Wow!! Facebook acquired WhatsApp in $19 bn. the news which almost made people jump out of their seats..
Guys who were denied jobs at Facebook has turned into billionaire over a period of mere 4 years.
A company who made people go mobile, Nokia sold at $7.2 bn. and a start-up like WhatsApp with barely any physical asset sold at almost thrice. So what was unique in WhatsApp lets dig it out-
Solution not Product
WhatsApp offered unique solutions to their consumers, a cross platform mobile messaging tool which was used to be a SMS.
Period when SMS was major messaging tool on mobile phones, which created revolution and made an stand out distinction over land-line phones. Same platform non SMS based messaging platforms were attracting mobile consumers. The blackberry users were on BBM and like wise other platforms.. Consumers were really enjoying the non SMS based messaging apps at the same time they felt constrained over messaging in similar fashion over cross mobile OS platforms. WhatsApp heaped on that need and launched first cross OS non SMS based mobile messaging tool. an instant hit, definitely not a product but a solution.Folks who were frustrated with MMS charges and technique felt in instant love with WhatsApp. WhatsApp’s strategy to convert mobile phonebook into a digital chat list was unique.. and this differentiated them from any messaging app, because for any messaging application inviting and adding was a first step which often been a painful deed. WhatsApp was quite simple and easy to adopt solution.
Need not Push- The Marketing strategy
I believe the WhatsApp Acquisition should be their biggest coverage in media.
The beauty of WhatsApp marketing lied in mouth to mouth publicity. They never pushed/propelled consumers to download or buy WhatsApp. If they had done that, might WhatsApp could never be what it is. Users when see such adverts they often get distracted and dont realize the need because of over marketing or may be focused on one aspect, The entire motive gets concentrated to one point which doesn’t gel with masses. WhatsApp team knew they had a good solution and people would use it because of their burning needs rather than making any push. This strategy worked in absolute terms. WhatsApp was free, people tried hands and they not only liked it but also recommended others to join in. Their attitude towards believing that users would realize the WhatsApp benefit and they would market it rather than they try hands was amazing. Users felt ease and there the battle won.
This kind of marketing clearly states that you don’t need resources to push the product but a strong solution to fulfill the user needs. WhatsApp team comprises of merely 55 resources.
The Right Time
They knew when to enter and exit.
WhatsApp team entered at a right time when the mobile based messaging was a burning need and users were looking for a similar kind of solution. No competition because of the clear cut competitive advantages. Their time of entry made them grow miles in a short span of 4 years. The simplicity of product made them do a geographic expansion on an immediate basis. The expansion and timely product upgrades kept users engaged. Features like Group made a revolutionary attempt to drive traffic from social networking users. Every time they hit the chord was a right time to do so then why not the exit.
WhatsApp is on peak, they drive more traffic than world’s largest social networking site. They knew that generating revenue from this would be a quite difficult task and would need a specialist to do so and bingo they exited the business to the social networking giant who has a hands-on experience in generating revenue from social traffic. Off-course this was a right time and place for them to exit this business.
WhatsApp’s unique strategies and executed in a right manner at right time made them a cash cow which other’s couldn’t do so..
I believe everyone had one or other learning through them, they have been exemplary.