I have been closely involved in the Startup scene for quite some time now, in fact for slightly more than a decade. During this course, I have experimented with different business models – Setting up, Legal aspects, product management, customer feedback, sales, the works.
Given the recent take-off in Cloud based businesses and with sometime in my hands, I decided to test the waters of the Cloud. For non-cloud folks, the Cloud represents a new way of using software – all you need is a PC, Browser and a Website link which allows you to access the software. For greater understanding of the Cloud, you can read the rest of my Blog posts.
So I tied up with a Cloud Provider as their reseller(more on that elsewhere) and started plotting my campaign. Fast forward, the product was ready, pricing catalog completed and branding done. Its time to jump into the lucrative(?) world of online ad campaigns. Given the nature of business, it was logical to try this with the new LinkedIn Ad product. simply put, I deduced I was in the B2B space and only corporate guys will buy this cloud software. Which means they pay a subscription month over month till they fall exhausted. While the subscription revenues pour in globally into my bank accounts. Or So I thought. You can check http://exult.runhosting.com for the full product details, with pricing et al.
Cutting short my logistics trip thru linkedin, Here I was on their Ad management site. So I created my Ad Campaign – Cloud Hosting. LinkedIn was kind enough to allow for two variations of the Ad. They were also kind enough to warn me to select payment only when someone clicks on my Ad(CTR) and not when someone sees my ad (CPC)
Then came the real campaign planning as you can see below. This took several hours of thinking and coffee whichever order you deem fit! So, I decided to do a Global campaign targetting decision makers with a Grand budget of $60 to be run for 24 hours.
And I pressed Confirm!
The Campaign launched globally! I ran it over a dawn to dusk schedule to cover the US and Europe market. There was no clicks or activity for the first few hours. So I had to retire to bed and wake up a Billionaire ! so as you can imagine the tension was palpable.
I jumped from my bed to check my LinkedIn account and my bank account simultaneously. I wasn’t sure if the bank was fast enough to credit my first billion so I kept another bank account on standby.
Sure enough, there were 3 folks who had clicked on my ads and wanted me to contact them. My heart skipped a beat. Sure enough, a Billion starts with a few dollars in the first place. and my ad had stopped giving me some more time to re-run my ads.
So I did tap away response emails with follow-up phone calls. To cut short my agony and sorrow, two of the leads didn’t respond to my mails. The third fellow from Delhi (of all places!) wanted to know how he can get a job away from India(at my expense and phone call). There ended my hopes of cruising the high seas as a Billionaire, the first Vegetarian One to conquer the Cloud.
Lesson Learnt: To earn a small fortune in Las Vegas, You first come with a Large fortune!
Still, I do have the satisfaction of creating a Global product, launching a Global campaign, reaching thousands of decision makers, all with an investment of $60 and in 24 hours. Thats the Power of the Cloud which is essentially what I set out to Prove and had a Complete Success!
If you would like more details, do drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post. I will revert. Meantime, here are the snapshots from the campaign.