efforts on Brazil and experienced success specifically in the soccer industry, namely, the Santos Soccer Club, for which the platform was able to generate US$3M in revenues in just five days of fan-base monetization efforts. That said, the soccer industry is not at all their final target. They are also aiming at top retailers and franchises in consumer goods, automotives, shoes and clothing, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, banking, communications and real estate.
Israel Nacaxe, co-founder of Propzmedia, provided us with some insight into this up-and-coming platform, including the Start-Up Chile experience, gamification strategy and the successes the soccer vertical has brought about.
PS: You have been working with Start-Up Chile and opened your office there in January of this year. What have you gained from the experience thus far, and what else do you expect to learn?
Besides the awesome experience of meeting passionate entrepreneurs from different parts of the world, the best thing about Start-Up Chile was the access and endorsement for the Chilean market. We are a very market-oriented company, and our objectives were to approach and validate the Chilean market as a platform for selling our products to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. With this objective in mind, we have noticed that having the «Calle Moneda 975» address on our business cards and the CORFO’s endorsement and introductions helped us to approach big players and top level executives faster.
PS: One of your biggest selling points is the use of game mechanics. Would you explain what you’ve done to integrate the concept and what tactics within it have worked best for you?
The use of game mechanics in applications that are not games really exploded during 2011. We learned fast that the solution was not just to mimic real games or transform every single user activity into rewards and badges. Sometimes, basic game concepts such as progress bars or clear objectives work incredibly well, and those are the ones that worked better for me … We forget that people like to play and interact for reasons such as status and special access.
Another important factor is to understand the different user types and what motivates them. We track and integrate engagement knowledge in unique environments … that are multi-channel branded interactive environments where users can easily sign in and engage in activities like creating and sharing content and inviting friends, which are valuable for brands.
PS: Propzmedia’s greatest success story to date seems to be Santos. Are there other such case studies you can present?
We have worked with e-commerce, other websites and some brands with effective social network website integration, point-based loyalty programs and member-get-member campaigns, and other big projects that are not yet online. We strongly believe we can bring extreme differentiation in the way soccer teams and other brands interact with their fans, increasing monetization opportunities and online presence.
PS: Apart from the regional advantages of operating in areas largely untouched by your competitors, what else sets Propzmedia apart from the rest?
Our platform is not just about user retention or game mechanics. We are able to act seamlessly in the whole user conversion funnel, from user acquisition to a post-sale recommendation. We combine engagement strategies with highly-advanced behavior tracking and data optimization.
One example is the Soccer Fans Arena. Besides other activities, users can either vote for the best player after a game or guess a match score before it. We drive traffic to the Fans Arena with Facebook dynamic ads either at the start of the match, asking to the users to guess the score, or right after the match to promote the «player of the match» voting. This prevents advertising fatigue. Users vote or guess, earn points and increase their benefits within their team affiliate programs. The Fans Arena is also a powerful tool to burn points from existing loyalty programs. And after voting or guessing, users can share content with friends, who are the best candidates to become new users.
Thus far, Propzmedia’s efforts have been concentrated on the Brazilian marketplace, which, as we’ve been tracking, has a booming e-commerce marketplace and is expanding significantly in online advertising (Nacaxe sites 69% growth in 2011). The platform’s backend-and-platform-as-a-service business model aims to capitalize on all of this, gaining revenue from growing companies through setup and maintenance fees based on users and plugins installed.
The next stop for Propzmedia? Continued work in the soccer vertical and expansion into other industries. And, thanks to the platform’s work with Start-Up Chile, Nacaxe also indicates that the Spanish-speaking Latin American market is on the horizon.
Want to find out more? Check out Propzmedia’s demo.