FAQ

  • How can the cost of the app be offset? 
    • We anticipated that users would like to offset the cost of the app. Costs can be recovered through a combination of means. We believe that the interest in penetrating the ‘hyper-local’ ad space is such that apps like this will become profit centers for you. As that market continues to develop here is what can be done now:
      • A banner ad on the landing page offered at a low introductory price of say $5 per day ($10 for non-members) could recover half the monthly cost provided there is a 100 percent sell out at the member rate of $5 per day. Studies are showing this sort of ad is very effective. After an introductory period the cost could be increased.
        • The two-tier nature of the ad would allow you to demonstrate a member benefit.
      • A text crawl. You can see a crawl on Doonesbury.slate.com (The Mudline) and elsewhere on mobile apps. I have no information on how effective this channel is for advertising.
      • Featured business tabs are very easy to create. Not only could these be sold to members and non-members (at a premium for non-members), but this feature could be used by your association to promote events, new business openings and other matters of importance to the community.
      • Access to the app stream could be sold as a feature independent of membership.
      • Event sales commissions (Using such means as Eventbrite).
      • Some apps features could be sold as stand alone apps to consumers.

 

  • We see weather, news and feeds from restaurants and stores. What other sorts of information can be displayed?
    • The power of the app is the real-time access to data. Data could be a dinner special, news, statistics, parking and traffic access, weather.  Here’s more examples:
      • Consumer loyalty programs.
      • GPS trail (walking tour).
      • Electronic coupons.
      • Open parking spots (would require real time updating by lot owners).
      • Public safety (weather, crime, traffic and so on).
      • Menus and reservations.

 

  • Who controls content?
    • Who controls content? You do. The app is provided under a standard Ad Contract. You are directing us what to serve in that format.
      • On a related matter, You are our customer. The consumer is Your customer. The member is a stakeholder in Your business. This is not The Bulldog. This is not about journalism.

     


  • Is this a fad?
    • Mobile devices are outselling desktop and laptop devices. There are more active mobile devices in this country than population. We are confident that the wave is starting, not peaking. As these devices become more powerful and more uses are developed for them, their use will grow.

 

  • How do we market this?
    • We include marketing templates for you to use. We will share with you and your membership the results of our marketing of the app in Northcenter. That study is not only going to point to the most economic manner of marketing the app, but it has implications on how small businesses should spend their marketing dollars.
      • Our templates were created anticipating the need for local buy-in by your membership. They can change the design, give out the contracts for printing and distribution. That creates a level of ownership in the process.

     


  • This is a lot of work. 
    • For most small businesses we recommend five minutes a day on social media. A majority of small businesses are already generating content which the app can capture. As a result, no, for the majority of small businesses there is no additional effort and with our direction, you can streamline your efforts.
    • The app places small business on a playing field where they can beat larger businesses (due to the speed of approval needed for posts and technical limits we’ve begun placing on feeds from national corporate offices).
    • The app anticipates Facebook changes. It encourages best practices in social media. BUT for most businesses this is not requiring new efforts. We are using existing work by your members, taking their threads and weaving them into this product.
    • The app anticipates the use of alerts for public safety alerts and other uses such as geo-fencing. We’ve already planned for it. Again, no additional work on the part of the majority of businesses.

 

  • Who is the minority of businesses you allude to?
    • There are many businesses, but less than a majority, that have only have static web pages or no presence on the Internet. Our best guess is that 40 percent of the businesses, generally in the service sector (accountants, lawyers, general practitioners and so on), have not fully joined the online conversation. Most restaurants and retail stores have joined the conversation in some form that we can capture.