By Deepsekhar Choudhury
Much debate has raged over who really owns user data on tech platforms such as Google and Facebook. While the tech giants say data related to any user’s content is owned by them, sceptics argue that in that case users must be compensated for their datasets which these companies depend on for earning marketing dollars.
C2B data marketplace Aiisma was founded in 2018 to incentivise users for their data. Co-founders Ankit Chaudhari and Nicholas Bohnlein conceptualised the Aiisma data ecosystem to reward users for consensually and anonymously sharing their data with businesses in need of real-time, structured, filtered and legal data to improve products, services and growth. Chaudhari says that the duo first thought of bringing out a smartphone that would enable users to create data as per their discretion. However, they decided to drop the idea as the market was not ready for this.
When a user signs up on Aiisma, she lets the ecosystem churn out data from her phone related to device specs, app usage behaviour, geo-location and calls. In return, the user gets coupons that can be redeemed on platforms such as Zomato and Amazon. The company plans to soon bring out a feature for cash rewards in partnership with prepaid card services.
While celebrity influencers will always be important, brands today look out for ordinary folks turned influencers — the idea is if one of your friends review a product well then it could generate a lot of potential leads in your circle. Aiisma aims to leverage this by incentivising a user who drives another purchase by tagging a brand on a social media post.
Another feature of the ecosystem is hyperlocal marketing. Says Chaudhari, “On the way from my office to home, I might cross both Reliance Fresh and Honey Money Top. So there’s a possibility that if I am targeted with their ads, I might end up buying from them.”
This feature will not be limited to physical stores. Even online businesses can use this to attract customers in their vicinity. Aiisma has already onboarded 50 start-ups and small businesses to help them with lead generation amid the Covid pandemic.
Chaudhari says making users aware of the value of their data is a big challenge. The company is planning to run a campaign called ‘My data, My app’ with celebrities and online influencers to create awareness.