Trumpia is a cloud-based mobile-messaging and marketing-automation service with the most complete features, ranging from mobile apps, SMS, digital coupons, loyalty rewards, behavior-based targeting, campaign automation, and multi-location enterprises.
At whom is your startup aimed?
Half of our customers use our platform for messaging, and the other half use it for marketing purposes. The industries we cover are diverse, including retail stores and services, food and beverage, auto dealerships, financial services, schools, nonprofits, religious organizations, and various other corporations. What all our clients have in common is that they see burgeoning mobile technology as a key to communicating with their consumers and employees. That’s where Trumpia comes in.
How does your startup stand out against its competitors?
We believe that Trumpia is the most complete mobile-messaging and marketing software available for several reasons.
First, we cover both mobile-app and mobile-texting communication channels. Competitors tend to focus on one or the other, and fail to provide the comprehensive coverage you need to communicate with ALL your customers. Second, we offer engagement tools that meet both messaging and marketing objectives. Third, our marketing automation goes way beyond simple birthday wishes or recurring messages. It is completely customizable, capable of implementing complex campaign rules and conditions. Finally, our security and compliance features are designed to satisfy the various needs of even large franchises and enterprises with multiple departments.
Where did the idea for the startup come from?
The idea was sparked by the inefficiencies of email communication and unfocused social media posts. We always envisioned revolutionizing communications using both mobile devices and cross-channel orchestration through social and email channels. We were able to implement this concept much earlier than most of our competitors.
Did you have any concerns when starting your business; if so, what were they?
Our ideas were really new back in 2009. There are always risks associated with breaking new ground. What seems like a great idea to you might not appear that way to your intended clientele, or the public at large at the time. There are many types of exposure involved in introducing new technologies, new ways of doing business, new ways of seeing things.
What is your business background, and what got you interested in startups?
I’ve always been interested in applying technology to improve communication and productivity. I started my career as a Deloitte IT consultant and went on to direct product management with companies like Symantec, SPC, and Ashton-Tate. My first startup integrated voice recognition with the Internet. My second company provided SaaS for online productivity. Trumpia is my third startup. In terms of education, I studied economics at Northwestern and earned an MBA from Harvard.
How did you initially raise funding for your company?
It started with my personal capital and help from two angels. Since then, we’ve raised more funding from other experienced angels.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
The company became profitable on the basis of bootstrap financing and growth. And when a very large wireless carrier in the U.S. saw fit to trust in Trumpia to provide the technology platform for a similar service, that was a major milestone as well.
How have you kept your business relevant and engaged with your audience over the last three years?
Trumpia started as a text messaging service. Then it evolved into a cross-channel marketing service. Now it is a true mobile-marketing automation software provider in a very exciting market. We’ve met changing business needs and in many ways led the charge in mobile marketing automation, but Trumpia may very well be the best kept secret in the tech community because we have not actively promoted our story.
How long has your business been in making, and who is the team behind the business?
We started with a completely different business model in 2006. Since then, we changed our business model under the Trumpia brand in 2009. Our 60-member team is composed of hardworking people with a collaborative, “no-superstar” attitude.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Because we are a step or two ahead of the game, it takes time for clients to adopt new technologies and catch up. There is a gap between the cutting edge of technology and the participation of even early adopters.
In the coming year, what would you like to achieve with your business?
Mobile marketing may not be new, but automation for mobile marketing is. We’d like to solidify our leadership position for the coming wave in mobile marketing automation. Mobile technology is a must-have for almost all Americans now, and it will only become a bigger part of our lives. The efficient use of that technology to reach consumers and organize operations will shape the business landscape in the near future. Trumpia wants to assume a prominent role in this transformation.
What has been your most valuable lesson so far since starting your business?
Finding and managing the right talent for each position is very important.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting a business, what would it be?
Spend plenty of time early on hashing out a viable business case and assessing the competitive environment.