In this post, we plan to give a quick summary of our efforts at marketing this week, and since we have not been seeing results, we have come up with a more brutal approach at marketing.
One big takeaway that we learnt from our initial approach is that we can never fully rely on externals to help us achieve our objectives. No matter how competent or close a friend they are, aligning of interests and objectives is a difficult task. We need to come up with a solution where we can do the marketing ourselves. This is where we came up with the Brute-force approach which we will detail.
A quick summary of our marketing (this week) thus far:
Contacted 3 important and influential people in the student union. Gotten them to do a favor of contacting hosts of new events and getting them to pose on our website. Not a lot of activities spotted this week, most of the events are of the club open-house sort to attract students. Hoping to get some of these events onto our site soon.
Contacted 4 people. 1 of them is the student union leader (Lu Xi Ming), and 1 of them is an influential person who attends many events on campuses (Xia Tian Tian). Xia Tian Tian knows of a person who might be interested to be our contact to grab events off school bulletin boards and from QQ (China MSN platform) to post on our website.
School is reopening, not many events currently. Contacted 5 student leaders who are going to organize events within the next 2 weeks to get them to host events on our site.
Formed our initial test school for our beta testing. From all the contacts that we have spoken to over there (more than 20), we’ve identified the student union leader as the person who will be most influential in getting users to use our app. We’ve spoken to him and he has given us the pledge of support to our app.
Brute-force Approach Marketing
1. Company Page on Renren.com:
We created a company page for ourselves on renren.com. This contains our app description, our initial 4 test schools in china + stanford university. This will form the more concrete manner in which we will broadcast our app through to students in the 4 schools. (We will be adding all those people as friends to our company page). And very much like Facebook, we will be able to get these people to like our page as an indication that this app is useful.
2. Monetary Incentive:
We thought about this hard, and figured it would be best to focus our efforts all in one college, and see if it is effective. If it is, we would then replicate it, because we figured that all we really need is one big student population to test this product before we actually know if it works or not. We have identified Qing Hua university as our target university, because it seems to have much more events than the other colleges within the next month.
We will incentivize in the following manner: For all events hosts who host their events on our site, we will sponsor RMB 1 for every RSVP that they manage to obtain from their attendees. If say 45 students liked/indicated attendance for their event, we will sponsor RMB45, up to a cap of RMB500. We will hold this sponsorship for 3 weeks, and see its results. We are in the process of finalizing the finer details currently.
We are thinking that this will put our initial user acquisition at RMB 5 per user, assuming that a user RSVPs to 5 different events within the next 3 weeks. This appears to be a reasonable amount for us.
3. Broadcast on college BBS (forums):
The college BBS has traditionally been a place where people spread information on college, regardless of category. We are now going to use it to our advantage, and broadcast the existence of our app on these platforms across all 4 schools. In addition, we will broadcast the details of sponsorship on the BBS of Qing Hua University. This will be done to attract user flow to our site to provide incentives for events hosts to hold events on our site.
4. Broadcast on QQgroups (China MSN):
QQgroups is a type of MSN where people exchange information in groups. To be in one of these groups, you need to send a request and have the moderator accept you. We will now send requests to be in as many QQgroups of student bodies in the colleges as we can, and spread the message of our app. This will be done to attract user flow to our site to provide incentives for events hosts to hold events on our site.
Keeping our fingers crossed for results!