Ross Williams writes:
I would certainly recommend that you use PR to soften the ground before an initial approach. Focus on messaging that illustrates the demand for your application and the benefits to users and ISPs if possible. The third party endorsement that PR can deliver via the media is a great asset.
Vertical sector publications, regional press and niche titles, as well as online media, all offer routes to your target audience. Tailor your story to suit each media and wherever possible use case studies of happy customers to reinforce your point. A good PR consultancy can do this for you at a relatively low cost in comparison to advertising, but ensure that you give them a detailed brief.
In terms of then making the approach, this may depend on the specific application you’ve developed and the benefits it offers. Typically, you want to reach the IT managers and developers at an organisation as they are often the people that propose new technologies to their IT directors. It’s important to convince them that the application will save them time and is easy to use. In turn, they’ll convince their bosses the application will save the organisation money and free up their time to work on other projects.
Finding the right people is a door-knocking exercise, however, there are some short cuts: look at online communities such as LinkedIn and Facebook which may help identify relevant people, as well as your endeavours through ISPs’ own websites and switchboards. Attendance at relevant networking events can also point you in the right direction and help you find the champion within the ISP’s organisation that can make things happen.
Another route is to look at other non-competitive applications in the space that you want to be. If they have an operation targeting decision makers at the ISPs of interest and relevance to you, then maybe there’s a chance to double up and work together. In effect this might take the form of offering commission for every successful deal they engineer for you.
Alternatively you could buy their database and do it yourself, but this lacks the economies of scale. Partnering with companies that have this operation in place can be a very cost effective route to getting a win-win situation. There will also be the potential to add value where your application can combine with another one and this can create something bigger, and more appealing, then the sum of the parts.
Another benefit is if the right partnership develops, there will opportunities for this to deepen and impact on other areas such as research and development, operations, and marketing.
Ross Williams is the chairman and founder of WhiteLabelDating.com
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