Here’s our presentation for 31st Jan 2012: ZiiLion_third_week
Monthly Archives: January 2012
Insights gathered from meeting with Sven Strohband
1. User acquisition strategy
a) Use monetary incentive to pull events. Eg offer free drinks to events organized on our site. Three fold benefits:
i. Event host will be willing to sit down with us and feedback to us his events organizing experience with our app
ii. Event host will be more willing to help promote our app.
iii. Viral effect as people discover a quick and easy method to get some sponsorship for drinks.
b) Immediately line up event organizers that will use our application once it is launched. At least 20 events organizers per targeted college for a compelling number.
c) Hire someone at the individual colleges to be in charge of pooling all the events that are being organized on campus to be broadcast on our application.
2. Monetization strategy
a) Possibly to connect with groupon companies, offer targeted student deals to specific events. Eg. If student organizing a dinner, offer deals from local restaurants at the event organizing page.
b) Pulling out of renren.com to create a standalone web service which charges people for hosting events. Rationale: While students not willing to pay, enterprises might be willing to pay for such a service.
c) Focus on getting users so we get bargaining chip to monetize, such as selling data etc.
3. User Interface:
a) Initial user interface to be nice. Need to be aware that we might not have many events hosted on our website on the onset. Must ensure that our page still looks attractive and not a site where there is only 1-2 events.
Interview questions for “early adopter”, a event content provider — campus event host:
First 4 target colleges: TsingHua University (Beijing) — Yinan; Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai) — Junhao; Wuhan University (Wuhan) — Lu; and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan) — Yiye.
- What kind of features are necessary for event-hosting renren app?
- What kind of post-event feedback would event host like to have from their audience?
- Is sponsor matching and recommendation a useful and valuable feature for event host? What kind of cooperation do they look for?
- What should ZiiLion team do to keep event hosts if there is not a obvious promotion effect at initial launch? (egg and chicken problem)
Format is following:
- Name of University
- List of interviewed event hosts (student communities’ leaders)
- Statistics of replying
Please interview ASAP and have feedback by Jan. 30, Monday.
Customer Discovery (Users): Interviews (Face to Face)
The team went out this week to interview potential users. The following are some of the leading questions for users of renren.com who spent their undergraduate in China.
1. Pain points validation:
Have you organized events before back in your college in China? Are the normal distribution channels (newsletters, etc) a big hassle for you? What was the biggest headache about organizing events?
2. Value Proposition validation:
Do you think an app on renren.com will be beneficial to you when you organize events?
Would you want post event analysis?
What will be the killer feature for you?
Would offering ticketing as a service be useful for you?
Our Insights (from 20 interviews)
1. Pain points validation
There exists problem of reach of advertisement with current channels, but the more you organize, the better you are at getting people. Current channels include BBS, an online school forum where people log in to find activities around the school, QQ, which is similar to MSN chat where activity groups can be formed, FeiXing, a mass SMS tool, and the traditional methods of posters and banners. Students in China colleges also live in dorms, so word of activities usually spread quickly.
However,the strength of current channels vary across the different colleges that we have interviewed. For example in Peking University, BBS school forums are very active, but in other colleges in WuHan Province, BBS school forums are usually lacking in user traffic. Also, with all the current distribution channels, user management is non-existent. The ability to pull of a large scale event with many participants usually also requires certain skills to work the advertisement channels through personal contacts and relationships. Finally, there currently exists no channels at all to reach to students in neighboring colleges, and this problem is very prominent in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai where the colleges are close and nearby.
Other pain points
Perhaps a unifying pain point amongst all the users we have interviewed is the pain point of financing their events. It is usually difficult for a student body to secure sponsorship for their events, and presents itself as a major pain point we can service.
2. Value Proposition validation:
The idea of an events organization application on renren.com is very well received by all whom we interviewed. They like the idea that the events that they organized will be able to get a further reach just by being available to all those on renren.com. Post event analysis would be extremely helpful too for future events, especially in the getting of contacts and feedback from participants in a well organized manner. If sponsors recommendation can be provided, that will be awesome. However, online ticketing is still a relatively new concept amongst China colleges, and it is not in the student’s behavior to purchase tickets online, and hence would not form a strong value proposition.
A word of caution from a few whom we spoke to: Renren.com is usually cluttered with applications that are usually not of the serious nature, and is still mostly used only as a mode to maintain friendship contacts. A serious application like ours in events organization thus run the risk of being lost amongst all the other non-serious applications which might result in a low pick-up.
Here’s our presentation for 24th Jan 2012: ZiiLion_second_week
Update: Business Canvas 2
1. Added a new customer: Sponsors. i) From our interviews, we found that apart from lack of good promotional channels, another major pain points for organizing events would be difficulty in finding a source of finance.
ii) Provides a good revenue stream.
2. Our approach to acquiring sponsors as customers:Partnership with local Groupon-like companies (for group-deals) in individual cities of China as they already have a strong network of retailers that are in need of advertisement. Even more interesting is that these local Groupon-like companies are in need of user-traffic, and most of them have partnered nationwide group-deals aggregators to obtain user-traffic. Major Groupon-like companies include: http://www.lashou.com/, http://bj.meituan.com/ http://www.nuomi.com/changecity.
3. Our strategy in the partnership: Acquire a strong user-base in our application, such that it would be interesting for local Groupon-like companies in individual cities of China to partner us to obtain user-traffic. We then access their database for retailers interested in sponsoring student events.
4. Improved value proposition: Provision of post event analysis for both host and sponsors using massive data mining techniques.