June 25th, 2012. Last month, Assured Labor CEO, David Reich, spoke on an Internet Week panel entitled “Riding the Wave: Customer Acquisition in Emerging Markets”. Moderated by Erica Cantor of Mobile Global, co-panelists included Paul Gollash of Voxy and Daniel Osit of Ignighter.
The conversation spanned across a number of topics under the customer discovery and acquisition banner. Principal among these topics were the difficulties of monetizing users and collecting payments in markets with less developed credit and online payment tools, and the importance localizing the services of an international company. Critical, as asserted by all the panel’s participants, is to achieve a strong understanding of the local market and the company’s potential customers.
In one telling anecdote, David Reich tells of how, while speaking with potential users of Assured Labor in Brazil’s favelas, the team realized that many people in Brazil do not understand the concept of a username. When asked to register on the site with a username, the users asked the team to provide them with one. The concept simply didn’t translate. They finally realized they could overcome this barrier by having people register with their cellphone numbers, which everyone had and knew by heart.
The video (now posted by Internet Week) is a fascinating watch for anyone interested in emerging market startups.