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What are some of the best marketing methods for multi sided market places?

We have Merchants and end users and we are trying to figure out how to balance our customer sign ups for our pilot in late fall.

4 Replies

Chuck Bartok
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Chuck Bartok Entrepreneur
Marketing and Sales Manager at MD Building Systems of Florida, Inc
I do not understand the question?
Guess not familiar with
multi-sided market places?


David Whitaker
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David Whitaker Entrepreneur
Products People Love. For Health, Finance, and Sports.
As a general rule, you want to focus on the merchants first. We can assume that the merchants will always be merchants, and thus will always be interested in serving new customers whenever they make themselves known. Merchants don't necessarily need to see immediate customers, they just need to be convinced that the opportunity to gain customers truly exists. Unless you are charging some kind of fee upfront (usually not recommended), then I believe at least some of your merchant prospects will be happy to sign up and wait.

There is also an opportunity to sell exclusivity (maybe a waiting list?), depending on your business model, and the type of marketplace your building. If you can make it cool for merchants to be first then you have something special. You can also make your early merchants part of your growth strategy if they're adequately incentivized to promote their presence on your platform to their customers and prospects.

On the other hand, the end users or customers, may only have a need at a specific point in time, so when they come knocking, somebody better be there to open the door.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your launch!
Peter Pudaite
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Peter Pudaite Entrepreneur
Technology Strategist and Tinkerer
If you step back completely and look at the demand & supply equation ask yourself the following:
  1. Who has the power balance of power, the demand side or the supply side? Who ever has the least power will give you the time and effort to make a market.
  2. Where are the players and how hard are they to reach? Those who are easiest to access or cheapest to motivate to act should be those you reach out to earliest as they can be easier to re-engage if market momentum building is slow or there are glitches. Those that are most expensive to reach should be retained aggressively through offers or superior experience.
  3. What alternatives do the different sides of the market have. Those with fewer individual choices are those who will be engaged longer with the market.
  4. What do they want from the market? Those with a long term interest in the market are those who will work with you and make the market work. You should probably choose to employ some sort of personal/high touch relationship approach. Those with shorter term interest will be less forgiving of problems.

Essentially it boils down to who will wait the longest for you to make the market. In general terms those who are doing the selling should be the focus of your initial marketing making efforts. But keep in mind who is doing the selling can flip depending on the market balance. In a recession, job seekers are the sellers, in a high growth market, it's the employers.
Philip Aronson
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Philip Aronson Entrepreneur
QDog Productions LLC
I am actually thinking a bit about this before commenting, but generally, those consumers that can be defined as most likely to respond would be considered the most focused or targeted. Therefore, they will be considered the most valuable and certainly cost the most to message.
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