Interview with Fergus Clarke, a Co-founder and CEO of Lamplight Analytics
I am the Co-founder and CEO of Lamplight Analytics and a market researcher by trade. I’ve held senior research positions in Asia, Europe and the Middle East as the Head of Research in North Asia for PR giant Edelman. I’m now leading Lamplight to help democratise market research insights through social media.
Describe Lamplight Analytics in 50 words or less.
Lamplight Analytics is a social media analytics startup. We provide a SaaS tool that allows users to capture and aggregate data from social media, blogs, boards, forums and other media online. This data is then translated into insights on demographics, language, volume, sentiment, etc, so that businesses and individuals can understand exactly what is being said about them online.
How/why did you start Lamplight?
Before Lamplight Analytics, I made a career charging MNCs hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell them what people thought about their brand, products and marketing using surveys and focus groups. Over a period of time I realised this was crazy. With the right technology and social media data, we can now show businesses large and small what people really think about them at a fraction of the cost.
What type of data can Lamplight provide for startups?
For startups we can:
- Tell you what people are saying about you
- Identify your potential customers by finding people who are talking about your industry or your competition
- Show you what your competitors are doing to drive sales
- Measure which markets have the most interest in your product
- Map communities of interest on social media
- Find the key opinion leaders you should be engaging with
Who are your local/Asia-based competitors?
CIC in China uses social media to answer marketing questions but has more of a corporate focus so is generally unaffordable to small or medium sized businesses. Hottolink in Japan also has a similar focus. Most of our competition comes from global players who tend to be relatively weaker in local / regional languages and social media sources.
Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.
There really isn’t a typical day! We have put a lot of effort into making sure there is no unnecessary division between our business and engineering teams which means everyone (including the founders) is constantly learning and being challenged to think creatively. With users as varied as KPMG and Lane Crawford, our customers often come up with applications of our technology that we’d never previously considered.
What do you think of Hong Kong’s Startup Scene?
It’s still in development. Hong Kong has all the ingredients needed to play a leading global role in tech including a good education system, strong work ethic and access to capital, but I feel we haven’t quite taken off to the degree that’s possible yet. It’s good to see government being supportive but ultimately, a self-sustaining ecosystem will only be possible when we see a number of home-grown unicorns. It’s got to be bottom-up to be real.
What was your most memorable moment so far?
Awards from people like Silicon Dragon and the Hong Kong Venture Capital Association are always nice but our most memorable moments happen when we put a new piece of functionality out there Hearing that our users are getting incredible value out of our tool and seeing weeks or months of work come to fruition is what makes the long hours worthwhile.
In 5 years from now: How did your startup change the world?
We will give everyone - big or small - the ability to understand their customers regardless of distance or language barrier.
What are 3 things you want others to know about your company?
- We hope to continue to lead as one of Hong Kong’s most promising startups. Hong Kong is not considered a hot spot for social media analytics, which leads us to believe that Hong Kong is a place where any startup can find global success.
- We’re located in the CAMPFIRE co-working space in Kennedy Town. Feel free to reach out to us, we’d love to chat. We’re always looking to collaborate or partner with new startups or explore new opportunities.
- True to our vision, we’re looking to provide everyone from a one-person company to an MNC access to all of the world’s social media data and insights. Our current iteration of Lamplight allows anyone to signup for FREE. To sign up for your free account, check out https://go.lamplight.me
Lamplight is hiring! Check out their job openings.