Montag, 21. Juni 2010

"get a free portrait!" & more practical guerilla marketing examples

marketing budgets are a scare resource for every startup. finding innovative ways to reach more customers with less money therefore is key. "guerilla marketing", a concept introduced by conrad levinson in 1985 can be one answer.

wikipedia describles guerilla marketing as " unconventional system of promotions that relies on time, energy and imagination rather than a big marketing budget." so much about the theory, but how to put that in practice? let´s have a look at three recent examples.

the first one is from the last barcamp vienna 2010 (thanks to the organizers rolf & max and the sponsors by the way!). when everyone was invited to post their proposed sessions, young photographer christian lendl put up the following "portrait photo for a link for a link" to his homepage.

by spending one hour of his time, he reached around 60 barcampers, almost a third of the attendants. now for marketers, that is a extremely good conversion rate! 60 people remember his name and will put links on their blogs, so his own website will rise in the search rankings, without one euro spend on adwords.

what about riding on the hype wave of someone else, to gain customer attention?
in this case it was the company ifixyouri using the apple ipone 4 hype to demonstrate their dedication towards their business: repairing iphones. the upcoming ihpone is supposed to use a 30 times more flexible front cover then used in the iphone 3gs and should therefore be less prone to breaking. at their company blog they published a post "iphone 4 glass - will it break?" to check that out. so they took a new iphone 4 an threw it on the floor. the glass broke at the third try.
disproving the impression the one could get from apple´s presentation, that the new glass would be much more durable, brought them plenty of attention. cost? approximately 30-40 us$ (they sell the iphoen 4 glass repair for 69 us$, so their actual costs will be much lower).

considering the ranking on techmeme and the respective discussion following, that was much more attention time then they would get for 40 us$ worth of printing standard marketing folders. p.s. that they maybe got inspired by "will it blend" does not make this guerilla marketing any less effective.

let´s move on to a third example, graffiti style guerilla marketing. regardless if one considers graffiti as art or daub, they are everywhere and the are a provocative in every way. using graffiti in the public space form marketing purposes remains illegal though(at least here in austria).
although sometimes graffiti are used without raising too much attention of the city authorities, this example of using graffiti style advertisement of telering, a local austrian mobile phone network operator, did not go unnoticed.
as telering was not allowed to spray the advertising message all over vienna the just thought different. why spraying colour on those walls which is forbidden when you can clean the walls - which is perfectly legal? so they did some selective cleaning, whileprotecting a dirty brick wall by a stencil. and that was the result:

again, the cost of the idea and "cleaning" their message on the walls showed true guerilla spirit and was in perfect relation to the attention gained.
that were three examples of great creative approaches to marketing. so what´s the guerilla marketing campaign for your start.up?
p.s. if the guerilla style sounds interesting, why not checking out another idea of conrad levinson´s book "guerilla marketing": "5 words to describe your business".

Montag, 7. Juni 2010

interview with thomas r. koll about his project is a portfolio service for photographers using flickr. recently i had the opportunity to interview the creator of, thomas r. koll.

every photographer wanting to present her photo work without using technical skills while remaining on flickr at the same time is in the target audience. no double uploading necessary. is jumping right into a crowded market. competing with hosting one´s own website, using widely available templates, specialised services for photographers or with services form fluidr, viewbook, pullfolio, deviantart or alternative approaches like flickroom, using adobe air.

at the barcamp 2010 in vienna, i had the opportunity to sit together with thomas for a founders interview about his motivations behind the project. (photo by thomas r. koll, view his here)

start.up: thomas, what´s motivating you to work on
thomas: to learn, that´s my top motivation. and the pleasure to interact with users of

start.up: what are the most difficult things working on
thomas: is taking a lot of time and therefore competing with the "bread" jobs i have to do in order to make a living. being a one-man show, it is furthermore tricky to cover areas like interface design, which is an art by itself. finally to prioritize features is always a challenge.

start.up: how will you make money with your service?
thomas: through pro accounts and a white label b2b service. pro accounts will cost between 10 to 300 euros, depending on the features. compared with creating one´s own portfolio websites, that is rather valuable.

start.up: what would you recommend new startups, considering that you are already work on this project for around one and a half year?
thomas: first, make your to-do lists and prioritize in order to focus. secondly, choose your "bread" jobs - which finance your startup project - based on how much money you can earn on them.

start.up: finally, what´s the technical background, behind
thomas: i am using rails3, mongo db - which has nice horizontal scaling, two virtual servers - one for the app, one for the database and rackspace cloud.

start.up: thomas, thank you for the interview.