Five years ago, Russ D'Souza and Jack Groetzinger were frustrated.
They wanted a single, convenient website where a user could find the best deals on concert and sports tickets, and it just wasn't there. So like other entrepreneurs before them who built businesses from nothing, they created SeatGeek.
With $100 million worth of tickets flowing through the ticketing platform in 2013 alone, conventional wisdom says it's been successful so far. Still, SeatGeek faces the challenge of getting its name out there, so Marcus Lemonis of CNBC's "The Profit" spoke with the founders about their marketing plan.
How does it work?
First, SeatGeek doesn't sell tickets.
It culls and lists inventory from all major primary and reseller websites like TicketsNow, eBay and Ticketfly. It then allows buyers to create custom searches based on factors such as seating, price and venue. Its proprietary software, Deal Score, ranks these seats from "amazing to awful," based on a scale of zero to 100.
The company makes 8 percent to 10 percent commission off each ticket. Last year, it earned $13 million in revenue, including fees gained from brands advertising on its site.
SeatGeek primarily acquires customers by pushing users to download its app through advertising on such platforms as the mobile apps of Facebook and Twitter. They currently spend $300,000 a month on mobile marketing.
"The net effect of advertising is that we've been able to grow so much faster," D'Souza said. "We've tripled the business since last year."
Lemonis agrees that mobile marketing is important, but he wants the founders to generate awareness without spending too much money.
"I would hate to see [them] do any sort of kind of national branding," he said. "I don't think [they] need to brand. The data and the experience speak for themselves. And so the only way to do that is to create a bit of a following behind it."
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