A Snickers as "Marketing Strategy"

Marketing Strategy may be a slight overstatement, which is why I am using quotation marks. Nevertheless, this story is about how I got 1,000 downloads of my app with a Snickers bar.

The App

The story

I have been using the University of Costa Rica (UCR) internal bus system for a while now, along with thousands of other students, and most of us do not know the bus schedule. The only ones who know it are the clever ones who took a picture of the schedule that’s posted at the bus stops.
Frankly, I was too lazy to always be searching through all the files in my phone, including the countless photos that people send to Whatsapp groups. It’s not a difficult task, but perhaps the modern world has spoiled us with a desire for simpler and more efficient solutions.

In one of those moments when I was too lazy to figure out what time the bus left, I realized that when I got home, I could turn on the computer, grab those times, write them into an app and upload it on Google Play so people could use it.

In the modern world, we are unaccustomed to situations which involve tedious tasks, or perhaps we are so used to them that we do not perceive them. So every time you notice a moment like that, stop what you are doing, analyze the situation, because you have just found a “pain” that perhaps thousands of people like you suffer every day and thanks to that “pain,” you may have an opportunity to create a simpler, more efficient solution that solves the problem.

Returning to the main topic, I went home and made the app called Cazadora UCR (it means old bus in Spanish). I just thought about it for two nights and presto, I had an app! It was very simple and basically did nothing, it just displayed the times, but that was all that it needed to do. When I finished it, I was going to upload it to the Play Store, but I could not do so because I had to pay $25 to Google, which I did not have at that moment. :(

Translation: We are almost ready to load our first app into the PlayStore, but first we need to gather $25 to pay Google.
Translation: With the help of several friends, we collected the money so we could release the app! :D

and here is where the title of the post comes in…

The Famous “Marketing Strategy”

We already had the app, and now we needed people to know it existed. So I wrote a post on Facebook that said that among those who shared the post, I was going to raffle off a Snickers bar.

Raffle off a Snickers bar.

I shared the post in all the UCR Facebook groups and the response and numbers obtained were unbelievable.

  • 16,765 people reached.
  • 31 reactions.
  • Lost of comments from different groups.
  • 1000 downloads of the app!
  • A note in CRhoy (Digital newspaper on Costa Rica)
Translation: CRHoy published a note on #CazadoraUCR.

And all this with a simple Snickers bar! No paid advertising on Facebook, all this for the price of $1.20

Sometimes we think things through deeply and that’s good, but we learn a lot more by executing our ideas rather than simply thinking about them. Many solutions can be implemented and then improved. I’m not saying that everything should be executed this way, but with some things we can experiment and learn lots along the way!

I leave you with the phrase of the month:

Ideas are shit, execution is the game.

Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO & Founder VaynerMedia

This post was originally posted in spanish with the name Un Snickers como “Estrategia de Marketing” and translated with the help of David Grillot.

If you liked this story please click on the green heart and if you want to ask me something, please write to me at santi.viquez@gmail.com

Santiago Víquez Segura

Written by

Empredendedor, co-fundador de Agua Tibia

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