In the digital marketing world, there are two well-understood rules. One is that free products attract audiences and the other is that if the price is free, the customer is the product.
Much has been made of the second rule. The notion that a passerby can be “monetized” has long fascinated the less ambitious among the Internet marketers. For people with few ideas and even fewer marketable products, it stands to reason they would pursue the one thing in the equation that can be had for a reasonably low cost and then arbitraged into reasonably low revenues.
This state of affairs hasn’t served the Internet well. Shaving a few cents out of everyone’s wallet in exchange for an e-mail address or something equally worthless isn’t a viable business model. The Internet itself is strewn with the wreckage of companies that thought they had discovered digital Shangri-La. True wealth can only be created if you make a thing and sell it, which is why Spotping decided to set the penny-shaving aside and concentrate on the relationship that counts: buyer and seller.
People who collect and analyze data, or more accurately, people who think they are skilled data analysts have a habit of trying to discern facts from available data. They call it “projection” or “analysis” but ultimately the word they are trying to avoid is “guessing”. They are frequently wrong, and their investors frequently pay for their mistakes. Spotping doesn’t take this road. Instead of guessing, we simply ask. “What would you like?” And then we make that answer available to sellers, who do the rest.
To some, this might sound more than a little cynical, but the truth, especially when it comes to something as complex as the relationship between buyers and sellers, has to be kept simple or the whole structure is at risk of collapsing. In today’s marketplace, the slightest delay or confusion is likely to result in a lost sale. The slightest misalignment in the buyer/seller relationship is likely to produce a bad result or more often a non-result, and that represents a ton of value lost.
Privacy isn’t Optional
Ultimately the only information that matters is what the customer wants. More precise demand creates a more precise supply. The closer those two things get to each other; the more economic activity is produced. This is the key problem Spotping seeks to solve: How can we point these two important counter-parties at each other? Unless the data we collect helps us achieve that goal, it’s extraneous. This is why Spotping isn’t particularly interested in what kind of car you own or your favorite pet. Sellers don’t care. They want to know if you want to buy their product.
One might be tempted to wonder why other companies don’t get this, but for those of us who have been in the marketing business long enough, it’s really tough to be surprised by wrong answers anymore.
Ultimately what customers want is better products at better prices, and what sellers want is more customers.
Spotping’s job is to deliver both, and the good news is we can do it with the smallest data footprint in the business.