Written by Kevin Volz.
From television commercials to newspaper inserts to billboards, advertising is a fact of life in the 21st century. Marketing executives have worked for years to get messages in front of consumers in a noninvasive, widespread way. The advent of smartphones brought a new form of advertising that put the user in control, called push notifications. Users can opt in or out of receiving push notifications very easily. The end result? Marketers can directly target key users who take a personal stake in the brand and have allowed the brand’s messaging into their lives.
But what if your company doesn’t have an app? That’s where Roost comes into play. Roost is a tech startup from Toledo, Ohio that allows brands to send push notifications to those users who have opted in directly from their websites – no app required. This is a first-of-its-kind innovation, and the digital marketing world is starting to take notice. In fact, The Huffington Post recently named Roost and its widespread adoption as one of the top digital marketing predictions of 2015.
Roost was developed at LaunchPad, an incubator in Toledo, Ohio, funded by Ohio Third Frontier. Tim Varner and the other Roost co-founders hired a team of Toledo locals and went into LaunchPad with just a product concept. Varner says that these early days at LaunchPad helped his team identify their product market fit and provided the support that has allowed Roost to become the success story it is today.
One of Roost’s biggest accomplishments to date is its new integration with Hootsuite. Users of the popular social media platform can now connect Roost directly to their Hootsuite account and manage their website’s push notifications just like they do their social media activity. The seamless process will make Roost a key part of a marketing tool that is already used by businesses across the country.
“Push notifications will increasingly become part of the world we live in,” said Varner. “Using push notifications through mobile web allows companies to directly target their biggest fans and give them the content they want without making them look for it.”
Consumers who allow companies to reach them using push notifications are very engaged with the brand and act as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about the company to their family and friends. These people engage with the brand four times more per month than the average consumer and are nine times more likely to share social content about the brand. This is extremely beneficial for those small companies looking to grow quickly. As a founder of a small company himself, Varner knows how important these fans are to a business’ bottom line.
“A lot of companies can’t afford to develop an app or have too small of a user base to be able to justify spending money on one,” said Varner. “But they all have websites. We are hoping to get these companies in front of consumers in an affordable way to help them build their bank of brand ambassadors and their customer base.”