Platform Thinking in Business Development: Why Companies Like AirBNB are so Successful

Popular booking application, AirBNB, allows consumers to book reservations and events that are out of town, by providing important information about these venues, which can help its’ users make decisions.  Users can add information in the form of reviews, ratings and photos. AirBNB uses the platform business model.

The platform business model is a scalable business model. It takes advantage of technology to connect people and organizations in order to exchange services and things of value (Parker, 2). Less viable today, is the pipe business model, where stuff is consumed in a linear fashion, like water flowing through a pipe (“Why Business Models Fail..”).

Companies that use the platform business model today are Amazon, YouTube, eBay, Wikipedia, iPhone, Upwork, Twitter, KAYAK, Instagram, AirBNB and Pinterest (Parker, 3).

AirBNB is a company that uses the platform business model approach, and connects to various venues like rental homes out of of the country, and popular reservations, experiences in NY and featured destinations. The platform of AirBNB is a place where consumers can easily access the service that AirBNB has to offer based on the network of connections that the business model enables (Parker, 9).

The “platform” or application of AirBNB has many features of a top-notch platform. The site has a solid, clean user interface in bright, modern colors, simple layout, good color scheme, and an attractive logo. It is simple yet elegant, which gives off vibes of “exploration and connection to external sources.”

AirBNB is a great example of a successful business that started from scratch, but became successful by understanding the importance of platform marketing in order to build customer retention (Parker, 9).
AirBNB

AirBNB

With the platform approach there is a greater user interaction and opportunity for business development. Platform marketing is like the Internet where information congregates rapidly for consumer interaction on social media and forums, Twitter and Facebook. An application that uses platform thinking is YouTube, which has a sleek and simple interface that is poised to host new content, create user engagement, and increase customer retention, by providing opportunities for the music hosted on it’s servers to be shared amongst users, and on Facebook (“Why Business Models Fail..”).

Unlike e-commerce applications online, which use pipe thinking, platform thinking optimizes conversions, analyzing consumer data regularly with modern data-analytics tools (“Why Business Models Fail..”).

These services can grow business as content curators are able to gauge what is popular and interests their consumers, unlike the pipe model that is limited, and only focuses on the products it is selling. Businesses who are interested in long-term growth, and customer engagement should apply platform thinking instead of pipe thinking (“Why Business Models Fail..”).

Meet other digital marketing professionals interested in platform thinking at goElaborate!

 

References

Choudary, Sangeet P. “Why Business Models Fail: Pipes Vs. Platforms.” Wired, https://www.wired.com/insights/2013/10/why-business-models-fail-pipes-us-platforms/. Accessed 10 October 2017.

Parker, Geoffrey G., et al. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy And How to Make Them Work For You. W. W. Norton & Company, 2016.

 

 

 

Demographics is Important for Customer Retention

Successfully Marketing While Keeping Demographics in Mind

Marketing to customers of different demographics is simpler than it looks.

Consumer demographics are broken up into different categories: millennials, generation X, baby boomers, and the silent generation, the elderly (“15 Strategies For Marketing..”, 2015).

Understanding these various types of people and their income levels, age and ethnicity is very important to successful marketers today (Mansfield, 2014).

Millennials are a very mobile generation, and work hard to ensure that their peers are up-to-speed with each other. They may be impulsive, but are able to score great business deals when they need to. Generation X is more reserved and hard-working, and prefer to search for products carefully, and work towards applying discounts. The silent generation, who were born between mid-1920s and 1945, don’t tend to spend that much, having a traditional mentality. Besides age, these demographics are divided by gender, income, and ethnicity. Consumers who have more disposable income, or who are rich, are better targets for marketers selling clothing and accessories(“15 Strategies For Marketing..”, 2015). Understanding demographics creates successful outcomes for companies that wish to acquire long-term customers (Nelson, p. 4).

In her book, “The Transformational Consumer,” Tara Nelson talks about transactional marketing versus transformational marketing. MyFitnessPal, the world’s largest digital health company, started with a small tiny orange logo of a “tiny dancer”. It was catchy, cute, and motivational. The tiny dancer grew to a full-fledged app with 45 millions users in over 18 months, without any paid advertising (Nelson,  p. 2).

What?!? How is this possible? 

MyFitnessPal was smart. It didn’t work hard to acquire customers relentlessly like some marketing companies. They won over their consumers by caring about their humanity, and this was extremely influential in winning over transformational consumers, that, well, cared about being “transformational” (Nelson, p. 3).

Humanity?!? In Marketing??

This is partially because people get sick of being treated like a business transaction, and getting hassled by “tit-for-tat”, stressed-out marketers trying to reach marketing goals by buying their consumers every week, day in and out, like a bad, endless arts and crafts project (Nelson, p. 4)

Marketers finally understood that consumers were smart, instead of trying to buy them out. A picture of our victim (the average consumer) below.

demographics

Continue reading Demographics is Important for Customer Retention

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Woman-Owned Businesses

American Express OPEN taking special interest in the benchmarks reached by women-owned businesses and tasked itself with spreading the findings of its studies to encourage and enable women to put business plans in motion. Understanding how woman business owners are finding success is an important part of further growth. Below are some facts about women-owned businesses, complemented by tips and insights from successful female entrepreneurs.

Taken from (http://mashable.com/2012/08/14/facts-women-business/)

1. In the past 15 years, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 54%; there are now 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States.

“It’s so essential for business owners to have a financial plan. Often, business owners invest their own savings in order to increase their ultimate earning potential. Because of this, it’s extra important for you to have a personal plan for your own money and to establish your boundaries -– when you will and won’t do something. I think all too often people don’t have a plan -– and not having a plan actually is a plan, it’s just a really bad one! People don’t know what they don’t know, so it’s critical to talk to someone and enlist expertise from others.” — Alexa Von Tobel, LearnVest

2. Despite owning nearly 30% of U.S. businesses, women attract only 5% of the nation’s equity capital. When it comes to first-year funding, women receive 80% less capital than men.

“I went out to SXSW knowing that all the investors I knew -– that they would all be there for the week and I could catch up with them all face to face. And I started with the people that knew me best asking if they would invest, or did they know someone they could introduce me to who could invest.

“Within 12 weeks I closed a round of nearly a quarter million. When all was said and done, I raised over $2 million in capital from investors. Not knowing how to do that and approaching that for the first time was a real challenge.” — Laura Fitton, oneforty

For more facts about women-owned businesses go to Click here