Has this sort of thing ever happened to you?
You’re browsing an ecommerce website or a blog, and you see a photo of a man and a woman running together; something in the photo catches your eye. So you click on it, and taken to a page where…you can buy the type of shoes she was wearing.
That’s great, if you happen to be interested in those shoes. But what if you were more interested in learning more about the stylish running shorts she was wearing? Or his t-shirt? Or—what’s that on her wrist, an Apple Watch? Or his earbuds?
Bloggers, publishers, and ecommerce site owners constantly leave money on the table, and site visitors in the dark, about elements in their photographs because there’s no easy way to tag multiple items with multiple different links—and get full analytics on what people are clicking—within a single photo.
That was the issue that frustrated Mark Osuna Senn as he browsed online publications. So he decided to create a solution. Here’s the story of Mark, co-founder Pablo Alguindigue, and their company, Scopa Analytics.
Tom: Hello, everybody. Welcome to another founders interview on Webbiquity. Today, I’m joined by Mark Osuna Senn, co-founder and CEO at Scopa Analytics. Hi, Mark. Thanks for joining. How are you doing today?
Mark: Thanks for having me on, Tom. I’m doing really well. I’m excited to talk to you.
Tom: Ditto. We met back in September at a BETA Showcase during a Twin Cities Startup Week, another great event put on by the folks at BETA Minnesota. How was that event for you?
Mark: It was really insightful. That was actually our first official kind of run at a trade show type of experience, so we had our screen set up running a loop that had some marketing material, as well as a demo running live.
So it was a good kind of test run to see what it would look like to move forward with that trade show / conference feel, but it was super valuable. We met a ton of great people, a lot of nice local businesses around here, too.
Tom: They draw a great crowd for those.
The Scopa Tagging Platform solves for limitations in content marketing strategies, particularly for ecommerce product marketers. It enables brands and publishers to link to multiple destinations from a single image.
Typically, a single image can only be linked to one URL. Scopa adapts social media’s advancements in user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) so they work with first-party web content.
For example, an affiliate blogger could post a photo of somebody running, and tag their sweatpants tagged with one URL, their shoes with another, and perhaps their earbuds with another; they can link to several destinations within that one photo, as described in this video and illustrated in the photos below.
The tool helps publishers add multiple links to a single image to maximize affiliate revenue, and e-commerce brands streamline their customer experience and cross-sell more products.
Initial customers are primarily publishers and e-commerce partners sites in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space, fashion and lifestyle publications, and B2C retailers. The critical factor is sponsoring or selling a visual product, anything from hiking gear to luggage.
Scopa is often championed by internal digital marketing directors or outside marketing agencies. It positively impacts SEO because of the backlinking potential with tags. It’s a plug-and-play alternative to custom-built internal systems that provides heatmap-type analytics such as hovering and clicking, in a product-specific way with performance optimization analytics.
Year founded: 2021 (officially; development began in 2019)
Funding rounds: Self-funded to date
Company size: two full-time (co-founders) plus two contractors
Tom: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Mark: Great question. So, love it or hate it, I’m an avid GQ fan. I’m a fanatic there. I was actually reading a GQ article back in peak pandemic season; it was March or April 2020. I was doing was looking at this article that GQ has every week, that says, “Top 10 Biggest Fits of the Week.”
They essentially analyze paparazzi shots and outfits. And on occasion, they’ll link out or mention their partners, like, “Oh yeah, these Nikes are really on trend. You can get them here at nike.com,” or something.
There was a specific outfit I was looking at. I forgot who was wearing it, but I was interested in his hoodie or his sweater. And they were talking about the person’s shoes.
So, I wondered, “Why don’t they…” because on Instagram, they tag all the brands that they feature. They tag every single brand, they get that exposure. Why don’t they do that online? They’re limiting themselves.
And then it kind of clicked that there is no plug-and-play solution. Tagging only really exists right now, in a customer experience sense, on Pinterest, Instagram, and Amazon, for the most part. Some other platforms have done it as well, but there’s no plug-and-play solution for first-party content. So that’s what led us to essentially get this going.
Tom: Excellent. So, as you’re rolling this out now, how are you getting the word out there about the product, and what seems to be working as far as bringing some attention to your brand?
Mark: I actually have most of my professional experience in the digital marketing space. I’ve worked at a couple different agencies. So it’s been a lot of LinkedIn, and then leveraging those connections as well, talking to different marketing agencies, seeing what clients of theirs could utilize their product, and maybe help them drive more conversions, or just see if there are any connections there. It’s been a lot of email, LinkedIn, and word of mouth.
Tom: Got it. Finish this sentence if you would: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
Mark: Jokingly, almost, I’d say start networking a little bit earlier. I think we’re doing a great job right now, phenomenal. But just knowing how tight some circles are…we’re still breaking in our way into, for example, the affiliate networking space. There are these massive affiliate networks that we’re trying to partner with. Networking is going to be really valuable there.
Tom: Absolutely. And feeding off of that, what’s the most important advice you could offer to a would-be entrepreneur, somebody who’s just starting out today?
Mark: Honestly, this is something I think we did really well. We went to pretty much every person we could, and asked, “Hey, poke holes in this. What do you think about this? And give us, like, Simon Cowell feedback. Give us the most brutal feedback you can.”
And in the end, it led us to developing a really easy-to-use, low-maintenance platform that I’m really proud of. We developed it in a year, with Pablo as CTO, leading the tech side, crushing it. We delivered a really immaculate product, that’s super easy to use, within a year. It’s all I could ask for.
And using that feedback as we move forward has been really beneficial. So, I’d say get those holes poked as early as you can.
Tom: Final question, how do people connect with you and find out more about Scopa Analytics?
Mark: In addition to our website, ScopaAnalytics.com, we are really active on LinkedIn. We were just featured on Performance Marketing World. We had a feature in there for product tag marketing. So, really excited. We’re trying to be thought leaders in kind of mounting and establishing that product tag marketing sector of the digital marketing space.
Tom: I saw that. That was a really nice article.
Mark: Yeah. I’m really proud of it, and it was awesome of them to feature us.
Tom: Nice job. Thanks, Mark, for joining me today. This has been a fantastic discussion. I’ve really enjoyed it. Have a great rest of the week.
Mark: Thanks, Tom. You too. Appreciate you.
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