3 Things: Pallet for Companies, B2B TikTok Ads, Magic Eraser but Opposite
Happy Sunday and a very warm welcome to all the new subscribers! I’m thrilled and honored to have you as readers and truly appreciate your thoughts and feedback 🙏. Each edition of 3 Things will contain a dive into 3 rabbit holes I’ve found myself going down recently and associated business opportunities. Subscribe to get each week’s edition straight to your inbox and if you enjoy it, please share (I suck at self-promotion so can use your help)! This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about:
Pallet for Companies
B2B TikTok Ads
Magic Eraser but Opposite
1. Pallet for Companies
For most companies, hiring the best people for the roles that need filling is harder than anything else when it comes to company building. The recruiting software market is growing rapidly and reaching a $3B annual market size, but the vast majority of dollars are still spent on services working with recruiting professionals and agencies where around $150B are spent each year! Many enterprises offer employee referral bonuses as there has been research to show that they are quite effective in getting candidates who progress further in the funnel, and it costs significantly less than using a recruiting firm. One challenge is that it can create a lack of diversity as most people know those who are similar to themselves. One interesting approach that I’ve seen recently is Pallet, which is playing off of a few trends including the rise of the Creator Economy, network-based hiring, and increased emphasis on community (in all permutations of that word).
Pallet focuses on individuals who have amassed a sizable following in a specific domain (ex Lenny Rachitsky whose Substack focuses on Product or Nikhil Krishnan who focuses on healthcare) and tries to turn them into mini hubs for talent. They offload the work of acting as a recruiter (or even just a connector) and tap into the creator or influencer’s network on one side, and bring in companies looking to hire folks who fit that description on the other. Given community is such a strong trend among both B2C and B2B businesses, there is an opportunity to create a similar concept but for companies. As startups build very specific communities, they are focused on keeping those people engaged and active and hoping to convert them to users, customers, evangelists, etc. In reality, unless you have built a user/customer community, very few members of a community are actually the perfect buyer or user… but they fit a very specific persona. Companies like Crossbeam, PartnerStack, and Reveal help companies tap into their partner network for opportunities and have been growing very fast. What if you could enable companies to tap into their communities to create hyper-targeted job boards? It could add additional revenue plus add value to the community and become a destination for new members who fit the mold.
2. B2B TikTok Ads
Anytime there is a new social media platform that takes off, the early companies who figure out how to leverage the ad platform reap the rewards. When Facebook was growing exponentially and first launched their mobile ads platform (2010) and lookalike audience features (2013), growth marketers had a field day using the rich data and amazing targeting functionality to get in front of very specific eyeballs. Companies that knew how to leverage the platform did very well and those who waited too long ended up with high CAC, high competition, and ultimately less than ideal results. With the current implosion of Twitter, the deprecation of 3rd party cookies, and anti-tracking measures introduced with iOS 14, both B2C and B2B marketers are scrambling to figure out where to find new customers. One place that today is still relatively unpenetrated, especially when it comes to B2B ads, is TikTok.
The growth of TikTok has been pretty astounding. What started out as a Chinese app called Douyin and an international lip-syncing app called Musical.ly merged in 2018 after Douyin’s parent company ByteDance purchased Musical.ly for close to $1B. By September 2021, TikTok had reached the 1 billion monthly active user mark. And people aren’t just using the app, they are addicted! Nearly one third of all installed users open the app daily and on average, users spend 95 minutes per day scrolling through videos. While the largest demographic of users skews GenZ, people of all ages use the app and nearly 45% of the US TikTok users are between 30-50. Most B2B companies don’t have the internal expertise to figure out to launch a TikTok ad campaign let alone do it well, so a services-based company could brand themselves as the experts in B2B-focused TikTok campaigns. They can do organic, influencer, and ad-driven programs and even just start out with a certain industry or niche to really nail the content for that audience. As TikTok’s ad platform continues to evolve, the company would be one step ahead in terms of taking advantage of new functionality.
3. Magic Eraser But Opposite
Photos and videos have become the dominant ways that people communicate on the internet. Social media platforms anchor around images and video, ads focus on the creative, and every website, blog, marketplace, etc is overflowing with imagery trying to engage the users and get them to take an action. In the early 2000s, sites like Flikr, Smugmug, Yahoo! Photos, Webshots, and many more cropped up as the first websites where people could share photos. Then, YouTube launched in 2005 and in that same year, had a video that hit 1 million views (a Nike ad)! By 2020 there were over 2 billion YouTube users which accounts for 1/3 of the entire internet user base and today, it is the 2nd most visited website on the internet. Plus, the rise of the smartphone means everyone now has a (very good) camera in their hands at all times, resulting in an unprecedented amount of photos and videos being captured and shared. As of 2022, there are 54,400 photos taken every second which works out to over 1.7 trillion per year.
Ultimately, we are all now photographers, videographers, and creative directors. While the true professionals have their expensive, powerful tools (like the entire Adobe suite), tons of products have cropped up to help average folks easily edit their content. Apps like Instagram and TikTok have taken off in large part due to their easy-to-use and robust editing features. One of my favorite independent tools out there is Magic Eraser which lets you highlight an object in an image and remove it like magic! For someone who is woefully bad at image/video editing, it’s so simple and just works. With the launch of some very powerful generative image models like DALLE-2, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, etc, someone could easily build the inverse of Magic Eraser. While the image models continue to get better and better, one thing they are quite good at right now is object replacement. You could either use natural language as a prompt or drag an image or icon from a folder and select exactly where on the working image you want it to go. Simple tool but feels like one that would get an insane amount of usage and could be rolled out as a Chrome Extension as well.
That’s all for today! If you have thoughts, comments, or want to get in touch, find me on Twitter at @ezelby and if you enjoyed this, please subscribe and share with a friend or two!
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