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CEO and founder of Pico Asaf Nevo was featured on Infront Lab’s The Mix Zone podcast in February 2022. Here is a brief Q&A from the episode about the company and its technology.
How did Pico begin?
The company was founded around 2015 and it took us two-and-a-half-years to play with different ideas we had in mind. The journey from the outside might look like it was completely different, but it took us until around the beginning of 2018 before we started to understand where the value proposition is. And then we started to build on top of that.
We built a product in the early days and quickly found that this product was a good fit for sports. The whole idea of knowing fans, understanding who they are, how to provide a very personalised, sometimes intimate experience with them.
The entire world is focused on personalisation and how to do that. As we grew we found we brought in more and more talent from the sports space to work with us.
How did you get to the product you provide today?
We found that in the entertainment space, and sports in particular, there's a very big gap between how much teams and leagues and sports properties really know about their fans compared to how many fans there actually are.
If you look at the big clubs, they would have a couple of million fans registered to their CRM or to a newsletter. They have data in the database but it is pretty much around what ticket did they buy, where they live or their credit card numbers. Very basic things about billing preferences.
When you are looking at the big clubs, you can have a few million in the CRM.
Then you have people in the digital space engaging over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or using the app or the website. The numbers are always big in terms of the gap between how much data you have compared to how many fans you actually have.
This creates a big gap across the entire organisation and the way teams make decisions and build strategy. How do people get that information? What is it that the product does? So we piggyback on their digital engagement. We always look to which topics fans are mostly engaged about. It could be a new player that you just signed or a new coach, wins and losses are obviously always engaged.
We then find the topics fans are engaged in to create a more personal one-to-one experience with them. Let's say the topic is a new player. We will create some sort of gamified experience, whether it's a personal trivia question or maybe a prediction about how they will perform at the club. We create this great experience for fans to come in and engage and then when they are in this experience it is a place where they are willing to provide us more information about who they are.
We're not fishing for information. We always do it in front of the fan in a very transparent way. It's all there in the purpose of getting to know the fans and providing them with a better.
Where do these activations take place?
If they are part of a team's Twitter feed or Facebook or Instagram story there could be a call to action on that platform. This would be to click somewhere or comment on a post or send a DM. If it's in Facebook, it's Facebook messenger. If it's Twitter, it's Twitter DM. It then starts to communicate with you there. So there is a conversation piece, and then the game starts.
It could also happen in the app as a section or inside the website in an article that is now speaking about the acquisition of a new player.
The idea is that every time we meet you, we already know something about you. It's progressively building. Then we can come in and say, “Hey how are you today?” It can be very personal. It will never ask you the same question twice or the same data point twice.
It's all always short experiences and every time we learn something new about you, like in real life.
How have rightsholders used the data?
Once fans are engaged, the data captured about them is automatically labelled by an AI machine.
It's segmented and then it could be synchronized into the team’s CRM. Imagine that you're now engaging over Facebook. You played this game and we learned who your favourite player is.
This information gets into the CRM and then the next day the team want to push merchandise. So instead of just sending out a promotion for everybody we can actually segment it and say, let's send it to all fans of one particular player who want to have a jersey on the channel they like to use. If we engaged with you over Facebook, we'll send you an offer on Facebook. It's very personal and based on what you actually expressed an interest in.
This is just an example of sales. It could be video highlights of your fan’s favourite player.
At the end of the day, it’s getting to know fans through data points to provide a better service and experience.
Listen to the full episode to find out some of the main user cases and what Pico has achieved with some of its clients