A BROWSER MANIFESTO – PART 5
In a distribution business model, the consumer must journey to a destination where the product available to them has been chosen and arranged by the industry titans. In the Discovery Business Model, a consumer creates their own “store” that entirely consists of relevant product choices.
There are four parts of this product relevance. A consumer looking for something now enters a query into a search engine and they see organic results that are relevant to their desires, as well as sponsored results that are competing for their attention based on the interest implied by the query. Both are relevant but in unique ways – organic results are based on intellectual and theoretical relevance and the sponsored results are an auction where you are the winner.
Then there are all the recommendations from your friends. You get them in the form of links that appear in all your social media including Facebook, email, Twitter, Instant Messaging and even text messages. Finally, we now have recommendation engines figuring out what the consumer is actually doing and what they care about. So these four sources fill up a new kind of storefront.
The consumer then scans the headlines, text and images and clicks or taps on the ones that sound closest to what they are seeking. In the Discovery model, the consumer is then given an instant, free opportunity to actually try out the product in the browser, by being redirected to the cloud and to the website controlled by the owner of the content. There’s no distribution middleman or gatekeepers controlling access or shelf space; the consumer links directly to the product’s owner. For the consumer this requires no spending, no credit card on file, no downloads, no plug-ins, no spyware, nor any memberships in any clubs or networks. In fact you don’t even need to own the computer where you are using the browser. Nothing could be more convenient. “Social and Search” beat “Shelf”.
Because there is such a plurality of ways to spread a link socially and get free traffic, there is a tremendous increase in the efficiency of Cost Per Acquisition (effectiveCPA, or eCPA, and also true for improved CPC or CPI). Presuming the trial product experience is free, there is a quantum increase in customers actually having the product experience. Compare all of that to the number of people willing to schlep to the nearest GameStop to buy a $60 PC game. They have to pay and then won’t get to play until after they go home, spend an hour wrestling their graphics card and driver to the ground, and complete the install.
So we have a spectacular increase in efficiency of eCPA, trial completion and viral spread. Consumers are suddenly able to try a whole lot of stuff that they’ve never heard of, not unlike the early days of the World Wide Web and how the public stumbled on Yahoo!, Google, Facebook and other new-fangled services that have since become daily habits.
Just as traditional Hollywood brands have always trailed on the web, in Discovery it is not the brand that matters, it is the relevance of the free trial experience. The good IP (Intellectual Property) will win every time, and it will have been enabled by social media and browser Convenience with a Capital C. That’s how YouTube won and of course in the process they became a brand.
Unlike many channels that feel like the Soviet Union, here we have the truly open, free, fair, democratic and competitive World Wide Web. The playing field is level because scale is not required for success. Anyone that can make something good, something relevant, can win. They can control their own destiny and be free.
Fundamental Internet principles apply. You need to get some traffic somehow, somewhere. They need to like the experience. You need to get them to spread the word to bring your eCPA down. You need to make a form of content that monetizes, so that you have a favorable lift-to-drag ratio between acquisition and lifetime customer value. As soon as you confirm a favorable ratio even with 1,000 visitors, cha-ching, you know you can afford to reinvest your cash flow to drive more traffic and rapidly build up volume. New creations that have relevance will develop brand power at blinding speed. As an illustration, when a great Digital Chocolate game like Tower Bloxx was only available on feature phones through the primitive merchandise systems known as the carrier decks, you could do a Google search for that game and would only get 10,000 page hits. Then we put out a free browser version of the game and later adapted it to Facebook and today it has over 2,900,000 page hits. That’s a brand. We just launched a new game last year called Millionaire City; a Google search for “Millionaire City” + “game” yields almost 9,000,000 page hits. Our new game, Galaxy Life, is only a few days old and it has 270,000 page hits already.
Some platitudes come to mind. Content really is King. Knowledge is power. Power to the people. Power to the Indies. Liberte!