Posts Tagged 'sydney'

Engagement is key to mobile advertising campaigns

Amethon Solutions has published a recent report looking at mobile advertising. The key insight from the report is that mobile advertising must focus on high quality engagement with the audience.

This means:

  • Engaging in a mobile friendly form. Simply converting content from other digital media isn’t good enough. Mobile users need mobile friendly solutions. It could be that you only ask your user to enter one field rather than five because filling out forms on mobile is difficult.
  • Engaging with a mobile relevant message. Mobile messages must be suited to when people access their mobiles like when they’re out and about. So, you should be short, sharp and, if possible, local.
  • Engage with something special for your mobile user. If you really want to get someone to engage with your mobile campaign, offer them something special. M-Vouch is a great example of this.

There is much more that can be taken out of the report and a lot of useful information for mobile advertisers and advertisers looking to exploit mobile. You can get all of that information by heading over to Amethon’s Mobile Advertising – Beyond the Click Through page.

Thanks to Amethon Solutions CEO Michael Stone for sending that through.

New version of infome available

A new version of infome has just been approved by Apple.

infome

This new version is based on how the application has been used and our thoughts on needing to make it more friendly and informative.

To download the application and view the full list of changes, head over to infome on the App Store.

infome now has over 10,000+ businesses across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane

infome now has over 10,000+ businesses across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. You can search for cafes, supermarkets, plumbers, karaoke, bars, malls, petrol stations, hospitals… the list goes on. Most of the businesses are in Sydney and we have only just started to cover Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane. We will be expanding this over the days and weeks to come.

9 Lessons I Learnt From My First Pitch For Investment

Yesterday I made a pitch to the guys at Geeksville on a real-time local mobile search service (similar to buzzd). We’ve got a provisional patent on a particular method and believe there is an exciting opportunity to use our technology in the local Australian market. (Email me if you’d like to know more about our plans).

Whilst I’ve made pitches for various things, internal projects/change initiatives, sales pitches and pitches to get people interested in my idea I had never pitched with the intention of getting financial commitment.

I went into the meeting with the view that no matter what happens today I win. I either a) walk out with the backing that I wanted or b) walk out having learnt a huge amount about making a pitch for investment.

Interestingly I think I walked out somewhere in the middle.

Here are the lessons I learnt:

  1. MAKE SURE YOUR NUMBERS ARE OFFERING THE SIZE OF OPPORTUNITY YOUR POTENTIAL INVESTORS ARE LOOKING FOR. My feeling was that these guys are looking for something that goes profitable in the first 12 months and breaks even that year or the year after. I went in aiming a bit low and my numbers reflected that. I should have aimed higher. Which brings me to my next point:
  2. Aim high, have a big vision but be realistic. I should have looked at the larger opportunity, I focused primarily on Sydney and then later in the first 12 months on Melbourne. I should have said “Hey let’s tackle Australia, then NZ and then parts of Asia.”
  3. Get your cost of customer acquisition as low as possible. Understand how much each customer is worth to you over a year, I only looked at over 5 years (way to long). Then look at how you are going to acquire each customer, how much is that going to cost? My costs were probably too high.
  4. Don’t be on the bleeding edge, be on the leading edge. This is somewhat related to number 3. My marketing strategy involved an expensive campaign that was partly focused on educating customers. This drove up my cost of customer acquisition and made it hard for me to be profitable. I need to cut these costs and find an innovative way to raise awareness and service use.
  5. Understand who you are pitching too. I should have spent much more time than I did in understanding who these guys were and what each company in the Photon Group does. In particular which ones, when combined with our offering could find substantial leverage.
  6. Explain your assumptions and your financials. I didn’t spend enough time explaining why my financial projections looked the way they did.
  7. Present alternative paths. With a service that doesn’t yet have signed on customers it just makes sense to present alternative paths. E.g. if we tackle all of Australia at once it will cost X and we can expect revenue of Y and a profit of Z. If we tackle take a staged approached going city by city it will cost X2, we can expect revenue of Y2 and a profit of Z2. These alternative paths should also be used to answer the question “how much do you need?”.
  8. Just when you think you understand as much as you can about the market – learn more. I backed up most of my arguments and discussions with relevant reports, studies and statistics however I still think I said “I’m not sure” too many times. Just when you think you understand your market, start learning more about it!
  9. What is unique about you? Make sure you can clearly articulate why you are unique and why you are the man/woman/team to do the job. At the end I stumbled (at least thats how I view it) into our strong background in technology/telecommunications and the provisional patent we have.

So now I’m going to incorporate everything I learnt last night into my next pitch, the service and future pitches.

Young Entrepreneurs Society President

Wow!

I’ve just been voted in as the President of the Young Entrepreneur’s Society for FY 2008-2009.

The main initiative I’ll be focusing on is creating and running a business planning competition in the first semester of 2009. Sydney University is in the heart of Australia’s business capital so it has every reason to aspire to have the best business planning competition for an Australian university.

I’m also looking to get people interested in starting their own business or running a business together on a regular basis for an informal coffee and chat on campus.

As per usual we will be running events to do with starting and running a business.

If you’d like to present to our 400+ members or get involved with us (non-students are more than welcome) then please contact me.

Mike Zimmerman Speaks To Aspiring Sydney Startup Entrepreneurs

We had a great event today, everyone there enjoyed it – Mike Zimmerman from Technology Venture Partners (TVP) certainly gave a good talk.

Mike gave the aspiring entrepreneur’s from Sydney University an introduction into how Venture Capital actually worked, that is, how does Mike’s company TVP make money. Mike then went on to talk about how VC fits in with other forms of investment, how to reach one, what a VC expects in terms of returns and more.

There were some great questions thrown Mike’s way from the students. It was great to see people so interested in startups and VCs.

I hope this event gave some students an insight into one way of finding investment for their startup.

Thanks Mike – I hope you enjoy that bottle of wine… I had trouble not drinking it myself. :)

Venture Capital Talk By Mike Zimmerman Next Wednesday

Next Wednesday I’ve organised for Mike Zimmerman of Technology Venture Partners to come and give a talk at the University of Sydney to the Young Entrepreneur’s Society. Mike will be explaining what Venture Capital is, why you would need it and how to get it.

Whilst the presentation is primarily for students we don’t mind others attending (you may have to pay a small fee otherwise the union will have us for lunch).

The talk is at the Camperdown campus of Sydney University in Room 251 of the Carslaw Building. It is on at 1pm-2pm on the 7th of May.

MobiCorp files it’s provisional patent for txtnsave

MobiCorp has submitted the provisional patent application for our contextual mobile advertising solution, txtnsave. What is that you say? Well consider this, you need to grab some wine for dinner with friends tonight and you’ll be meeting them in North Sydney, a location you don’t know to well (or do it doesn’t matter). SMS txtnsave with “merlot north sydney” and txtnsave will get back to you with the best specials or deals for merlot in North Sydney.

We’ve reached “patent pending” thanks to the hard work of my partners, Andrew Lowe and Brett McDowall. It’s exciting stuff, I’ve never been involved with a patent before (even though it is just provisional at this stage). Hopefully having the patent will give us more of an advantage when speaking with potential customers.

This week I’ll be out wearing down the shoe leather, which in my case is actually thong leather (that’s a sandal like thing for the non-Australians), compiling a list of the potential advertisers around Newtown area.

We want to connect the residents of Newtown and the students of Sydney University with the best deals on food and alcohol in the area.

We want to connect the bars, pubs, restaurants and bottleshops of Newtown with the residents of Newtown and students of Sydney University. We want to connect these businesses with potential customers right when the customer is looking for it.

(Oh and Don’t Tell is about to get a very fresh make over to start moving forward properly – but thats another post)

Wine Selectors – The best experience

I’d just like to say how amazed I am with the fantastic customer service experience that the Wine Selectors offer.

I recently changed my arrangement with them to only receive wines when I asked for them, rather than my previous arrangement where I received 5 cases a year. One can only drink so much wine when there is beer and spirits to be consumed.

When I called them and asked to do this they were fine with it.

Just today I received a letter in the mail saying how happy they are that I’ve made that decision (which makes them less money) and that they support my choice.

What a great experience, I think they’ve got themselves a customer for life.

Masterclass Series Presents ‘Building a successful e-business’

Last night I attended a presentation by Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Realestate.com.au (RE), Simon Baker in Sydney’s MLC Center. You can read the flyer over on BSI’s site.

It was a truely interesting talk that Simon gave. I like short posts so here is what I took out of his talk:

  • In the internet business where you are the “middle man” it’s important to focus on the ones that are paying you. That’s all well and good you say. However, when asked why Simon thought RE has beaten it’s competitor, domain.com.au, Simon stated that it was because RE focused on real estate agents, the people that paid (their customers), and getting the agents to put their properties up and pay for it. Domain.com.au on the other hand spent a lot more time and resources capturing the minds of the end-user. By capturing the agents, RE in turn captured the agents customers.
  • Simplify your products. When Simon started with RE there was over 40 ways of selling the one product, by simplifying and focusing on 1 product RE became easier to understand and sell.
  • Simon was asked “I noticed you didn’t talk about the website, the features of the website or anything like that, why?”. In reply Simon said “And that’s exactly the point.” Beautiful pages, brand new technology is no substitute for paying customers and good reason for people to use the site.

Each of these points sunk home with me because in both of my ventures I’m tackling exactly the same problems.


Scott Middleton
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