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Austin 360

Today, I shall be exploring a Business Model Canvas for Austin360.com. I’d never heard of Austin 360 until this assignment was given out, to be honest, so I figured I should pick that local media provider and research a little about it.

Customer Segment

Upon scouring the home page of the website, I was immediately overloaded with a bunch of information. Where to even begin? I guess the header would be a good starting point: “Austin TX entertainment, events, food, movies, music.” A little bit of everything, essentially. There are even blogs at the bottom of the home page if you’re looking for more content to digest. The tagline for the site, “what austin does” pretty much summarizes who the mass market is (as if the name Austin 360 wasn’t obvious enough): Austinites. Considering it’s Austin 360 and not Austin 45, it appears as if the niche market for this provider is just about everyone with an interest in being active with the community. There are tabs at the very top of the homepage that link to Hookem.com, a site that is most likely geared toward the UT community, or The Statesman. Considering that Austin is a highly community-oriented city, young/college-life centered, fit and healthy, perhaps a niche market would be adults ages 25-34 who have at least a bachelor’s degree or higher and are very active and in-the-know with their community, based on the demographic statistics pulled from the City of Austin. Also just by viewing the banner ads on the home page – for example, the Hanes one – I can tell that my guess is probably accurate based on the young models used in the advertisement. Considering that this age group is prone to getting most of their information via social networking sites or just online in general, having grown up with that lifestyle, it makes sense for Austin360.com to be available and accessible to them through this online vehicle.

Value Proposition

Austin 360 definitely has a little bit of everything to offer to this niche market of 25-34 year old college grads, all in one convenientlocation. At the very top is the weather forecast along with traffic news, perhaps to make it easy for readers to decide what to wear and what roads to take as they’re looking through the rest of the site for  all the many tabs, nicely organized for readers to get to what they want right away. The latest events, the newest movies, the hippest restaurants, etc. are easily and instantly searchable through the very top of the page, reflecting the active lifestyle of this customer segment. Right beneath that is the news with thumbnails for each main article, making it convenient for readers to give a cursory glance to it and decide quickly if the piece interests them or not. I find it interesting that blogs are at the very bottom of the home page, indicating that these people lead busy lives and probably don’t have time to look through blogs in the first place. So at the bottom it goes.

Customer Relationship

Relationships between Austin 360 and its customers is maintained mostly if not completely online by the looks of things. Consumers can subscribe to customized e-newsletters to get their daily, weekly, or even monthly digest. Austin 360 also maintains an active Twitter feed, aligning again with their busy consumers. It constantly updates with news of what is going on around Austin, and it’s obvious that it’s not just rambling to no one with a hefty 25,000 followers, approximately. Based on these facts, Austin 360 is the go-to guru for people to go to in order to quickly and thoroughly get an assessment of what is going on around the Live Music Capital of the World.

Channel

The most efficient way to reach this customer segment is through the internet because 1) these people are on the go, 2) they probably own smart phones and have access to mobile data plans. As I said earlier, Austin 360 also maintains an active Twitter feed, so consumers could easily subscribe to these updates on their phones as well. There’s no need for a tangible version of this information, and that probably saves Austin 360 printing costs.

Revenues

As with many online sites that provide free content to its subscribers and the general public, Austin 360 also generates its main source of revenue through advertising. Under its Privacy Policy section, the site states that it relies quite heavily on advertisers to sponsor it. Of course, these advertisers are able to collect data on whoever goes through the site and/or clicks on their ads, but most of the advertisements are actually related to the site itself, and there is really only one area on the top right where a banner advertisement unrelated to the site is seen. It’s quite nice that despite relying on advertisements for income, Austin 360 still maintains a nice, clean layout, which will certainly contribute to a healthy customer relationship.

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About Mai

Undergraduate advertising and marketing major at UT Austin blogging for a Customer Insights and Experiences course. Follow me, it'll be fun. I can't promise candy, though.

One response to “Austin 360

  1. Swapna ⋅

    Mai- Austin 360 does seem to be very popular among the youth in Austin, and they seem to have found a way to connect with their target segments. You make a reference to the relationship between placement of content and appeal- I think that’s a very interesting topic.

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