If I had a dime for every time someone asked us why only web push notifications, we would have a million dollars in our bank.
We are days from completing 3 years as a business and it recently dawned upon me that we haven't talked about why we picked up web push notification and have this enough. In public. For the uninitiated, we started on 8th Feb 2015.
While everyone @ iZooto understands this, I will take a step back and talk about what is it that led to the genesis of the product and then explain why have we kept ourselves laser focused (or limited) to only web push notifications as a channel and not attempted building an omni-channel marketing platform.
Stepping Back For Macro Trends
This decade was the decade of mobile. Analysts across the globe tagged every year of this decade as the year of mobile and right fully so. Mobile consumption surpassed Desktop 5 years ago. In the world of technology, that's a lifetime.
More importantly, the years from 2011-2015, the world saw -
- Massive rise in adoption of Smartphones
- Building software for mobile platforms has become easier
- From Mobile Also, to Mobile First to Mobile only
While technology solved many a problems around development, here is the one thing that has not changed or become only more difficult i.e
- Distribution. For both products and software
- User Attention and User Engagement
Driving app installations and then engaging and retaining these users, over the years has only become more and more difficult. Ace that with the fact that the top 10 list of apps on the app stores across the key categories have been pretty much the same. Practically 0 movement there. This was back in 2015.
The graph for customer acquisition cost for venture backed startups looks like this
Credit - David Perell's post on Customer Acquisition Parade
Prior to iZooto, we were deeply entrenched in the ad-tech ecosystem and worked with both online retailers and publishers. We understood how marketers by and large depended on paid media - for both new user acquisition, retargeting and very few had (little) focus on user retention. The roll-out of chrome push notification API was the real trigger for us to build a product and test our hypothesis that relying on app distribution to build user engagement is equivalent to betting on a limping horse in a derby.
The hypothesis we started iZooto was simple -
- Brands need to solve the problem of user engagement and retention
- Their focus needs to shift from buying "media' to owning media assets.
Moving Away From Visitors
The relevance of website traffic or number of page views over the last decade has reduce. Marketers are now more and more vested in the idea of building and owning their audience. Every business has their own customer profile, and their marketing efforts are now measured on the outcomes, website traffic and number of page views is increasingly becoming a vanity metric.
Obsessing with Building and Owning Audience
In the last few years, we have been witness to layoffs across media houses and the rise of Amazon as the ultimate gatekeeper of warehouses. Marketers are increasingly realizing that their future depends on them owning their audience and not depending upon the walled gardens.
As David Perell says, "The future of holding companies will be built around audiences, not industries."
Why Not Add More Channels?
Because we are in the business of helping you build and understand your audience. Once you understand your audience, communication really becomes a simpler problem to solve. We started with web push notifications and could comfortably add Email and SMS to this stack but first - focus on building your audience.