A local and regional startup is now planning to tackle marketing challenges in the tobacco industry.
No matter what opinion you have about the tobacco industry, we should all agree that the marketing in that sector is very demanding to say the least. Restrictive regulations on product advertising will soon become even tighter, including new packages which will contain very descriptive warnings. So, why would a local startup even consider tackling this issue? Well, they do have experience in the industry and are tempted to try to overcome the existing challenges. Plus, if they succeed, their model can be replicated in many other sectors, said GoooShop co-founder Vladimir Bulat, reports Netokracija on 9 July, 2016.
If you are buying products at kiosks in Croatia, you have probably encountered the ads for GoooShop, a mobile application which directs you to the place where you can get the desired tobacco product – you choose the product and the application shows nearby shops that have it on stock. Smokers are well aware that not all stores carry all the brands. It depends on their agreements with distributors, and bearing in mind that tobacco products cannot be advertised at retail places you do not really know what each shop offers before you talk to the salesperson.
And this is how it all started – GoooShop created a database of products and stores. Vladimir, who has two decades of experience with distribution in tobacco industry, says that they now have such a comprehensive base of cigars that they have decided to present this solution in Cuba in order to expand the service to the global market.
But, what eventually happened was that the more people used the app they needed it less. Over time, they learn where to buy the products, which led to decreased activity. That was the turning point for GoooShop.
The tobacco industry usually communicates with users one-on-one, with the help of promoters on the ground, and the team wanted to digitize this experience. Today, via GoooShop, anyone can become a promoter in their digital environment by creating the in-app content which has nothing to do with the consumption of the product, but it has to do with the topic chosen by a client. The user can share the content via a link and the aim is to share it privately using the messenger. As the content becomes more popular, users can make money.
Although most of the members of the team come from Serbia, where they became a part of the startup accelerator StartLabs a few months ago and where they are developing the app, the product is being tested in Croatia, mostly in the Split area, where one of the team members responsible for the data is located.
“We had a strong promotion last summer in Croatia, with an emphasis on Split, where the most of our users live. But, we are currently not working on any marketing activities because we first want to see how our existing customer base, 13,000 of them, is reacting”, the team concluded.