Manica Chetty, Addie Mall: Digital advertising for women & small businesses
Woman entrepreneur Manica Chetty talks to YourStory.in about Addie Mall, her digital advertising venture targeted specifically at women and small businesses.
Manica, what is Addie Mall all about?
Addie Mall is the answer and solution to digital advertising today, for women and for growing businesses. Addie Mall makes complex online and mobile advertising now very simple and understandable. Apart from online and mobile promos, we also offer some marketing services like flyer distribution, trend research, etc.
How is Addie Mall different from other digital advertising services?
Addie Mall provides attractive low-price advertising in online and mobile spaces exclusively to women and other startups and is aimed at vital economies like India and USA. In terms of online advertising, we offer two services to the client at the same time.
We guarantee that their promotions will be picked up by leading web spaces like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Bing and others that abide by Clickable, a live web platform for online advertising. We are also in the process of providing SEO services to our clients.
How did the idea for Addie Mall come about?
Addie Mall came about as an effort to change the perception of online advertising in India. We found that there wasn’t a sound platform exclusively for women to place their promotions in online and mobile spaces. Also, on returning to India after working in the UK for a few years, I was looking out for a business idea that was innovative and demanding. I was actively involved in planning and development of marketing strategies at that time and that’s how Addie Mall happened.
As far as the capital to ‘start up’ is concerned, it came from my own pockets. It's the savings that I made while working in the UK and the support of my parents that has helped Addie Mall get to where it stands today.
Tell us about your background.
I have a Masters degree in Business Information Technology from Middlesex University, London. I have worked as a market researcher in ICM Direct, a market research company based in London for about 3 years. After working in the UK, I returned to India and was assisting my dad in his real estate business before Addie Mall happened.
Is there acceptance for your concept? How has the feedback been?
Initially, I was unsure about the service, the blogging features and even the concept, on the whole. But the response we have got so far has been very encouraging. We get lots of comments and feedbacks on our blogs and our clients are delighted in finally getting a sound, economical online advertising solution for their businesses. We are collecting their testimonials and will soon be featuring them in the 'Feedback' column.Where do you see Addie Mall five years from now?
Five years from now, Addie Mall will provide online and mobile promotions to women and other startups in advancing economies like UK, Australia and Singapore. We are also looking to include more online promotions like SEO and PPC solutions to our clients. And for mobile promotions, we are planning to develop a separate application and we are also looking to bring about voice promotions under the Mobile Promo category.
What is Addie Mall’s revenue model?
Addie Mall's revenue model is really simple. An advertiser pays a certain amount for advertising on Facebook, Yahoo, Bing and Google. Publishers get the major portion of it and we keep the rest, as it happens with other advertising networks.
What are the challenges that you faced while developing your solutions? How did you overcome those challenges?
As it is with many startups, lack of awareness is a challenge. This affects both services and sales plans. I had a few difficulties in finding the right advertising software partner with whom I had to wholesale the online solutions. Thankfully, many people in the same field suggested 'Clickable' and that’s worked well for us. And to overcome the sales problem, we started referring it to friends and neighbours through a structured word-of-mouth campaign. And that helped in gaining us some clients in the beginning. Lastly, the work-life balance gets disturbed. But I’m guessing that’s an inevitable problem in the initial years.
How big is the team behind Addie Mall? Are you looking at hiring?
We have a team of four in Addie Mall. That includes our web developer, our retail agent who does client referrals, one person who handles flyer distribution in neighbourhoods across the city and me, the founder. We are looking to hire more people in the future, depending upon the demand from our clients.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We are looking to expand the advertising section at Addie Mall within the next 6 months, with additional features like voice mobile marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile apps, etc. As of now, we have introduced a new category called 'Banners' where the clients’ business Logo will be displayed for an entire month. And the feedback we have got so far from our customers has been very encouraging. So, we look forward to delighting them even more.
We at YourStory wish Manica & Addie Mall all the very best. To know more, do check out http://www.addiemall.com. Also, please do share with us your views about this story by writing to us at [email protected].