Meet Tania Mulry of DDx Media. Following is the story of her business, how it came to be and what the future holds for her and her business.
1. Business name, description and what makes it special
DDx Media is a mobile marketing agency, specializing in helping small, local businesses and experts create and launch beautiful, useful and profitable mobile applications to deepen their connections with their customers. We also created a wonderful, award-winning school fundraising app called edRover.
2. ‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business:
I was working as an executive at a larger marketing agency, helping gigantic retail brands with mobile marketing, when I realized I wanted to help smaller organizations and businesses take advantage of the benefits of a huge tidal wave of mobile marketing opportunities. Mobile is the fastest growing communication channel of all times, and you can just walk down the street, look around a restaurant, or glance around your own home to see the cultural and behavioral shifts we are all making.
Our phones are like a new organ of our body. We rely on them for contact with the outside world, with thousands of friends, family members, coworkers, and near strangers on social media. The help us keep time, schedule appointments and manage our To Do Lists. They entertain us with music and games. They help us find directions and choose where to shop. They can even help us save money, and now with edRover, raise money for our favorite cause.
I knew I could create a great mobile app that would serve both local businesses that needed foot traffic and sales as well as consumers who were tired of traditional fundraising methods like selling junk food and trinkets to friends and family. That is how the edRover idea was born.
Then I realized I could repeat this success for other businesses, and that’s how my agency was born.
3. Tell us about how you got your first customer.
With edRover, we started getting customers once our app was posted in the App Store. Keeping them coming was the big trick! We needed to do a lot of outreach on the web and in person to get more consumers to download the app and use it to benefit their school. We really hit success when we found a local champion that wanted to lead the promotion of edRover within their own school. Now we seek out those influential parents to lead the charge.
With our agency, we reached out to a few influential businesses in town and gave them great deals to be our charter customers. They’ve really helped us open doors to new business opportunities.
4. How do you measure success?
We are all about impact. Are we helping schools with edRover? Are our apps generating new business for our clients? We know if we are serving our customers well, they will be great referral sources for new business.
5. Ever felt like throwing in the towel?
Sure! The app business is actually really hard! It looks awesome and glamorous to have an award-winning app, but every day, you have to stay in the trenches to improve the app, respond to customer feedback, tweak the business model, find new sources of traffic to keep growing.
Then I remind myself that most people wouldn’t even know where to begin! That knowledge helps keep me going and helping other people realize their own app dreams.
6. One thing I wish I would have known…
You need to spend at least as much on marketing your app as you did on building your app to get the success you desire.
7. Moving forward…
I can’t wait to offer a new version of the edRover platform to other charitable organizations so that they can benefit from a new way of fundraising. This vision has me so inspired!
8. The absolute best part of being self-employed is…
The flexibility to participate actively in my children’s lives is priceless. I used to work for a big company and had a three hour commute daily, if I weren’t on an airplane to the far reaches of the earth most of the time. I had a nanny, a work from home husband and a live in grandpa helping with the kids, but I could never be there for school parties, for drop off and pick up, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I felt tremendous mommy guilt which definitely outweighed my desire to progress in my career, even though that was extremely strong! I knew I needed to follow a path to becoming an entrepreneur to reinvent my life, and I finally feel like it is paying off. My kids love having me at home when they are home, I have the best commute ever (strolling downstairs to my office), and I can help my kids in their classrooms, sports, church and scouting.
9. The absolute best part of being a parent is…
My kids are entering middle childhood (7, 10, 12) and it is amazing to watch them turn into funny, smart, disciplined, ambitious, helpful and sweet young men. I’m glad they still want to hang around with and hug and kiss mom although I know this phase may not last long!
10. I never imagined…
The feeling of seeing your app “baby” for the first time in the App Store or Google Play is such a thrill. The fact that your kids think you are cool for having an app is even better!