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The ‘EP’ strategy for fast, free traffic from big companies 🚗
OpenAI just gave us a time-sensitive marketing opportunity
This week, OpenAI launched the GPT Store, a new AI marketplace. Think of it like an app store: Anyone can now create their own custom version of ChatGPT and add it to the store (in ~15 minutes).
🧠 Emerging Platforms 101
The GPT Store falls under the category of “Emerging Platforms” (EPs):
Emerging Platform = a network with a huge number of users that needs supply.
Let’s break that down:
a network = social media network / app store
with a huge number of users = existing audience1
that needs supply: things for users to explore and use, such as apps or content
⛳️ Examples of EPs
(1) Any social media network you can think of (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin)—started as an EP. Earlier in 2023, Threads by Meta was an EP, and in 2022 it was YouTube Shorts. Both of these platforms craved more content, so they gave unbelievable amounts of traffic to those who invested there.
(2) Any app store you can think of (Apple App Store, Android Play Store)—also started as an EP. The first apps were featured by Steve Jobs himself, on stage at Apple conferences!
(3) There are some B2B examples too, like the Slack App Directory.
🥇 The Power of Being First
Here’s why EPs are a huge marketing opportunity: Since they need “supply”, they give extra love to those who submit apps and content first.
The marketing idea is to leverage them fast: 🏎️ Be the first to supply apps and content on EPs, and you'll get TONS of free traffic.
If there is a new social media network: Be fast and start posting loads of quality content there.
If there is a new app store or marketplace: Be fast and submit a custom version of your app to the new store.
New platforms often promote early adopters to showcase their booming ecosystem. This means significant free traffic and visibility for your app or content, as platforms reward those who help fill their initial content gap.
They will go above and beyond to reward you—because without you the platform ceases to hold value.
There’s also a Snowball Effect here: Being early allows you to grow with the platform. Think about the early days of the Apple app store or Shopify app store in 2009. Those who joined early benefited immensely over time.
🧗♀️ Real Success Stories
Let’s review five examples of brands that broke out on the back of EPs:
1) Nas Daily uploaded 600 daily videos with 100K views each. One random day in 2017, he posted just another video, and it blew up. This one video earned 25 million views, and ever since then—his videos did pretty well.
And it’s not because of a change in quality. Not at all. As he would later tell in his talks, it was because Facebook decided to double down on videos, and the algorithm change occurred that exact day. In other words, on January 4th, 2017, there was a new EP in town: Facebook Videos. Since Facebook wanted to grow this new platform among users, it gave lots of “love” to the supply side of the equation (the video creators).
2) A famous story about WhatsApp I couldn't verify is that its founders kept changing the name of the app so it would be featured in the "What's new" section with every update.
3) Postman was one of the first extensions on Google Chrome and was featured in the Chrome Extension Store in 2012 which gave them a huge boost. Founders attributed it to growth thereafter too.
4) To this day, Docusign is one of the most popular integrations on the Salesforce AppExchange
5) Evernote took advantage of this by being among the first apps on every single mobile operating system, and every new operating system since its inception. It was one of the first apps on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Windows 8, and it constantly provides updates to all of these systems. By being one of the first apps on every platform, it cemented its role as the note-taking app.
🦄 The “GPT Store” is a Marketing Dream
Being early in the GPT Store (as with any other EP) means gaining significant exposure for free. OpenAI is set to promote early apps, leading to more visibility and growth.
They even said it themselves (see yellow highlight):
So, we need to do something to feature our brand on the GPT Store. What can we do? Even if we’re not in the AI business, the possibilities are endless:
Fintech → Personalized financial advisor, based on the data and insights that the company has already gathered.
HR tech → Recruitment assistant, that can help with screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and even suggesting the next steps of any hiring process.
Marketing software → Content generator, social media strategy, trend analysis, feedback on campaigns, etc.
Legal tech → Legal advisor for startups (early-stage advice only); guidance on incorporation, intellectual property, contract reviews, and more.
Imagine a startup having all the glory of having a side project top-rated in the GPT Store. Even if it’s not related to the main product, it’s a huge marketing boost: exposing the brand, establishing trust, improving acquisition, and even helping with retention (by offering current users the AI agent for some extra value).
Other Emerging Platforms might be worth investing in right now:
Google’s Fuchsia OS
Get weekly marketing ideas & updates on new Emerging Platforms as they launch 🚀
See you next Friday ✌️
Apple launched the App Store 2 years after launching the iPhone; OpenAI launched GPT Store 1 year after launching ChatGPT. Both companies acquired millions of customers before launching their emerging platforms.