The Role of Advertising in Double Sided Marketplaces

Advertising has always been a combination of enticing and informing prospective clients as to the goods and services your company provides. As a company dedicated to connecting service providers and clients, it is vital to understand that every non-targeted (i.e. traditional medial like newspapers, flyers, and radio) marketing piece must fulfill the dual roles of enticing customers while also encouraging prospective service providers to reach out your company for freelance employment. Targeted advertising, which is what you see for most internet based marketing campaigns, leverage demographic data based upon user browser history and supplied user information to narrowly target them. Your campaign, if it is to be successful, needs to leverage both in order to ensure its success. Especially if you are focused on increasing awareness on a block-by-block basis. Here are some of the ways you can leverage advertisements to grow your bottom line and improve your service provider roster simultaneously.

 

Leverage Social Media Networking for Maximum Impact

 

“If you are advertising on a business social media account page, it costs nothing but an employee's time. A business can opt to use paid social media advertising campaigns and sponsored posts as well. These campaigns are seen by more members of a social media platform than just those that are directly connected to the brand.”(1)

Social media has become ubiquitous in our society thanks to the low cost of entry and its relative ease of use. By using a combination of different accounts, forums, and targeted advertising, it is possible to leverage platforms like Facebook or Twitter to simultaneously reach out to consumers while developing good relations with prospective service providers.

The best part is that the cost can be minimal, if not nonexistent. All a basic profile requires is manpower and a talent for customer service!

 

Showcase Value for Both Provider and Client Simultaneously

 

“Two-sided marketplaces fail quickly if the value proposition for one side doesn’t clearly match a need on the other side. In Airbnb’s first high-growth marketplace, New York City, both sides of its customer pool were in deep pain and even willing to bend the law to relieve that pain. On one side, the cost of renting an apartment is astronomical; on the other, so are hotel prices, whose average can sometimes balloon above $500 a night in busy weeks.”(2)

It is vital to understand that freelancers and consumers are both looking to get the best deal possible. Your task as the marketing director is to showcase how it is possible for the experience to be a profitable and value-adding experience for all parties involved. Thankfully, there is more than one sort of value you can showcase. Have your advertisements, both targeted advertising and generated old-media publications, focus on the interpersonal aspects of your service, leveraging how both the service providers and clients can enrich each other’s lives. This is especially vital when general purpose marketing, like flyers, are utilized.

For instance, if you run a dog walking business that connects freelancer dog walkers and clients, showcase help people can fill happy walking a dog during their free time while showing the dog owner that the animal is getting exercise and attention while he or she is at work.

 

Focus on Your Value, Not Yourself

 

“Offer a better solution to underserved customers: Airbnb found its initial buyers and suppliers in the vacation rentals classifieds of Craigslist. They were clever in their approach in doing so, as well, since Craigslist didn't offer an API. Airbnb’s service was both more convenient and safer for both sides of the marketplace that had traditionally been underserved by existing services.”(3)

Marketing is always about the product or service, not the one providing it. Think about the cards in your wallet; do you think of the card provider when you swipe one of them? Or do you consider the bank that holds your account and the merchant you are about to transfer money to?

Advertisements for card providers exemplify this by focusing on the value your niche product and service brings to the consumer and not the company itself. Strive to ensure that your advertisements achieve a similar focus in order to make certain that your company is in demand by both target audiences.

 

Use Marketing Feedback to Inform Future Plans

 

One of the greatest challenges for any successful marketing endeavor is integrating feedback into future consumer outreach projects and product development. When you’re handling a marketing strategy that must connect with both service providers and potential client simultaneously this issue grows by an order of magnitude.

Make sure that you have easily accessible feedback channels and take advantage of every piece of information that you receive. Use this to constantly review your marketing strategies to ensure their effective in meeting your business goals. The right piece of information you glean from your advertisement can make the difference between identifying a new niche market the target or having your competitors eliminate all business opportunities for your company. Reach out, learn, and incorporate data to ensure happy clients, freelancers, and plenty of future opportunities for growth and success!

 

 

Sources

(1) https://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/6-ways-to-leverage-social-media-for-your-business.html

(2) https://www.reasonstreet.co/business-model-two-sided-marketplace/

(3) http://karlinvc.com/blog/how-to-build-a-defensible-two-sided-marketplace/

How Do You Build Critical Volume Before Going Mass-Market?

Developing a thriving enterprise requires an innate understanding of your target demographic and how best to present your product or service to them. When your business serves the role as a middleman connecting other service providers and consumers this issue becomes even more acute. You’re suddenly tasked with identifying ideal service providers while simultaneously connecting them with quality clients while creating an environment conducive for business.

This need to simultaneously tackle both the “chicken” and “egg” side of the equation makes traditional marketing and business management seem like a walk in the park. Here are some ways you can tackle this quandary with relative ease while getting ahead of the competition!


Recognize the Need for Paid Staff until Service Providers Sign Up
One of the greatest hurdles double sided marketplaces encounter is the ability to build the credibility necessary to convince potential service providers to extend to you their time and services. A great way to handle this issue can be to build up a healthy client base by operating as a traditional company and extending out your presence as a double sided marketplace as a way to handle excess demand. This will help provide your company with a financial stream but also helping you obtain the critical information needed to properly position your marketplace to the general market.

Focus on Quality over Quantity with Your Service Providers
A service provider can be considered an employee of your company in many respects, especially in regards to ethics and public relations. As you grow your list of service providers it is vital to remember that a single bad apple can do more damage to your quarterly projections than a dozen delayed projects. Hold each freelancer to the same, if not higher, standards during the introductory phases of your on boarding process and make certain to monitor performance for any irregularities.

Recognise Where You Lack the Expertise to Proceed
There’s an old expression that no business owner should every forget, “No man is an island.” A great deal of your day-to-day activities revolve around delegating tasks to team members with the relevant training and experience needed to successfully carry them out. This includes advertising, a particular wrinkle for many double sided marketplaces.

For double sided marketplaces, most of the tools and methods that are currently ‘best practice’ can set your team up for failure. So to get the best out of your team, you need to provide them with the best tooling. That’s why tamme is solely focused on the complexities of double sided marketplaces. This focus allows the platform to understand the supply and demand of a marketplace at a postcode by postcode level and is able to determine budgets, channels, and creatives for each side of your marketplace, in each postcode. All based on the analytics data from your website crossed with a plethora of demographics data sources.

Using tools like tamme, that are designed specifically around the particular problem set that double sided marketplaces face, is a good way of ensuring that you are giving the best people, the best tools.

Success Comes from Spotting Possibilities for Even During Failure
The single most important thing to remember when developing your double sided marketplace is that the best niche to fill is often the one few recognize. As you go about implementing your initial business plan obtain feedback from both ends of the market to determine if there is an opportunity you are missing.

This is key, especially if your plan fails to garner your company the revenues needed for long-term success. Much like with a traditional business, any opportunity you fail to take advantage of will undoubtedly be leveraged by your competitors for increased market share down the line.


Sources
(1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/02/07/5-tips-for-building-a-two-sided-online-marketplace/#281b6dd32d6e
(2) http://mashable.com/2011/03/31/grow-startup-market/#tI9728Ci8kqu
(3) http://culttt.com/2013/05/01/how-to-build-a-two-sided-marketplace/

OneShift Acquired

OneShift started as one off shifts for small businesses in the hospitality industry. it’s first month it started with just 300 uni students and a couple of clubs and within 6 months, it had 10,000 users. Four years later, OneShift morphed into a full time work platform, connecting staff to some of Australia’s largest employers. With over 45,000 businesses and closing on 1 million users.

In 2013, OneShift was invested in by Programmed. Through joining forces with a strong strategic partner, OneShift was able to achieve things like winning 9 tenders for employment services in partnership with Programmed and APM, forming cornerstone partnerships with the innovative CCIQ and winning numerous international and national awards.

We are excited to announce that late last year Programmed begun the process of acquiring the OneShift platform in a private, off-market deal.

A short couple of months later, this is now complete and Gen, with the remaining team, will continue to focus on Skilld (the small business hospitality recruitment app) and the newly announced tamme.

tamme is an ad-tech platform for double sided marketplaces. It measures supply and demand in suburb-sized squares all around the world to be able to predict where and how to best spend your advertising budget. tamme then creates dynamic ads specifically targeted to your audience, in that location and uses machine learning to better predict what ads, channels and spends are ‘just right’. It also uses past performance as well as a large complement of external data to be able to predict the best new suburbs and regions for your marketplace to grow into, and ties all spending back to simple unit economics to make sure that all advertising spends are in line with your strategic goals.

Meet tamme.

Meet tamme.

Meet tamme. tamme is an ad-tech platform for double sided marketplaces. She measures supply and demand in suburb-sized squares all around the world to be able to predict where and how to best spend your advertising budget.

tamme then creates dynamic ads specifically targeted to your audience, in that location and is able to predict what ads, channels and spends are ‘just right’. She also uses past performance as well as a large complement of external data to be able to determine the best new suburbs and regions for your marketplace to grow into, and ties all spending back to simple unit economics to make sure that all advertising spends are in line with your strategic goals.


tamme is the pinnacle of machine learning and predictive analytics as applied to ad-tech. It’s taken almost a year to get the first version of tamme ready and we are now very pleased to announce that we’re opening a beta program for Q3/Q4 of this year.

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