Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half
John Wanamaker (attributed), US Department Store merchant (1838-1922)
This week we trawl, or should that be crawl, through some recent marketing developments that investors and start-ups need to know about.
Marketing. Live without it, and your business is going to fail. Spend too much money on it, your business will go under; get it wrong, and, well, you know the rest.
Tackle the problem directly
I have spoken to many businesses over the past couple of months and everybody is trying something different. There are those who take the traditional direct marketing route, fishing for customers via a steady stream of leaflets, emails, phone calls, and letters, designed to pique the target’s interest. One bite is sometimes all it takes, then the long process of reeling the catch in, with further free gifts, offers, discounts, until finally, after all that painstaking work, a sale is made to a satisfied customer and a relationship of trust is created.
This approach requires expertise that are not learned overnight however, as well as the patience of a saint. If you are not in the mood to lick 300 stamps, or draft an email that makes a Shakespeare sonnet look like a message to your cleaner scrawled on the back of a fag packet, then you might want to think again.
Swimming the channels
Trouble is, as the excellent Bryce Keen, co-founder of The 3 Beards, and Founder of Albion Drive PR pointed out at last night’s equally excellent London Enterprise Tech meet-up (read about it here tomorrow), marketing channels have become so fragmented that it has become a very tricky business indeed to know which route to take.
You can send a marketing team to a marketing fair, visit the marketing suite, and use a marketing tool. You could tweet about the suite, and share the fair, but will your customers be Pinterested? If you are now feeling slightly confused and wondering what we are talking about, then welcome to the world of marketing! Hope you bought your chequebook.
Catching the Drift
One Company navigating successfully through the choppy waters of the media storm is Driftrock, whose pop up shop in Old Street provides free seminars on how to use social media to solve a variety of specific problems. CEO Matt Wheeler is the man doing the tutoring, by appointment only, and given the Company has successfully raised £1 million in seed funding this week, it could be time to clamber aboard the good ship Driftrock. Forward Partners, of whom Matt is also a founding partner, led the funding round.
The basic reality of marketing is that it is simply a reflection of the state that your Company is in. If your marketing is inspiring, finds the right people, and offers to solve a problem for them, then you are probably running a decent Company. After all, why would a marketer work with a Company they did not believe in? Bad practice all round.
The secret, then, is to deliver a message that is consistent, to the point, and associates with ideas and things which people value, and has positive connotations.
Fingers on the Buzzr
One Company pioneering this approach is Buzzr. The folks at Buzzr have a service proposition that focusses on 2 crucial aspects of the marketing process; firstly, creating awareness of your product requires good quality content distributed regularly, and secondly, you want to source (not outsource) this material as quickly and efficiently as you can.
Buzzr uses an algorithm to crawl Twitter in real time and find quality content that is relevant to the search terms you input, creating just in time social media sharing specifically for Twitter feeds (Tweet4me), or for the Buffer App (Buzzr for Buffer), or simply delivering search results to your inbox (Buzzr Search).
A basic Twitter package aimed at start-ups and small businesses starts at $10 per month, and provides 3 tweets per business day. Premium services, extra tweets and technical support are available on the Business and Enterprise plus plans, which cost $49 and $99 per month respectively.
Buzzr was launched at a recent Google Campus event, by Stefan Ritter, CTO, and Jeroen Roosen, design and UX. Last week, over coffee at the wondrously cool yet dubiously named Shoreditch Grind café, Jeroen, a refined entrepreneur who is involved in a number of start-ups, explained that this particular project has quickly gained traction with customers due to its ability to satisfy a basic need; finding relevant content quickly, backed up by a robust software engine that more than meets the expectations of the user.
A famous advertising agency used to talk about “brutal simplicity of thought”; add to that low cost, simple to use, growing user base, and you have a scalable product with few direct competitors that investors might do well to add to their most wanted lists.
Sing when you’re winning?
Finally, when your marketing day is finally done, where can you go for a bit of R&R? And gaming? And Karaoke? And more marketing and networking?
That’s right, the pop-up retro-gaming phenomenon, bringing the far-East to the East of London, Reztron, is here at last! A perfect match for Award winning cocktail bar The Hoxton Pony, the aim of Reztron, in founder Logan Gunasingham’s own words, “is to fulfil the needs of those nostalgic ‘retrogaming otakus’ with retro gems, but in a social environment ,with the addition of drinks, music, tournaments and a bit of karaoke thrown in.”
Arrive, play retro computer games with strangers under funky lights on truly magnificent old school consoles “by a certain video gaming giant of the 80’s and 90’s”, make friends, do karaoke. Exchange business cards. Now that is brutal simplicity of thought.
Reztron run monthly events in Shoreditch and Clapham, and are also available for Corporate events.
meet-up details for perfecting Direct Marketing techniques:
Book tutorial with Driftrock at their Old Street station HQ: www.popup.driftrock.com