Piggybacking on competitors’ ad spends [Marketing vs Sales]

I saw the Quikr ad that shows a girl who sells her mobile before the ball that she throws up in the air falls back into her hand.
And I saw the OLX ad that claims “Yahan sab kuch bikta hai” [“Anything can get sold here“], which shows two guys managing to convince their father to sell his old desktop as they already had a buyer through OLX.
And then, I looked at my old Sony Ericsson S312 which I had respectfully retired after upgrading myself to a smartphone.

And I decided to give these sites a try!

Now then, I googled for OLX (to get the exact URL), and the first site I got was OLX.com [I did not notice that OLX.in followed it on the search page]. Not knowing that this was a US specific website, I registered myself on it, and then when it asked for my city etc, I reached a dead end since it only had US cities.This was a turn off and I never looked at OLX again.
I went to Quikr, and registered successfully. Put up my ad saying an awesome looking phone is up for sale. It’s been about a month since I did that but still I have not got a single response from any of the ‘buyers’. [Granted, that model is a bit out of fashion now!]

I almost forgot about it when few days back I got a call from Sulekha saying they saw my ad on Quikr and if my phone is not sold yet they would like to put up the same ad on Sulekha. They created an account for me and I got a mail that an account has been created and an ad has been posted. I am yet to hear from any prospective ‘buyer’ through Sulekha as well, but I am intrigued at how a third company which did not spend $$ on expensive TVCs at all took advantage of a market being created by its competitors (since I put my ad on Quikr in the first place more because of the TVCs that I saw of Quikr and OLX rather than any inherent need for me to sell my old mobile phone). All that the guys at Sulekha did was do a bit more of grunt work (the ‘scan ads on competitor websites’ part) and an awesome customer service (I did not do ANYTHING at all, except giving them an OK for creating an account and an ad, they did everything else).

Perhaps this concept might be unique to the classifieds market, as the market seems to be seller driven (OLX claims “Yahan sab kuch bikhta hai” [“Anything can get sold here“], and not “Yahan sab kuch milta hai” [“Anything can be bought here“]!. The Quikr ad also ends with “Sell Anything Quikrrrr”!) – the classifieds portals need the people willing to sell more than (or BEFORE) the people willing to buy. Plus the fact that the ‘user acquisition’ done by one site is out in the open (on the internet) for competing sites to see (and target). But just goes to show how YOUR sales can take advantage of THEIR marketing!

Quikr ad

OLX Ad:

[Guest article contributed by Mandar Kulkarni. Reproduced from his blog]

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