Business Development · Marketing

Best way to get a lot of users in small geographic area?

Craig Merry CEO/Founder of Beacon Safety Co. and Operations Coordinator at Purple Communications, Inc.

October 8th, 2015

I have a very specific function in my app that is dependent on a lot of transportation drivers in a small area. How you would go about growing the number of users in a given area? Would you hire a marketing firm? Buy mobile advertisements? Partner with an existing mapping service? My initial thought was to grow the "" as a brand - independent of big car companies or existing mapping providers. My focus here is to build trust (grow user bases) so that the service will keep users' data anonymous.

company web site:

app: (it's not ready but some of it is live)

edit: the app itself is made for all kinds of transportation: car drivers, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, buses etc.

thanks for the responses already - I have thoughts on this first venture but not validation on business decisions.

edit2: I received a lot of great ideas here - I wanted to thank you all :)

I think I'll try to get it to go viral in a "busy" city that is primed for a good adoption rate out of the gate. 

The major incentive for users is to be more aware of their surroundings - I've read too many reports on bicycling vs. cars and I want to help in a way that isn't "creepy". A benchmark could be something like 
"ambulance response and delivery rates drop time marks to help get people to the hospital faster".  There's some additional features planned - like Augmented Reality and Google Glass support along with enterprise dispatching and a private IoT service to track personal things along with analysis.

Nicklas Jonsson Vice President, Moto Mods Product Management & Business Development at Motorola Mobility

October 8th, 2015

Craig, I would find an existing app/service that has Incentive to distribute your solution and grow w them. My Best Nicklas +1 425 591 2210

Robert Hoskins (4,400+)

October 8th, 2015

I would recommend reading "The Lean Startup," which is considered a bible for app developers. It goes into a great deal exactly what "to do" and what "not to do" to grow both an app's customer database, repetitive use as well as the app's UX and functionality. I'm not an app developer, but it was such a enjoyable read it was hard to put down. 

James D. Learning and Growing Daily!

October 8th, 2015


In many cases entrepreneurs put the cart before the horse. Virality in an app has to be built in and planned out well before the thought of writing any code goes forth and a product is released.

I agree with Robert, The Lean Startup is a great starting point to help you get outside the building and make sure you are building something people actually want.

Now let's deal with where you are and giving you info that can help you move forward.

A best kept secret is Facebook dark post. They are going to be your best bet. You can cost effectively target your demographic with laser precision.

I would open up a blog on which specializes in bites sized blogs to satisfy the busy on the go person who doesn't have all day to read an extended blog post, and give you a start on organic reach.

Take that content (good content) and post it to your targeted demographic on Facebook to drive people to your app.

Good luck and God speed!

Frank III Founder & CHO (Chief Helping Officer) at CareerLightning

October 12th, 2015

If you are trying to get users in a limited geographic area, have you considered trying to contact and / or partner with either commercial or municipal users with vehicle fleets?  A few thoughts...

1.  People who make a living driving a vehicle (bike messenger, bus driver, delivery driver, truck driver, etc.) might be a good group from which to solicit feedback on the app.

2.  The companies that employ drivers might be interested in something that can improve their safety and thus their bottom line.

3.  Keep in mind that a lot of cities/counties/states/etc. require mobile devices to be "hands-free" when used in a vehicle.

Best of luck with your venture!!!!!

Mathieson Sterling Senior Software Engineer at Apprenda

October 8th, 2015

If it's a small area, and the people have a common trait (drivers), why not just pass out promotions at places local drivers go to? Car washes, gas stations, etc?

Dina Destreza Digital Content Manager at Keyideas Infotech

October 9th, 2015

It's a great concept Craig. Go for incent-based marketing activities. For instance, inform the drivers to get themselves registered on this app and if they refer it to their friends of the same profession, give them F&B coupons where they can hang out with fellow drivers. F&B coupons can be in the form of meals, lunch, dinner or Happy Hours. It can also be a number of movie ticket deals with their families. Once you have a good database of the drivers, you can start promoting the app in order to increase installs and you can start monetizing the app as per your preferences. Good luck. Regards, Dina

Sean Sullivan Marketing Evangelist @Selas Technologies, LLC | Digital Strategist | Startup Enthusiast | Entrepreneur

October 8th, 2015


From another view and i know that you are looking for specific target market which can easily make things more challenging. However, at the same time, possibly easier. From an SEO standpoint, you only have two social media channels on your website, using more channels such as Pinterest and Instagram just to name two of them, which are free, are highly underutilized tools for brand awareness and SEO.

If you already know about SEO than sorry for stating the obvious, but in SEO targeting a statewide campaign is more challenging and takes more time. However, when going after a specific city/county inside the state is much more realistic and time efficient. For this your site will need more content.

Granted all of this is based on your budget and how fast you are looking to scale. If the product is not fully live, than consider your growth and UX experience for the first coming users.

If you would like to talk:
954 629 1123

Rohan Cornelio PR/ Digital Communications Professional

October 9th, 2015

Why don't you grow usage by having current users promote it within their network? I would expect drivers to know drivers (or transporters). What's in it for users to adopt? Safety, keeping track of people's locations, etc? But a kind of peer-to-peer/Word of mouth initiative would be helpful. All the best!

Chris Book 15min to see The Best Sales Weapon Ever:

October 8th, 2015

Craig - I have a perfect, sure way to do what you're trying to, but I don't market publicly and can only show 1-on-1. Reach out to chris at search quant dot net if you'd like.