While word of mouth (WoM) marketing is considered still the best efficient way to grow your customer base, a lot of new companies are taking its concept to a new level – using referral, affiliate marketing programs. The best example for this would be Dropbox. You invite a friend, if he registers, you both get free storage space. This kind of strategic marketing brought them 60% increase of customers in 15 months.
A lot of new entrepreneurs would most definitely want this kind of growth for their product or business, but most of the times
they don't have the budget for it,
they cant find the right strategy or strategist for the program,
they don't have the time or understanding of how to maintain and monitor such a custom program.
Technology and Use Case
This is where GagaPay comes in. They are offering us a concept of a all-in-one blockchain-based platform where Start ups, SME's, individual affiliates and large enterprises can build their own referral, affiliate, network marketing, loyalty and bounty programs.
Also, they are offering us the GTA token, with which the customer will have major advantages in the upcoming platform and reduced commission fees.
Their pre-sale is live now and will end at 30th of April.
The main idea of this project is making it easier for individuals or enterprises to build their customer base and not pay enormous amounts of funds to fraudulent affiliate sales or strategies with no effect. Also on their web site and their commercial material there are a few mentions of crypto wallets and exchanges which is a component of something called Gagapay crypto payment platform which will be integrated into the Gagapay Network where fiat payments will be accepted as well.
But this is where a few questions arise. I am not really sure if they need a blockchain just so they could guarantee trust, transparency and security in their software, because they are offering a software with very specific features regards to marketing strategies and programs. And having a blockchain for that, meaning that every user can access all the information stored on it, can cause a conflict of interest and make a few of the customers stingy about their programs. It almost seems like a centralized platform would suit much better for this kind of product. Its because if I imagine I was the marketing strategist of a multi-billion enterprise, I wouldn't want to leave my multi-billion strategy on the blockchain which is why I think this platform is for the little man. And after all – Dropbox isn't a blockchain-based company and they are the main comparison for a referral program.
And this is the second question.
Lets all imagine – they have a working product/software, with a subscription model. I've paid my subscription so where have I put my money?
They are offering us a marketplace where companies connect with marketers back and forth, multiple individual marketing campaigns and programs, most popular marketing, tracking and payment plugins and seamless integrations of other apps. Sounds a little bit like a candy-land, but if it all is/will be true, then this is what an individual or a small business owner desperately need!
The GTA token
It almost seems like after a few years we will have a token for everything for every brand, for every event and so on...
The need and the use of this token is not quite motivated in their white-paper.
Because, if it is about the platform/software, which will be needed to subscribe to and pay an amount of either crypto or fiat for it, and then after that, still some of the features will not be useable, because of the need of the GTA token which will enable those funcions. And this is why I think they are mentioning wallets and exchanges being integrated, because the platform can only work successfully if they have an implemented exchange where you can instantly exchange your desired crypto to GTA tokens and then use the software entirely.
But anyway – it all could be a little easier for the customer if they didn't have a token, but that's just my humble opinion.
Then I thought, no way this is the only company that offers this kind of a platform, what is GagaPays competition?
I found a few companies that offer a similar product. Those companies are Bitcomo and Hoqu(and a few more with some of the features like Adex and Adbank), but I was looking only in the crypto-side of this business.
Bitcomo says they let you become an advertiser or an affiliate on their transparent and effective blockchain. But judging by their social activity, neither someone knows nor cares that there is such a thing as Bitcomo. Plus, they don't have a roadmap on their web.
Hoqu on the other hand looks pretty legit in ways of social communication. Bitcointalk users sound overall pleased with the way this project is going, and they have a roadmap on their web, which says that now they are working on a decentralized affiliate app and a CPL smart contract prototype. But digging deeper into their white-paper I found that its main concept is pretty far from what GagaPay offers. Their main focus is on internet advertising.
This all means that crypto-wise GagaPay has no competition.
When I was looking on the competitors of GagaPay, firstly I was browsing through their social activities. Twitter, Facebook, Bitcointalk. So how does GagaPay play their social game?
One thing is for sure, they are very active. If most of the times the ICO's you are following are making one twitter post every 3 days, GagaPay communicates to us mostly every day. Same applies to Facebook – multiple posts a day, strong customer service, fast replies.
What I personally like about their social game is that, if they make a post about going to a conference or a business meeting, they actually provide the social feed with pictures of those events afterwards. Which makes the customer feel like the company is reachable at any given time.
All this means that they are putting in great efforts to maintain their strong marketing plan, which is the main key for their business. That is what they are selling, so they must be good at it. And so far they are. Their twitter is booming with 21.5k followers and their telegram is full of 32k members. Investors sharing good thoughts and everybody seems to like the direction the project is steering.
CEO Raitis Kaucis LinkedIn profile says that he is a former owner of a wireless GSM security systems company mobisargs.lv. The strange thing is that the website is based on a wordpress template and the web address is apkaklite.wordpress.com. But then again – he's the former owner of that company so the website changes could have been made after August 2011, which is the date stated in his profile. Also he has worked in Tianjin, China as a branch director for a company called Unicore Overseas Limited which is a global supplier of transport and logistics solutions.
After that in January 2016 he becomes the CEO of GagaPay. A few days ago, he participated in a webinar where he was answering questions for all the investor enquiries. Another strange thing – he doesn't have a Facebook profile, but maybe I just couldn't find it.
CTO Dmitrijs Sekundo has mainly worked with a telecommunications company called “Tele2” in a variety of job positions ranging from Billing operations specialist to Technical product manager. Also doesn't have a Facebook profile.
Marketing Project Manager Ieva Kauce has a background of managing positions in two companies. The Pier, where she was managing and tracking marketing campaigns for the brand in the Baltic region and NOLO also working as a brand manager promoting Nolo RTW Womenswear brand. Between these three, she has the strongest social game, which explains her role in the company.
Investor Relations specialist Valts Dalbins LinkedIn profile doesn't say much about his professional career except that he is the owner of a company called “SIA Estm?ra”, but he is very active among social sites especially Facebook.
Customer Relations specialist Renate Plesane is a former quality system manager at “SIA Tin Fish” which is a seafood processing company. She states her duties in her profile: “Devising and establishing a company's quality procedures, standards and specifications;
reviewing customer requirements and ensuring that they are met”.
Community manager Kristaps Rudzitis is a former project manager at a digital advertising company “Kiwiworks” and
Sales manager Elizabete Celnokova's LinkedIn profile wasn't available and I couldn't find a working Facebook account as well.
All these people are Latvians, coming from Latvia which is a small country in the Baltics. And this fact alone means that they have a very consolidated team, all speaking the same language (Business and native), a background of business management and most importantly great goals to achieve together of helping other businesses to fulfill their plans.
The only thing to improve in my opinion would be the content of LinedIn profiles. If LinkedIn is the main social tool for investors/contributors/customers to get in touch with your team, make it seem like you are using it. Then again, there is customer support for that.
Overall a great, real team with traceable backgrounds and that is one of the main criteria when going through an ICO.
GagaPay aims to make a all-in-one platform for individuals and enterprises to build their own marketing plans, referral, affiliate programs on a subscription based software. With no clear competition and a huge customer/investor base. Offering us the GTA token with which the platform will be fully usable and almost fee-less they are looking like the ICO of the month. The only thing which I believe is setting a few investors back, is the thing that they don't have a working platform, or anything that could at least draw us a little image of how it could look. They only provide us with the information of what will it do and that it will have drag-and-drop feature, which doesn't explain anything. What is that which will be drag-and-drop-able?
Another thing which I personally experienced was that only on the last day of writing this article I realized that they are offering two different platforms. One – GagaPay crypto platform which will allow to store, exchange, earn and spend crypto currencies and tokens via pre-paid debit cards and mobile payments, and two – GagaPay network – a build your own smart marketing platform. All the time I had the impression that GagaPay was focusing on smart marketing, and I just got really confused about how the pre-paid cards go together with a marketing platform. If I understand it correctly, then the platform should connect the customer with the executor, and they should be able to send and receive any type and amount of crypto currency via mobile app. And if they succeed in this, this is what the crypto society needs, a platform where you can use if not all then most of the crypto currencies. And then the GTA token is acceptable, because they let you operate with other crypto currencies and they have an implemented their own token which unlocks all the features.
As mentioned before their social game is strong and they are proving that they know what they are selling. And that is the thing that I am looking after. What will happen after the ICO period is done? Most of the cases ICO's become quiet. Weekly updates become monthly and in some cases social profiles become dead-out with the excuse of a platform development. I really hope that this is not the case and that GagaPay will continue their social activities also after the ICO.