What to do when your app’s target market is off-target

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I have student in my Information Technology Strategy class that has what we all like to call, a “good problem”. They’ve released an app called¬†Who’s Like Me¬†(not site yet) and has had some success with the number of downloads. The issue is, these downloads are happening nowhere near the US target market. In short, the app makes use of your zip code to help you find people like you but the current users are in the Middle East and Asia. Their data is not international.

In my opinion there is a small window of opportunity where they could reach out to their current users, to see what kind of information is relevant to them in their culture. (The questionnaire is fairly western in focus.) Everything from; Are zip codes the best way to help you find people like you or are neighborhoods more useful? to What kind of information should we be asking?

Who’s Like Me, have the rare opportunity to collaborate with their users to determine how best to serve them. I believe the easiest way to start the conversation is to send out a push alert asking them help build improve the product. I would do this of course AFTER I determined which method of communication would work best: survey, phone call, etc. I would also work to find the best translator(s) – preferably someone who grew up in the culture and understands technology – to help reduce¬†miscommunications.

I’ve seen several businesses in my time fight trends in order to capture what they considered a more attractive market. I’ve also seen all of those businesses fail. We’ll see if Who’s Like Me can take advantage of their emerging market.

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I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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