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Navigating Multiple Product Pivots: Jebbit CEO Tom Coburn (Part 5)

Posted on Sunday, Jul 25th 2021

Sramana Mitra: That means that you now had to work with customer who had physical locations.

Tom Coburn: No, a lot of these were still digital brands. A lot of our customers do have physical locations too, but these were digital experiences you could do no matter where you were.

Sramana Mitra: What did that do to your business?

Tom Coburn: We tripled the business that first year.

Sramana Mitra: Customer acquisition was still direct selling?

Tom Coburn: Yes. I think it was 2017 when we launched our partnership with Twitter and Snapchat. Then Pinterest thereafter. That was probably about a year after evolving into these mobile-first interactive experiences.

Sramana Mitra: What timeframe are we in now?

Tom Coburn: 2017.

Sramana Mitra: The funding is still that $2 million?

Tom Coburn: In 2017, we raised a $5 million Series A. 

Sramana Mitra: That is on the basis of this mobile-first experience?

Tom Coburn: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: What happens in 2018?

Tom Coburn: A couple of things. We started talking to a lot of our customers. My co-founder and I went around and we met a bunch of CMO’s. We asked them what they needed to see from Jebbit for them to spend 10 times as much on our platform as they’re spending now. We kept hearing the same story, which was our customers really like how quick and easy it is to build on Jebbit and how the experience engages consumers in the moment. They kept bringing up the concept of what they could do with the data.

Up until this time, Jebbit is known today for the data. I never even mentioned declared data. As we started asking our customers, we realized that most of these CMO’s were buying third-party data from other sources and it cost them a lot of money. The only other type of data they had was their first-party and third-party data. They kept saying that Jebbit gives them an interesting way to ask customers directly things about their interests and preferences.

We realized that we stumbled into this opportunity to help marketers collect this data at a scale that’s 10x than running a traditional survey. That’s where we announced the declared data component of our platform. We built a lot of capabilities around the ability to aggregate and capture all this data and integrate into the marketing systems. That’s the focus of the last two years. That’s what led us raising our $12 million Series B. That’s what drives the growth of Jebbit today. 

Sramana Mitra: What scale of data are we talking now?

Tom Coburn: It depends on the size of the brand. Our largest customers have hundreds of millions of questions that have been answered. Then there are customers where 50,000 answered questions is a lot for them. It goes back to the point I was making earlier. We don’t bring the audience to the table anymore. A customer of ours like NFL has a much broader reach than a small e-commerce brand. 

Sramana Mitra: Is there anything else that you want to share?

Tom Coburn: The only other immediate thing that comes to mind is it was serendipitous for us to pivot or evolve into the data focus. We did this right around the same time that all the privacy legislations started happening. In hindsight, that was beneficial to us. It’s the first time for me where I felt like we’re riding a big wave. For the first few years, we were trying to find that product-market fit. For the last couple of years, it’s clearer.

Sramana Mitra: Thank you for your time. 

This segment is part 5 in the series : Navigating Multiple Product Pivots: Jebbit CEO Tom Coburn
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