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Star Star will be to mobile what hashtag is to social media: Sandeep Goyal

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Star Star will be to mobile what hashtag is to social media: Sandeep Goyal

Sandeep Goyal, Chairman of the Mogae Group, has high hopes from Star Star - the latest technology piece from his agency Tango Media.

The platform is based on a simple premise – that people find it tough to remember numbers, but can easily recall names – and allows the customer to connect with the brand in real time, both from feature or smartphones.

Goyal says Star Star was born when he couldn’t find the crucial brand-consumer connect, even after 30 years of being in mobile and mainline advertising. Brands advertise spending crores, but when a customer has to call the brand, he doesn’t remember the number. This was the central idea that Goyal and his team took up in crafting the platform.

“The biggest thing is that people can use it for more purposes… just by using the name, or the product name or the category descriptor. Hashtags are just a two-three-year-old phenomenon. Before that, no one knew about them. Now people use hashtags like regular punctuation! The same way, Star Star is going to be to mobile what hashtag is to social media,” asserts Goyal, who has filed a patent globally for Star Star. “It’s a patented technology; it appears very simple but requires one hell of a lot of technology. We can also do a lot with Star Star, in terms of customized and intelligent responses for a consumer. The system is intelligent enough to marry Telco APIs to the customer who is coming in, and send a message according to his profile.” He says .

After 3 years of research and refining, Goyal says the product is ready and talks with brands have already started. ** STAR, has been taken by Star TV, while talks are also on with other brands within the Star stable like Star Utsav, Star Plus, etc.

Without giving away names, Goyal informed that brands in the pipeline include a motorbike company, e-commerce brands, a cereal brand, a home service company and a wedding planner.

Goyal talks about the genesis of the platform and his expectations from it. Excerpts.

Can you explain the premise behind Star Star?
To understand Star Star, one very simple thing you have to look at is that all advertising is actually in two parts. One is brand-building and the second is customer response. When a brand is new, you spend a lot of money trying to build that brand. That creates a buzz for a few months. You want as many people to remember that your brand exists, then get as much traction at the customer level, if both things happen. But once your brand is better known, then 95 per cent of your advertising energies are focused on getting customers to take some kind of action to benefit the brand. We have seen the short codes and missed call systems. We have seen entreaties to visit the brand’s website. But all of these fall flat. Customers don’t remember these calls-to-action, as they don’t remember numbers by heart. But people remember names like Uber and Domino’s; I remember all of those names, because the brands have spent a fortune advertising them. I find it easy to dial them.

What are your expectations from Star Star, going forward, as you say it has huge implications?
I think it’s going to be a very big success. The numbers involved in this could run into millions of calls in a day. That’s what you need to understand. I can guarantee that by end March, we should have sold at least a 100 clients and about 300 to 400 domains. If you have 100 campaigns running at the same time, that’s 15 million pings in a day.

And in terms of revenues for Tango Media, how does it stack up?
It costs the brand roughly Rs 2 for one call and return SMS. Take about half a million pings from a brand in a day, and that’s Rs 10 lakh earned.

How would you value the property a year later? Can you think of a ballpark valuation figure?
In a running 12 months period, Tango will certainly cross revenues of Rs 100 crore. It could be much larger, but even being very conservative, it would be Rs 100 crore of real revenue. It will give us a dramatically large corpus. The valuation of a company like ours can go through the roof.

What else are you looking forward to in the next year? What are your plans, apart from this?
The big one which we are doing, we are almost on the verge of closing, is our JV with a German company called Zeotap for programmatic advertising on mobile. That’s a big one! In the New Year, we should sign the JV and get it operational. We will be the first in the mobile programmatic space. We are different from other agencies as they represent the demand side of the platform, while we represent the supply side. Besides, our offering will be enriched with analytics from the telcos too.

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