Smart business model

Written by Vince Thompson, Contributing Editor

Lon Otremba, CEO of Access360Media, knows all too well the challenges facing the many companies looking to build advertising networks in malls and stores across our country. Before Access360 Lon was the CEO of Muzak and learned about the extraordinary costs of deploying and maintaining equipment in multiple locations. Now as part of an industry where many startup firms looking to find gold by selling ads on flat panels in various locations are struggling, Access360 is thriving with a different approach.

What exactly does 360AccessMedia do?

We are an integrated media company focused on young adults. We essentially turn retail environments into media environments. Our audience of primarily 14-34 years olds likes to socialize outside of their homes…they like to shop…they like to hang out. Understanding this, many of the retailers focused on young adults started installing screens in their stores and adding soundtracks to make the stores more welcoming and ultimately increase sales. What we do is take advantage of that platform. We have contracts with 18 different retailers and we have the rights to program their video screens as well as turn the rest of their stores into media environments. We do this with mobile elements, static signage, product sampling and promotions on the retailer’s websites. Then we offer advertisers the chance to reach these consumers who are spending time with our store partners. With about 140 million store visits by young adults each month we have quite a compelling media story.

So instead of building your own screens and paying hardware costs you are simply building a business on assets that already exists?

Exactly, we take advantage of existing screens and then use our other marketing programs to expand the opportunity for marketers.

How has the slowdown in advertising affected you business?

I think it has affected everyone. Luckily we’ve been on a steep growth curve and we’ve built new revenue streams.

Would adding new revenue streams be your Smart move of 09?

Yes, seeing the potential slowdown in advertising a while ago we went to work expanding our mobile offering by creating an end to end mobile communications platform for marketers. So in addition to selling advertising in our environments we offer marketers a way to sign up, program to and manage consumers who wish to their mobile devices to communicate. Mobile is very exciting business for us.

Another Smart move came in the form of raising capital and preserving it. We raised enough money before the storm to ensure that we can execute on our vision.

What’s your worst business move?

Looking back I lived with some problems a little longer than I should have. In my gut I knew I needed to make some changes and those problems have reminded me to always trust my gut.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?

Nothing beats a great business idea. There’s lots you can make up for but you can’t make a great business out of a bad of mediocre idea.

So first...have a great idea.

Second…Don’t let a lack of capital or the fear of a lack of capital detour you. I came to entrepreneurship later after being a company guy and learned that when you have a great idea the money will be there.

Want to visit Access360Media? Click Here

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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