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Comparison of Internet Marketing Channels

17 Aug 2010

Compelling Service leads to Behavior Change

Approximately 10 years ago both myself and long time friend Aakin picked up Sony VAIO computers. I got a desktop while he snagged a laptop. We bought these computers because we wanted to play Diablo 2. The game finally prompted us to upgrade aging computer systems, changing our behavior. Was it worth it in hindsight? Probably not, as Sony VAIO systems weren't very resilient. But we enjoyed the game and many other applications so it's difficult to judge. The important lesson is that desirable software ignited our buying action.

Fast forward a decade

Here I am working with a gifted hacker (Tyler) on developing and refining a high utility location based event update service, Garage Dollar. Current garage sale goers use local newspapers, craigslist, and aging GPS systems. We want to change their behavior by introducing a system and visual map that shows only real garage sales in their area. The risks:

As we close in our next pre-alpha release I have great confidence that we can build it, based on the enthusiasm and skills of my cofounder Tyler and my own slowly growing skill set. I'd like to say thanks to the Google Map API team, version 3 is a smooth interface that can be leveraged for many valuable location apps.

Online Marketing Experience

*update* My friend Arnold Waldstein has reminded me of the complete measure of performance (cost per action).

To minimize the other risks I've taken to speaking with regular garage sale goers, and advertising in three separate channels in a focused area in my town. The advertising channels and my experience with them is laid out below:

There are additional marketing channels I can leverage: junk mail local newspapers, local radio stations, and huge cardboard signs. Garage sale goers rely on the local paper for garage sales as well as card board signs. These channels may be necessary to attract a threshold subscriber base in a given geographic area. There's nothing wrong with using the channels we are attempting to displace.