An App Developer Finds the Right Market MakersChia-Li Chien, Ph.D., CFP®, PMP®, CPBC
How can your business take advantage of APP technology?
Chia-Li Chien | Jan. 26, 2012
My mother-in-law Lily got an iPad as a Christmas gift. My daughter, who has been an iPod user for many years gave Lily a tutorial on how to use her iPad—quite an amazing bonding experience for my daughter and her grandmother. The ease of use of the iPad was crucial for Lily, who, in her late 60s, had no experience with email and had never even used a computer. A good orientation was critical in order for Lily to stay active on and to put her iPad to continuous use.
A few of the free applications Lily immediately put on her iPad were Skype, TV news apps, video and photos apps, Facebook, etc. Even I got a Facebook notification from her just last week. That’s amazing for Lily, considering she had such low technology background.
Lily’s newfound tech aptitude leads me ask you, “How can your business take advantage of APP technology to increase revenue?”
Eli Swed, lives in Tel Aviv, is married, a father of four and the owner of many successful businesses. He recently shared some insights about using apps in business with me.
Eli’s recent venture is Picalogo:
“It’s the first one click check-in and coupon delivery app!” claims Eli. The Picalogo iPhone app enables the user to get coupons and redeem them just by taking a picture of the logo of the business where you are. Oh, it also has a check-in feature with your social media sites such as Facebook and Four Square so your friends know you just got a great deal and they can too.”
Here is how it works. Let’s say you’re running an errand to Target (as an example since they’re not currently participating in the Picalogo service). If you are like me, I often make a list of items to buy and have my coupons ready. But I often FORGET to bring the list and coupons with me! So not only do I not have my list, I don’t have the coupons either. Picalogo allows me to use my smartphone to take a picture of Target’s logo. Then it will display all available coupons that were in the printed format I received (and left) at home. At the check-out, I simply provide the coupons to the cashier via my smartphone. They can scan, type in the code and redeem the coupons. How amazing is that!?
Leveraging his 20+ years technology background plus keeping a sharp eye on the needs on the market place, Eli came up with the algorithm to detect the logo and conduct an effective search for coupons only for the store you’re in. The app allows the consumer to take advantage of the savings plus allows the retailers to continue to brand and advertise on and off line. Unlike Groupon, there is no need to purchase the coupons up-front. For the retailers, there is no revenue split required.
According to Eli’s market research, “actual U.S coupon distribution cost is more than double its average face value.” And furthermore, “only one out of 175 distributed coupons is redeemed,” said Eli. So by tapping into the existing marketing dollar, Eli’s app actually can save the retailer money and help the consumer save money too. What a great win-win situation!
One critical part of Picalogo’s go-to-market action is to partner with the right market makers such as POS (Point of Sales, RDS , or credit card processing companies such as Authorize.net.) Market makers are entities that have exactly your ideal target customers. So by partnering with the right market makers, he can continue to grow his business without funding partners.
In addition to this crowdsourcing method to gain consumer usage, Eli also can become the market maker for other B2C businesses. He has the consumer mass plus the network of market makers like himself. What a brilliant idea!!
As Lily, my mother-in-law enjoys the latest iPad and APP technology at her convenience. I’m sure she will tell all her family and friends about apps like Picalogo, perhaps via Facebook, email, or Skype. Leveraging the right app with the right consumer experience for your B2C business is critical.
Perhaps you’re not yet tapping into mobile marketing or just now adjusting to on-line marketing. Take a look at your market needs and find the right market maker like Eli has done with Picalogo. You too can gain the edge you need to create value creation for both your business and your customers!