I don't want your 1+1 pizza
One of the first rejections 1 Mile received from a startup accelerator came with some ‘Gyaan’. The guy asked me politely if I was open to receiving some ‘Gyaan’ which in its simplicity meant criticism for the business model. I flew through most of what he had to offer but one thing stuck in my mind. He said that internet has what was called the “1-9-99” rule. The rule, very simply says that 1% of the entire internet population creates content, 9% acts on it and 99% skims through it. This seems to be true, although the numbers may be exaggerated (Yes! Exaggerated!)
Now, I thought to myself, this is also true for offline businesses advertising on the internet. The businesses(the 1%) create content, 9% act on it. Let us focus on this 9%. Say, the business is in Delhi. From the concept of internet, it is safe to say that all of those 9% may not be in Delhi. Hell, even 10% of those 9% may not be in Delhi. Does this mean that internet is not a good marketing channel for offline businesses? Maybe and maybe not.
One of the advantages of internet is that it being a product of man’s imagination makes anything possible (remember ‘The Matrix’?). Now, I can mold the internet in such a way that it enables offline businesses to reach at least 50% of its potential market. This is how
In India, every market is concentrated. To buy clothes, we go to Lajpat Nagar (Ladies, are you listening?), to buy a smartphone, we go to Gaffar in Karol bagh, laptop, Nehru Place and so on. I am from Delhi so I am quoting examples from Delhi but it is true for any city in India. These markets also happen to be within a 1-mile radius. So, if you’re in Lajpat Nagar, chances are pretty high that you’re there to buy clothes or to help your girlfriend buy some.
Now, what if we connect a shop selling clothes to everyone in Lajpat Nagar, in real time. You’d have a marketing channel that is effective, efficient and clutter free.
Look at any marketing channel that offline retailers use. Domino’s keep spamming my inbox even when I don’t want a pizza, Builders keep spamming my inbox even if I don’t have money to pay for even a single EMI. Why is there so much marketing activity in the world? Because no one has figured out a way to connect to their potential customer effectively so they just keep shooting arrows in the dark and hope it sticks somewhere it is supposed to.
Now, I’m not saying 1 Mile is the best there can ever be. But, based on my previous experience, I can say it is better than anything out there currently.
Here is a link if you ever wanna go shopping outside of your laptop.