Category Archives: startup

Coffee Cargo

Who Needs Starbucks, When You Can Have Coffee Cargo

By | Clients, digital commerce, startup | No Comments

Do you love coffee as much as we do?

We are proud to be working with one of newest clients, Coffee Cargo.

Coffee Cargo is a premium coffee K-Cup subscription service that believes in elevating your daily coffee experience. Each month the Coffee Cargo team hand pick only the best K-Cups to help you discover new premium, rare and best tasting K-Cups – delivered right to your front door.

Subscription boxes of all kinds have been getting a lot of attention lately between advertising, bloggers or celebrities who endorse them. Apparently people really like getting a gift box every month.

All you have to do is subscribe to Coffee Cargo, sit back, kick your feet up and collect your delicious K-Cups every month. Actually, Coffee Cargo is a pretty great gift idea for any coffee lover in your life! You don’t have to buy more than a 3 month subscription,  Click here to give the gift that keeps on giving, month after month.

We love our clients and take a lot of pride in the work we provide for them. Work with us get to know our team and our growing list of clients from LifeProof, Protec, Coffee Cargo, 7Diamonds, and the Outdoor Foundation. Contact Us now and let us get started on your next marketing campaign.

   

One Jackson Launches Social Commerce Website for Indie-Design Kids Clothes

By | blogging, digital commerce, ecommerce, social commerce, startup | 2 Comments

Social Commerce company launches

What do you get when you bring together “crowdsourced design,” “customer voting,” and of course “cute kids clothing?” You get One Jackson, a startup based out of Silicon Valley headed by former execs from eBay, Gymboree and PayPal, and initial funding is by of a number of high-profile VCs, including four of the top female investors working together for the first time: Theresia Ranzetta, Accel; Patricia Nackache, Trinity; Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate and Aileen Lee, formerly with Kleiner Perkins who is investing with her new seed fund.

One Jackson, the new kids clothing company, claims to be the first to use this business model in the kid’s space, giving independent and edgy designers relatively easy access to capital and a viable platform to get their designs to market. With One Jackson, the biggest winners, of course are the kids, who will be turned out in adorable, high-end duds that are unique and affordable. Prices range from $16-$42.

Social Commerce Website Startup

I had a chance to sign up with the site using my Facebook account, browse the current products and “Love” some of my favorites. There were a couple very unique Red Tricycle designs I would definitely purchase on a whim. As a Dad with three little ones at home, I could see this website being browsed by mom on the iPad at night. So with full support, I shared one of the designs to my Facebook page. From a functional standpoint, it’s very straight-forward and easy for parents. I look forward to seeing more designs in the future. Maybe even penciling my own together.

Since we’re talking Social Commerce, I thought it was important to get the perspective from one of the team members of One Jackson. Luckily I was able to get in touch with Anne Raimondi, a co-founder. I asked Anne, “What is Social Commerce and how is it changing the way people shop online?”

Social Commerce is discovering, buying, sharing, and even creating products based on information from people who matter most to you. Influencers, friends, and in the case of One Jackson, the original designers of the product. Consumers can now directly impact what gets made and designers can get feedback from customers every step of the way. Ultimately, the interactive nature of social commerce makes shopping more meaningful–we can have a direct say in what gets created, we waste less in making things no one wants, and we are connected to the individual creating what we consume.

You can’t argue with that. Having a say in what gets manufactured? Seems like a great combination of the customer being heard and indie designers having a marketplace for their hardwork. Love the model. Shop One Jackson.

Being a Digital Agency is Easy

By | agency life, entrepreneurship, small agency, startup | 2 Comments

There’s so much to consider when starting up your own digital agency and here’s the list that circulates my brain everyday from when I wake til when I fall asleep around 3-4am each morning.

  • What category do we fall into? Digital Agency, Interactive Marketing, Social Design Consultants
  • Should we offer services in everything we’ve ever done?
  • Who can I reach out to in order to extend our network?
  • What big agencies would have large amounts of overflow work?
  • What companies are hiring for roles that they could save money on by working with us?
  • Is it better to hire on or partner with another team?
  • Am I spending my time on the right stuff?
  • Is our environment the best it can be for our team?
  • When is it time to expand into a bigger office?
  • When are we launching our social media analytics tool?
  • When is the website redesign going to be completed?
  • Am I spending enough time with my family?
  • When will I sleep?

There are some harsh realities when starting up a digital agency. And there are so many great things that come with it as well. Can you focus on the good things and let the little things roll off your back? Some of the most important things about a Digital Agency are: love who you work with, never give up, be creative when looking for projects, tap inspiration from those around you and believe that what you envision as the point of sustainability will be there soon.

As much as this translates into some of the daily challenges I face as the CEO and co-founder, it also should show that I embrace transparency outside of my own walls. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on some of the things they are challenged by and see if we can create some great tips and resources for other agency leaders.

cheers

BJ

Top 10 Social Media Myths BUSTED

By | blogging, digital marketing, social media, startup | 11 Comments

Social media is all the buzz. Brands are looking for new ways to generate traffic and harness the power of social media, jumping on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. But with any new medium comes a learning process that requires some trial and error and a lot of misinformation.

We’ve compiled a list of the top social media myths we have heard over the last few months from clients, self proclaimed experts, and the misguided marketers. We’re about to bust them all.

 

 

  1. Social media campaigns are free and/or cheap – It is true that there are really no hard costs for media, but planning and launching a social media campaign is extremely expensive in man-hours. The amount of time it takes to research your audience, architect conversations, build creative, and engage them effectively is anything but cheap.
  2. Setting up automatic direct messages with a link to your website/blog is a great idea – This is the fastest way to get unfollowed in my opinion. Welcome to 140 characters of SPAM. Twitter is about engaging with your followers. Sending DM’s to new followers is a great way to open a channel of communication, but take some time to see what they are writing about, what they do and start the conversation off by adding some value. Don’t push yourself on them.
  3. Using a naked picture of yourself as your avatar can help increase friends and followers – Be genuine. People can spot a phony a mile away. No one wants to see that either, keep it in your pants.
  4. Your customers are on every social network, so your campaign should be too - You need to understand your audience and where they work and play online. Pick the most appropriate networks to be effective from a marketing and cost perspective. If you are targeting upper class, middle-aged women; launching a campaign on MySpace probably isn’t your best bet.
  5. Mass replying on Twitter is a good way to connect with people – Sure you can get people’s attention, but then when they go to your page and see the same reply to 50 other people your goose is cooked. Be original and authentic. Start one-on-one conversations. If you want to blast everyone with the same message go sign up for MailChimp.
  6. Creating a Facebook fan page or group will drive lots of awareness - this isn’t the field of dreams. If you build it, they will not just come. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone promoting their Facebook page only to find it had 5 fans and no updates, I would have a lot of dollars.
  7. Push marketing tactics are key in social media. If you retweet @GuyKawasaki using your own promotion, he’ll show you some love – It’s called social media for a reason. It’s about being social, not pushing your own agenda.
  8. It’s all about the kids, tweens, teens, millennials, etc – Who’s the flavor of the week this time? People aren’t age ranges. Define your audience on your own terms based on demographics, psychographics, technographics etc.
  9. LinkedIn is only good for contacting business people – If you are one of the thousands on LinkedIn trying to sneak your way into your network’s contacts and Inmailing them pitches; take a number. This business social network is becoming overfilled with business developers, salespeople, traditional MARCOM folks and junior level marketers who just don’t get that value of REALLY connecting with someone. Why not give a little first? Stop yelling at everyone.
  10. Social media is like viral marketing – It’s true. You build a social media campaign, drop some links around some of the popular networks and BAM! Your campaign gets spread by the masses. Ehhh! (Sound the gameshow buzzer) In both cases you can create a strategy, build a plan, but there is still so much unknown. You can’t control viral or it wouldn’t be viral. Social Media is about engaging someone and adding value to their life. Make sure you understand the difference in your integrated marketing strategy before you just load your barrel and go for the spreadshot.

So there you have it. If you find yourself telling a collegue, client, or friend any of these things you better go to the local police station and turn yourself in. Remember to be genuine, authentic. Invest the time in building a strategy and plan before you invest the time in a social media campaign. The results will speak for themselves.

Chicken or the egg?

By | digital marketing, Digital Operative, startup | One Comment

Over the past week we met with some really great entrepreneurs putting together some new businesses and web applications. Getting their business off the ground requires reaching a point of critical mass, marketing for both b2c and b2b. Here is the challenge, the chicken or the egg:

  • B2B drives revenue, but to get businesses to buy in you need to have a large volume of people actively using your website
  • People won’t use the website unless there is enough businesses signed up

Take for example Yelp. You, as a user of the site, aren’t going to find value unless there are enough companies listed on the site. A business isn’t going to pay for a listing unless they gain access to a large number of eyeballs. So round and round you go. So which is it? Chicken or the egg?

The answer is both. You need to develop a marketing and business strategy that builds both the b2c and b2b side simultaneously until you reach that tipping point; the point of critical mass. So how do you do that?

  • Freemium – offer a free version to get business into the process and build things up, up-sell them when the time is right
  • Empower users – incentives your early adopters to promote both the b2c and b2b side
  • User generated content – let your users create new b2b content
  • Marketing – build great campaigns for both sides, b2c and b2b (insert Digital Operative plug here)

The tough part is that your website needs to have a stronger focus for either the b2c or b2b component. Figure out your strategy in the long run. If revenue is going to be advertising based, then b2c may win out. If you are selling a SaaS, then b2b may take the spotlight.

A homepage with a 50/50 split can be ineffective for both sides, make it 80/20. So 80% b2c 20% b2b or vice versa. Just because your homepage has a 80% b2c focus, doesn’t mean you can’t still sell businesses. In fact, it may be more compelling because they can understand the value to their customers.

Remember, everything to everyone = nothing to anyone. Do one thing and do it great.

Startup Marketing Strategies and Tactics

By | digital marketing, social media, startup | No Comments

Well it’s a late Friday night and I slipped into the proverbial zone of sharing. As some people might know, I’m one of ten founding Goorus for the online marketing community, Gooruze.com. It’s co-founded by Clay Cook, Chairman & Co Founder Gooruze, Rachel Cook, Advisor, Co Founder Gooruze and Jackie Shervington, CEO, Co Founder Gooruze. I try to spend time on there each month engaging with student marketers, subject matter experts and fellow marketers. It’s a great place to share your successes and failures in the realm of online marketing. Tonight, I decided to share my own experiences about what has worked for me when it comes to Startup Marketing strategies & tactics.

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