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How Did You Kick-Start Your Marketing Efforts in 2013?

by Annie George

Posted on 20 Mar 13 by Annie George

We’re all looking for ideas to help us market and sell our products and services. And, with technology – mobile, apps, social media, email campaigns, big data and the insights it can provide – we have a lot of great stuff at our disposal. But how do we get people’s attention, talking about us, spreading the word about what we offer, what we do, and how good we really are?

I got to thinking about this, and then I came across someone who actually is getting a lot of attention for what she is trying to do. It has nothing to do with insurance. It’s about a cookbook. Yep, a cookbook. But we can all learn a lot from how this woman used social media, video, and her personal passion to build trust, gain interest, and raise “seed” money for her small project.

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Kickstarter – it’s a funding platform for creative projects – everything from films, games, music, art to design and technology. A person has a good idea, needs funding and uses Kickstarter to raise it. Of course, there are rules to follow, and you have to develop a presentation for the project, and you don’t receive the funds until you reach the goal you set. Since its launch in 2009, more than $500 million has been pledged by more than 3 million individuals who have funded more than 35,000 creative projects. I have helped fund 3 projects so far and as such I got notification in my email box about a Greek cookbook called [ειν] that someone wanted to produce. They were seeking 15,000£ and had a month to raise the funds. Kickstarter decided to feature this project (as it met certain criteria) and promoted it to its database. I was intrigued (since I happen to be Greek-American), and clicked on the project.

A cool-looking graphic of the cookbook appeared, and a video featuring Alexandra, who lives in Athens, Greece, and was looking to put together her family’s recipes. She spoke about the project with the Acropolis as her backdrop, explaining her passion for why she wanted to produce the book and her approach to creating it. Following this brief introduction, she then treated us to a gem of an animated video that brought her project to life – and hooked me. It was so creative, so different, and so clever that I thought this person should get this project done.

At the time that I contributed to the project, she had raised about 8,000£+, more than halfway to her goal with about two weeks remaining to raise the money. I immediately shared the link on my Facebook and Twitter pages and then emailed my friends and family, telling them to take a look at her presentation and the brilliant animated video she had someone create to help her tell her story. Some of them got hooked, too, and contributed to the project. The next time I looked at the project’s status, Alexandra had surpassed her goal, having raised around 19,000£ and was looking for another 1,000£, explaining that with the surplus she would now do the cookbook in two languages and add a Gluten-free chapter. She was overwhelmed by the support for her project. Like me, many all over the world clicked on her presentation and felt the same way, throwing their support behind her. To date, she has raised 21,199£ and still has another 16 days to go.

Now, I don’t know this person…as I am sure most of supporters don’t either. But she was able to market herself, her cookbook, and the project in a way that “closed the sale”. She used a social platform to reach out to a network of people, who also used their own pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to reach out to their family, friends and acquaintances to promote her and her project. She was also super creative to get and keep your attention and have you want to contribute.

We can all do the same when it comes to our own businesses – in promoting who we are, what we do, and why we do it – in our efforts to get more customers, who will in turn be our advocates. So, what are you doing in 2013 to promote your agency, your people, your products and services? And are you leveraging the various platforms out there, including social media? Are you thinking outside the box and getting creative? Get your staff thinking about how you can get your firm to stand out. It works…