What do you think? Either way – this info-graphic from Microsoft Tag provides some serious food for thought and it’s great to see this data together to help with future marketing planning.
Founded in 2006, Qype is Europe’s largest site for user-generated reviews and recommendations of places, events and experiences. Qype has 18 million unique users per month and over 2.2 million user-generated reviews covering business categories in more than 166,000 cities with locations worldwide.
Qype allows users to search for and read reviews about a restaurant, shop, service or experience and, with the Qype App, which has been downloaded over 1 million times, users can read and add reviews on their phone and use the application as a personal sat-nav to find places nearby. Available in seven different languages, Qype is a pan-European local review site able to offer its international users a multi-lingual platform.
We talked to Richard Dennys, marketing director of Qype about how marketing is managed to drive growth at Qype.Q1. What do you see as the main success factors that have fuelled the growth of Qype that other types of businesses could learn from?
Qype is currently benefiting from a number of market factors. Principally, it’s the rapid move to mobile as the number one medium for social exchange. Google noticed this a while back and then more recently plonked its ‘Places’ at the heart of its search results.
On top of this is a general growth in consumers to expect their voice to be heard. In the past TV shows like Watchdog and consumer magazines like Which acted as social champions representing groups of disaffected consumers who were dissatisfied with their lack of representation. Now sites like Qype offer a direct route to voice complaints.
We review and monitor absolutely everything. Each week I receive a multi layer report with data on everything we can lay our hands on. As ever it’s the insight and intelligence that’s actually the hard part to put into context.
1. Our engaged customers: how many people are doing stuff on Qype. We see tens of millions of users arriving each month, but our challenge is to grow (and retain) the fully engaged central group of registered, contributing users at a faster rate than the overall rate of traffic growth.
2. Numbers (and spread) of reviewed places: just having a list of businesses is easy; anyone can do that and sites like Yell.com do this so well. The whole point of Qype is to search, find and share experiences of places, venues and services so we keep a very close eye on this. Third party API mashups like MaptheQ.com and also as recently launched on the Gatwick airport website are also great to see.
3. Money In! It’s the reason we are here. I have set up metrics to track how every new landing behaves on its conversion journey through to our bottom line.Q3. Could you share some practical tips on campaigns or offers which have been effective in engaging your audience?
On the consumer level, our positioning is that we are a fantastic media for forcing a positive change in customer service. We are in the age of the “Social Majority” in most European cities now and our message is that Qype provides a brilliant vehicle for all of us to finally express our lack of tolerance of poor value as we move from place to place.
Awareness is the foil of deceit, and our vision for Qype is that cowboys, rip-off merchants and scam artists are quickly forced out of our lives for good. We need more reviews and we need everyone’s help to join in and force the change.
On the business side, we are fortunate in that our audience profile is largely populated with urban high earning, high spending consumers. We have them looking to spend, while they are spending and just after their spending event; all the time talking about the experiences on the brand or service provider. That’s a pretty tough offer to resist for any business owner.
Other than that, we are keeping aware of what’s going on around us, staying relevant with an eye always just beyond the horizon, as seen by our recent acquisition of a couponing/voucher business.Q4. With Qype available through mobile apps, via the mobile and desktop web what trends do you see in the relative popularity of these platforms
Q5. What are the implications of the growth of Facebook Places for local mobile services brands like Qype
We have mobile apps in all 3 major platforms, as well as a few others. We are fast approaching the point where place reviews added via our mobile app outnumber those added via the www. I expect this to happen by the summer. We are also surprised at the rapid growth of our income from mobile advertising. Add this to Geo-marketing our new couponing offer to our 22 million visitors via their mobiles based on where they are without compromising personal data integrity is also pretty exciting!
We can co-exist. Personally speaking, I think Facebook is in danger of selling itself to death. My own feed on it now is pretty much all promotional messages from things I have liked! The value of me keeping in touch with people is still there, but the novelty has definitely faded.
Facebook also has a challenge on how to monetise its local offer to SMEs around the world. We shall see how it all pans out in the next phase of Web 2.0 or whichever scene we move to next!More on the Qype story
Qype was founded in November of 2005 and since then has gone on to become the largest user-generated local review site in Europe.
The company was founded in Hamburg, Germany by Stephan Uhrenbacher, an internet entrepreneur who was having a hard time finding a local kindergarten for his son. Reasoning that most people value personal recommendations when it comes to something like child care Stephan decided to build a community where people could relate their experiences, swap stories and give feedback on every aspect of their everyday lives.
Being a business traveller Stephan was beginning to see the advantages of having a network of trusted reviews and recommendations at your fingertips when visiting new cities.
And so Qype was born! Now, whether you need to impress your in-laws with a fancy but inexpensive restaurant; want a good local plumber right away; or maybe you’re visiting friends in another city… Qype’s international community is there to help you out.
Though the big networks continue to grow, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr, this data from Ignite indicates a maturing (to some extent) of the social media space with some big ‘web 2.0′ businesses in decline. What does this mean? Only time will tell, and though Facebook is the default choice for most I think it’s both natural and encouraging that platforms find a niche, after all isn’t that the nature of things? Let us know what you think…