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How To Build A Strong IP Portfolio: rPost CEO Zafar Khan (Part 4)

Posted on Sunday, Sep 25th 2011

Sramana: What was the go to market strategy that you followed beyond your guerilla marketing efforts? How did you drive greater user adoption?

Zafar Khan: For Registered Email we focused on a global business plan and devised a strategy to make our service the global business standard. We wanted to be the international standard for electronic messages to be able to show who says what, when. At the same time we noticed a great decline in postal service business due to people moving more of their correspondence to email. That postal decline has even increased more the past two years.

We focused on trying to see if we could get postal services around the world to partner with rPost. The concept was to get them to launch rPost via their post offices and offer it as a branded service in their country. That was challenging and I think we were early in that market. We did find interest and were able to sign on a number of postal services to do this. We have more and more postal services signing on as we speak.

Another key to getting better user adoption was to gain a deeper understanding of the various use cases in the marketplace. We did that by looking at industry vertical after industry vertical. We had to take a more consultative approach and understand exactly why people were using the rPost service, what they were using rPost in place of, and then sign on customers in different industries. Once we had enough knowledge about the use case we then tried to replicate that use case across the other companies in that industry through a niche vertical marketing strategy.

Sramana: Could you give detail about some of the niche use cases that you were able to identify through that process?

Zafar Khan: Early on the most obvious one that came up were agents and brokers in the middle of a transaction. They are the ones who tend to have a significant amount of liability if something goes wrong with that transaction. Insurance agents and brokers are a good example. If they are in the middle of an insurance transaction then they will deal with a lot of notices that are time dependent such as a potential claim that a broker sends on behalf of their client to the insurance carrier. If there is a missing notice then coverage may be in jeopardy. There are a lot of reasons that insurance brokers would want proof of delivery of time dependent notices.

The same applies to real estate. If you have an agent in the middle of a transaction may be dealing with contingencies over the phone. Someone must write out what the contingencies were and detail them to all parties. If you do so you definitely want a record. It is easy to change a conversation in email with a couple of clicks of a mouse.

Travel agents also have a lot of the same issues with group travel. They would often be in a situation where there was an issue with one of the bookings and they want to have a record that what they booked had been communicated to the client at a known point in time. We found that we could make headway with this approach, but when you are ahead of the market then you really need to continue to build a foundation and sustain business growth while the market catches up. There are some macro technical events in the marketplace that have really formed the current rate of demand that we see today.

This segment is part 4 in the series : How To Build A Strong IP Portfolio: rPost CEO Zafar Khan
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