'Emerging Platforms' Category

The Collaborative Economy: What Big Brands are Learning from Disruptive Startups

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The final session of the day at Startup Marketing Conference focused on the collaborative economy and how large brands are learning from disruptive startups. Ben Kaplan from PR Hacker hosted the session and mentioned how brands like GE and Virgin are learning from and collaborating with startups. Kaplan also mentioned Meow Mix CatStarter as a recent example of leveraging a passionate community willing to innovate.
Matt Kaufman, President at CrunchBase, kicked off by sharing an example of how Nestle is working with startup to stay ahead of the game. From his experience, Kaufman believes brands aren’t exactly sure what they want. That means agencies can get into a trap of selling what they know instead of what agencies need. It also increases the chance the brand won’t buy something they are not sure they need, even if they can afford to pay.
Michelle Regner, CEO and Co-Founder of Near-Me.com, discussed how big brands look to her company for help in understanding the customer journey. For example, Cisco wanted a better way to sell used routers and Near-Me created a marketplace for the partners to use. She also mentioned Hallmark creating an Etsy-type marketplace for customers to interact, and Hallmark gets the benefit... Read more

Startup Marketing Conference: Running A Marketing Organization That Supports Sales At All Levels

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 4:51 pm

For the mid-afternoon expert panel session at Startup Marketing Conference, an esteemed group of marketers and technologists discussed how to manage a marketing organization that supports sales at all sizes of business. Panelists included:

Adam Metz, VP BD, Pandadoc (host)
Mike Berger, Director of Product Marketing @ Marketo (SMB)
Mikita Mikado, CEO, Quote Roller (startups)
Martyn Crew, Founder and CEO, Bootstrap Marketing (enterprise)

The first question related to each of the panelists first marketing objective and how they each nailed it. Mikado’s objective was signups and it took him three months to gain 4,000 users, but very few converted to paying customers. Crew’s enterprise background meant marketing supported sales and the key objective was deal flow. Berger’s primary objectives related to fueling the demand generation engine, putting in a system of measurement that correlated with business outcomes and creating a compelling story that differentiated the brand (messaging and positioning).
The next question: In the last five years, what was the single worst investment you made in marketing? Crew stepped up and led with general feedback from clients who were asked that question and the answer was universally “feel good” marketing campaigns (colors, fonts, and other fun stuff). Mikado’s thought was on hiring talent you don’t need... Read more

Startup Marketing Conference: Storytelling Rules Marketers Need to Know

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 3:32 pm

At the Startup Marketing Conference, the early afternoon panel on social media and storytelling included the following experts:
Colleen Pettit, Digital Media Manager, DoubleClick (panel host)
Todd Wilms, VP Digital, Neustar
Olivia June Poole, Director of Community Development, RocketSpace
Brewster Stanislaw, CEO and Co-Founder Inside Social

The first question related to content being king and how important it is overall. Stanislaw guided startups to focus on who the content is being produced for and how it can best be distributed. Poole reminded everyone that storytelling is more difficult when you don’t have an existing users, so it is important to get the stories out there early. Wilms took a more jaded approach, and cautioned against content for content’s sake. Take the time to find your voice before ramping up content.
The second question related to finding your story as a startup. Poole suggested interviewing early adopters to find out why they appreciate the product. Sans users, focus on education and thought leadership to start to build your story.
The third question addressed the conundrum of outsourcing content development to agencies or others vs. building it in-house. Poole indicated that agency partners are a luxury, so use them wisely (learn from them then do it on your own).... Read more

3 Technologies Every Modern Business Needs

Posted by Anna Johansson on October 23rd, 2014 at 2:14 pm

As technology becomes ever more sophisticated, businesses everywhere are developing capabilities they never had in the past. Not only are many functions easier for small and large businesses alike, but tech is also making the business landscape much more competitive.
Your ability to stay in business -- and stay competitive -- over the next few years may depend on your willingness to adopt and integrate new technologies into your operations. Take a look at three tools that every modern business needs, and how you can go about finding the best provider for each.
1. Customer relationship management software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a broad phrase used to describe a category of software that helps businesses keep track of customer interactions, data, sales, service, and other items. Essentially, it helps companies manage customer relationships in an organized, streamlined manner that requires the least amount of manual intervention.
Instead of hiring an entire department of people to manage customers, firms now hire only a handful of employees to oversee operations, because they’re backed by CRM.
However, the reduced need for human capital is not the primary reason to incorporate CRM into your business. The advantages extend far beyond that.
Some of the biggest benefits include:

Centralization. CRM... Read more

Startup Marketing Conference Panel: Lean Marketing Meets Growth Hacking: Getting the First 1000 users Overnight

Posted by Kent Lewis on October 23rd, 2014 at 11:58 am

The second panel of the day at Startup Marketing Conference consisted of the following entrepreneurs and marketers:
Ryan MacCarrigan, Chief Experimenter, leanstudio
George Revutsky, Founder, roi.works digital and Conversion Nerds
Zack Onisko, Head of Growth & Marketing, Creative Market (Autodesk)
Laura Klein, VP Product, Hint Health
The first question related to tips for affordably finding new customers. Klein suggested repurposing methods that have worked in the past, but modify and make it your own. Onisko warned there is no magic bullet, but he did indicate that focusing on understanding your ideal target customer and understanding the channels they use. An easy and cheap way: import your Facebook and LinkedIn networks to build your initial list. Next step: identify and connect with influencers/bloggers and foster a relationship (guest posts and syndicated articles). Revutsky suggested going the paid route: AdWords, remarketing/retargeting and nurturing via marketing automation tools. He also likes Facebook ads and once you’ve built a critical mass database, import them back into Facebook and create a community that you can then use to target similar users. He also suggested an ambassador program to engage and reward early adopters and influencers. Lastly, he trained university students to amplify the message as junior ambassadors.
The second question focused... Read more