Monday, December 7, 2009

Startups Evolve: Tagga

It is said that most startups change their basic idea and/or business model atleast three times before they are successful. I recently revisited the home page of a rather interesting company I discovered about a year ago: Tagga.

As this article on Techcrunch would tell you, Tagga initially started as a company offering free way for users to launch their own SMS campaign. Thus I could for example choose a keyword (lets say CHIPMUNK. I don't know why that was the first word that came to mind. But now that it did, let's just say CHIPMUNK). I could put up signs that say 'Text CHIPMUNK to 82442' anywhere. If you did text CHIPMUNK to 82422, you will get a text reply with whatever content I wanted to distribute to you. It could be a link. The catch was that the content would be atmost 80 characters long, and it would be followed by an 80 character advertisment.

The business model was: advertisers could buy keywords for the placing their 80 character ads. So lets say I really wanted to sell nuts, I might buy the keyword CHIPMUNK. (Do chipmunks eats nuts....Whatever). Or I might just buy ads via other methods, like geographical region. Like if I want to see coats, I would buy Chicago. It's cold here.

Back to the point. Now if you visit the Tagga homepage, it says that Tagga is now an Agency Platform. In the words of the website, it 'is the ultimate opt-in direct marketing platform that is 100% focused on the agency world.' There is one problem with that - I have no idea what it means. It seems like a whole lot of jargon to me. Like synergy.

To really understand what Tagga is doing, I need to click the features button. And then read what each feature is.

To sum up, this is what I think Tagga is doing now: take the original idea, add a bunch of features, but reposition it as a white label service to help agencies launch marketing campaigns. Interesting. But why, why is it making it so difficult for ordinary people like me to understand what they are doing? Why not give a short summary of what they are doing on the homepage, rather than just throwing around buzzwords?

That's it. I have rambled way too much. Time to call it a day


  1. Hi Shobhit,

    Great comments and thanks for the feedback. You are bang-on and we are in the currently in the midst of re-doing the site. So I'll hope you'll come back a check it out again when we are launched!

    To answer your question on what we are doing now, Tagga has built a platform that enables ad agencies and brands to launch, manage, and report on the success of their mobile marketing campaigns: From building mobile websites & landing pages to SMS or mobile ads.


    Tiffany Chester, Tagga

  2. Thanks for your response Tiffany. I am impressed that you are monitoring comments by observers so well. Good luck!