​Spark takes Snapchat to next level with NZ digital start-up deal

“Over 100 million people use Snapchat every day and it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps in the world."

Spark New Zealand is working with Kiwi digital start-up Mish Guru to manage its growing Snapchat community.

According to the telco, the partnership will mean Spark, the largest corporate user of Snapchat, will give rapid feedback to help develop and refine the platform.

Mish Guru was founded in 2014 by Jacob Duval, Ashok Fernandez, and Tom Harding, when they took part in Lightning Lab’s digital accelerator programme.

With offices in Auckland and New York, the company provides analytics and content management tools for Snapchat, allowing people and brands to manage communication to their followers and to share user-generated content.

In June 2015, Mish Guru announced that it had received a further seed capital from leading New Zealand-based investors.

Spark Social Media Marketing Manager, Jessica Moloney believes its product will transform a crucial part of Spark’s social media strategy.

“Over 100 million people use Snapchat every day and it’s one of the fastest growing social networking apps in the world,” Moloney adds.

“The people who use it are more engaged with the content than on almost any other platform. Increasingly, it’s where our customers are so it’s a no-brainer for us - we need to be there too.”

Spark launched its Snapchat account when it rebranded from Telecom and sent its Automatic Thanks Machine around New Zealand in August 2014.

Since then the community has grown considerably with around 14,000 New Zealanders actively engaging with Spark on Snapchat every day.

Moloney says the rapid growth means Spark has to better manage those interactions while also drawing on analytics and measurement to inform this management.

“Mish Guru provides better insights, which means we can generate better content and - most importantly - we can engage our customers more with content and conversations that are relevant to them,” Moloney adds.

“Being its largest and one of its first corporate customers is great too.

“Not only is there a wonderful piece of symmetry with Mish Guru receiving their initial funding from Lightning Lab for whom Spark is a national foundation partner, but its an extremely agile business – if we need a certain function, Mish Guru can roll it out quickly.

“The continuous and collaborative feedback loop between us is perfect – we get a product that does exactly what we need and Mish Guru gets a steady stream of feedback to help refine its product.”

Mish Guru’s Tom Harding says working with Spark is helping them crack into the United States Market.

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Spark,” he adds. “Their team continues to surprise us with the new and creative use of our tools and the feedback they give means we’re able to continuously and confidently improve our product.

“As our focus lifts to the US market, the value of working with Spark to refine both our product offering and business model has become all to clear.”

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