Monday, August 18, 2008

iPhone App Ad Networks: Post 2 AppLoop

So, I have a big soft spot for the "two guys in a garage" sort of start-ups -- companies led by people with vision, commitment, and a belief in themselves and what they are doing.

BTW, the garage part is optional in my idyllic daydreams, and I have no illusion that in AppLoop's case there are two Eames chairs and drafting tables sitting next to a 74 Pontiac FireBird (with decal.) But founders Eric Kerr and Jacob Eiting are going it alone, and seem to be rightly proud of that. They are, in their own words not looking for venture.

They also both look smart, which of course is neither here nor there, but there ya go. Importantly, they have much better haircuts than Jobs and Wozniak had when they got their start. So years from now when they are millionaires there won't be any embarrassing pics to make them cringe. These two guys clearly have got it together. I am quite impressed by their offering and the way they present it and themselves on their site. Based upon their profiles, they are also very likable.

See their demo here:

AppLoop Demo from AppLoop on Vimeo.

Their focus appears to be geography, as in targeting ads by location, which also supports a DIY advertising model that can be appealing to local as well as distributed national businesses. As their site explains,

AppLoop connects your business with early-adopting, wealthy, and active consumers while they're on the go and looking to spend money. iPhone users are market mavens - will they drive their peers to your brand?

There's is a self service model for developers, and the documentation is so simple and easy to understand even I could understand it.

For developers they offer an analytics package outlining:

New Installs
Engagement (Usage)
Georgraphy (Nation, State, City)
Revenue Earned

For advertisers, they offer an easy to use DIY model that lets you track individual ads and set targeting geographies quickly and easily. Their's is a CPC model a la Google AdWords. that at least takes the risk out of advertising in this nascent media area.

Naturally, two guys running a business are focusing on DIY, and have wisely built their business around geography and local advertising, where DIY text ads have been demonstrated to be both popular with advertisers and acceptable to consumers.

The ad biz is a tough one, and it remains to be seen whether a bootstrap business like this can win the game. But perhaps winning in their case will be in selling their system to another ad network relatively quickly - having a small advertiser DIY solution could be of significant benefit for many ad networks struggling to achieve their own forms of critical mass.

I genuinely wish them all the best. They are EXACTLY the sort of people that move digital forward faster.

Thanks for reading, and don't forget to write.

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