Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reaching Your Clientele

A difficult question on any budding entrepreneur's mind is one of marketing, how to get one's product into the hands of the all-too-important consumer. The new topic on the tech world's mind these days is mobile advertising. Google and Apple were recently vying for AdMob (a huge player in the arena of mobile ads) Google ultimately won but Apple then spent $275 million to buy out Quattro, another mobile kingpin. It's obvious that mobile advertising is not just a fad and as entrepreneurs we must all take it seriously.

CES was a huge event for many reasons, one of which was the growth of the App Store model. Not just smartphones but regular candybar phones, TVs, landlines, DVRs, game consoles. We're living in a world in which apps have become the new type of website. So whereas a few years ago the question was: "do I need a website?" Now we're asking: "do I need to create an app?". It's another way to reach customers, and a cheap way too. Many App Stores are practically throwing money at developers to get onto their platform. Android and Palm's webOS are completely free to develop on, the iPhone OS costs $100 to become a developer but you get 70% of your app purhases plus it has the advantage of a wider customer base (with 31 million people), and there are many more: Blackberry's App World, Nokia's Ovi Store. The question isn't whether to create an app or not, but which platform to develop on, the best answer would be all of them. For budding entrepreneurs that's difficult, hence it's imperative to think of the demographic you are looking for. Whether it be corporate entrepreneurs with their Crackberries or young techies with their open-source Android devices, it's obvious that there's a relatively simple way for you to reach your audience in the mobile sector.


  1. Hey Neechi,

    Great article! I'm curious to know of social entrepreneurs who have developed apps? And what types of apps are social entrepreneurs developing? Thanks!

  2. Great article!

    Technology has certainly helped transform traditional advertising in the past decade. From Google to Twitter, advertisers have had to find a effective medium to reach people. My guess is that this trend will continue, however, I expect the final phase is for adverts to become smarter.

    Quattro, who as you mentioned were recently acquired by Apple, could supply relevant ads to iPhone/iPod users based on their geo-coordinates. This means if you are around Penn Station in New York City, ads for local stores and business could come up within your Apps. These ads will be extremely valuable for the business as they serve to relevant users. "Joe's Pizza" near Penn Station advertising to people as far as China or even as close Brooklyn New York is practically irrelevant. But to customers a few feet away, it could be a potential sale.

  3. The app store economy is perfectly set up for our entrepreneurs because it is a level-playing field. You don't need a business plan, you don't need to have done extensive networking and have developed a group of contacts and given the social nature of most programmers there is tons of information and guides out there to make you successful. Advertising your app can be as simple as making a YouTube video about it. There's no bias in the app store economy based on age, sex, race because no one cares who the developer is, just what they've developed. That said, there's countless examples of entrepreneurs out there, some are pretty extreme like this one:

    With hundreds of thousands of apps out there it can seem intimidating to make your mark but if not for anything else, it's a mere stepping stone, a way to test your idea with a large and diverse group of people and that, I think, is the key part of social entrepreneurship.