Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Marc Cowper, founder of Recomazing.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Recomazing is a new, free service for Aussies to find, share and store trusted business recommendations between their existing social network to get better customer experiences.
On the business side, we then help amazing Aussie businesses grow by rewarding their great customer service with positive recommendations between friends.
It's free for any service-based business to supercharge word of mouth and get customers recommending them to friends. However, if a business is interested in accessing unique insights into why their customers love them and how they can further growth through optimising their customer experience they can access paid profiles.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We have developed partnerships with high-propensity-to-recommend markets and demographics. For instance, the wedding industry runs off word of mouth so we have partnered with wedding sites such as weddingbuzz and weddingbids to help their businesses grow. We have done the same in the tradie industry with partners such as Conx and Home Design Directory.
We also know that you are highly likely to recommend a charitable event for friends to get involved with so provide free Premium upgrades to any registered charities and we have a partnership with GoFundraise, which service 900 of Australia's leading charities, to offer free Recomazing Platinum accounts to these clients.
We also know that millennial and mums have a very high propensity to recommend so we have partnerships in place to drive usage in these markets eg. MusicOz and Eastern Suburbs Mums.
From a financing point of view we charge our Platinum clients (eg Virgin Mobile, Open Colleges, Peter Warren Automotive Dealerships etc) for 6 month subscriptions upfront which provides the business with the necessary capital for operation.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Our top priority is maximising our per-user-metrics. We know that word of mouth is still the most influential factor on purchase decisions so the demand for friend recommendations is massive. Our biggest challenge is to better the current method that people use to access their friend recommendations and make an infinitely more valuable solution for people. If we can facilitate the conversation about amazing businesses, we can not only help Aussies in general but also those businesses that are truly creating great customer service.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Recomazing is all about friends helping each other find amazing businesses and it runs on recommendations only from your trusted friendship circle, instead of reviews from randoms.
There are no anonymous profiles which also helps to stop review fraud and gaming of the system. We don't allow incentivisation of recommendations to keep recommendations genuinely driven by consumers and there is no preference given in search results to paying clients.
Because we are about a closed network of friends we are able to mirror the natural word of mouth conversation to help them quickly find the best businesses - not to inundate them with all the negative experiences as well.
We also offer our paying clients globally unique data to help their business create better customer experiences.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Streak (for gmail): Since starting up Recomazing I have tried to increase productivity by using programs like Streak, which has got to be one of the best project management tools on the market. Streak is a free program that adds extra tools to Gmail to help you manage relationships directly within your inbox. From view tracking to CRM functionality this will definitely save you time.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
What you do for 'work' should work for you. Identify your passion and make a living from it.
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