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What'd you do if you were in my shoes? My shoe-size is 8.

What'd you do if you were in my shoes? My shoe-size is 8.

Woodland shoes

Woodland shoes

While thinking about marketing strategies for the product Crowdnub (which I do 24X7), I played out this imaginary conversation with a smart and cynical-but-well-meaning Rodinhooder at 5 am in the morning in a semi-dream state.

Kiran Kumar (Me):Hey Rodinhood. We built a great product and customerslove it. But we are in a situation that many successful companies have been and many Startups will be.

The Smart Rodinhooder (TSR) likes brevity so picks up only the italicized parts of my preamble and ignores the rest.

TSR:OK, so what is this ‘great’ product you built. Give it to me in just ‘20 words’.

(Seeing the emphasis on 20 words, I thought TSR sounded like a mentor on the ‘Power of Ideas’ Program)

Me:We built ‘Crowdnub’, a smarter Social App platform. With Crowdnub, you can build a rich custom-like Social App in minutes.

TSR:20 words indeed. But platform and custom-like? Sounds a bit counter-intuitive. Explain.

Me:OK. If you are a brand manager or an agency who manages a brand on Facebook, and you wanted run something quick like a sweepstake or a contest, you would choose one of the many platforms that offer snacky widgets for sub-$50 a month. On the other hand, if you wanted to do something elaborate, like tell a story about a new movie or a automobile launch using a lot of content, you would build a custom application because the platforms have limitations.

TSR:So what are you doing different? 

Me:Crowdnub offers the richness of a custom-app with the convenience of a SaaS platform.

TSR:How? 

Me:Think of the the Social App as a pizza. It has two layers.

The creative layer with which the user interacts with the content (toppings - images, videos, maps, polls, multiple choice, rating, user submissions, game-play type) and a social layer (pizza base - gamification, points, virtual and real reward distribution, OpenGraph actions, liking, sharing, the works). Crowdnub provides a feature-rich creative layer with options seen only in custom-Apps on top of a robust social layer.

TSR: You said pizza and I am now hungry. Quick advice. Sell benefits, not features.

Me: Advice taken. When you use Crowdnub, you are using a next-generation technology platform. You are saving costs and time, big time.

TSR:Now we are talking. Why is your technology that good?

Me:You see Apps have a short shelf-life because APIs and policies of the platforms change constantly. The Tech too changes fast. There is always a better way to do things - a new language, a new standard, a better framework, a more robust database management system etc. To be on top of this all takes Technology to be in your DNA. Brands now take social seriously. If as an agency, Technology is not your métier, you may want to use Crowdnub next time, because tech is in our DNA.

TSR: And what was that about saving time and costs? 

Me: On Crowdnub, you create one App and run campaigns for your different needs within that one App via a beautiful CMS. So if you have your content ready, you can create and run your first campaign in no time. Our pricing is variable, meaning you don’t pay a fixed cost but only for the number of days you run the campaign based on the features you select for the campaign.

There are a few other things too.

TSR: What features or benefits?

Me: Benefits

TSR: Go on.

Me: You see the dark side of Social Apps is that Users have to ‘Allow’ the App. Some users typically drop off at this point. With Crowdnub, since you are changing the campaigns in your App and not creating another App, Users who have allowed the App once will see your next campaign without any friction. Another positive is that all the user behaviour data is available to you in one App. This is a big deal if the brand cares about data. Crowdnub provides powerful targeting capabilities. You can show different content to different people in the same App.

TSR: The last one is a feature but I will excuse you. However, a ‘platform’ has limitations right? Brands always want something new.

Me: True. Crowdnub is flexible and allows for full customization. You can simply change the topping (say a flash/HTML game) and run it on the base (social layer). We can also customize the base per the brands needs.

TSR: Who are the customers who loved it.

Me: This is what Meghana Bhat, ECD, WebChutney said after using Crowdnub for their client Saint Gobain.

“Crowdnub delivers what it promises, but what’s even more interesting is how easy it is to uniquely mix the rich features that platform offers. We were able to set up a quiz app within hours and the users responded by answering 99.6% of all the question that popped up in the app (only 0.04% clicked on the ‘skip’ button). Clearly, this is one of the easiest ways to boost engagement with a brand.”

Khushboo Salian, Brand Manager of Wildcraft, India’s premier outdoor gear company, used Crowdnub and said this.

“Crowdnub’s claims are seriously true. We couldn’t have done what we did in such a short span of time without Crowdnub. We actually launched our campaign just a few hours after our first one ended. Congrats to the Crowdnub team.”

TSR:You guys seemed to have covered all the bases then. What was the situation you were talking about being in initially?

Me: Well how do we take this message to the larger audience; that the biggest challenge that the world faces is not malaria or malnutrition but the complexity of Apps.

TSR: You talk a little too much.

Me: Sorry.

TSR: Essentially you are saying your challenge is marketing.

Me: Yes. So what’d you do if you were in my shoes?

TSR: How much can you spend on Advertising?

Me: Zilch. We are a start-up.

TSR: What the $&%*. How can you spread the word without spending any money?

Me: But Alok said advertising is not marketing.

TSR:(Cusses Alok under the breath “Need to teach this Alok fellow a lesson. Maybe I will pan him anonymously on Quora this week”.)

OK my friend, here is what you do…

juiiii..juiiii…peep…peep..

At this point, I wake up and realize that it is not TSR but my year-and-half son driving his imaginary car in bed.

So if you are that TSR I have been talking to in my sleep (never mind the shoe size), please leave your comments below or write to me at kiran (at) adeptocorp (dot) com with your ideas. Appreciate your help.

This post first appeared in therodinhoods.com, a start-up community cheer-led by Alok ‘Rodinhood’ Kejriwal.

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