Who actually has money to pay for big advertisements nowadays? A better question: do you even look at advertisements when they pop up as you browse, or do you ignore them?

Yozio, an “organic growth service” based in Oakland, has the solution for companies and apps that want to acquire more users but don’t want to spend exorbitant amounts of money on advertising that often gets overlooked. Yozio helps businesses grow by telling them where users are coming from, how likely they are to become a customer and how to attract similar users. A tech company using Yozio’s services can then develop marketing strategies for their own growth based off Yozio’s report.

The Yozio team is committed to solving some of what COO Dane Holewinski describes as issues that plague the app and tech world right now, especially where mobile apps are concerned. One of these problems is the lack of streamlined, personalized user experiences when switching between a company’s mobile app and their website browser. For example, if you’re looking at a specific type of Nike running shoe on Zappos in your web browser but want to switch over to your phone because you’re walking out the door, Yozio makes it possible for an app to gather your data — the shoes you were viewing on your browser — and open that page for you in Zappos’s mobile app.

“There’s a huge amount of opportunity to create more value [for growth] and we’re constantly working with all of our customers to get feedback on our platform to continue to iterate it in a way that creates that value,” Holewinski said.

Yozio Founder Lei Sun and COO Dane Holewinski (Natalie Meier)

Yozio Founder Lei Sun and COO Dane Holewinski (Natalie Meier)

Thanks to customer feedback, the Yozio team has also developed what Holewinski calls a “closed-loop tracking” system of users. This feature allows customers to track where they are acquiring most of their users but also their most valuable users, ones that are coming back to visit and make purchases through the app.

Yozio is funded by big-name tech investors and currently boasts a whopping 400 apps using its organic growth platform, including notorious ones like Pinterest, Airbnb, Eventbrite and Sidecar.

Chris Adams, head of customer success, works with the teams behind these apps on a daily basis, teaching them how to leverage Yozio to drive engagement with new and existing users while incorporating the business’s goals. Yozio also features a lower cost of installation than what’s more common in the traditional world of app paid advertisement, she said.

As for what’s in store for Yozio, Adams only sees what the product itself offers: growth.

“I think it’s a new idea, I think a lot of people aren’t even aware that this is possible, and I think that a lot of people are just now starting to connect the dots in terms of that this is even possible because it hasn’t been before,” Adams said. “It solves a major, major problem in the tech channel.”

The Yozio team hard at work (Natalie Meier)

The Yozio team hard at work (Natalie Meier)

While Yozio’s services include good search engine optimization and attracting users with friendly interfaces and smooth transitions between applications, it is also committed, on a human-to-human level, to figuring out how to provide a user-specific experience for each of its customers. Cofounder Lei Sun emphasized the focus of growth in Yozio’s own mission and said that his team is growing in the same way that its trying to grow a user base for each of its customers — one step at a time.

“I would maybe make an analogy,” Sun said. “Do you think any person in this world is perfect? No one is perfect, and no company is perfect either. In your personal growth, you’ll always find your strengths and your weaknesses. It’s the same for a company.”

About The Author

Natalie Meier is currently writing about issues in public health, tech and small business innovation as a freelance contributor for Oakland Local. Meier is a senior at Mills College studying English and Journalism and is also cross-registered at UC Berkeley. She currently interns for ABC7 News in San Francisco and has written for The Daily Californian, Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), StuVoice, and KALW.

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