Bootstrap: Building a marketing strategy from scratch
One of the best things about launching a new business is not having to do things simply because “it’s the way they’ve always been done.” More and more, I see, both in theory and practice, the idea of community building as core to product marketing strategy.
Yesterday, I wrote about how customer service, including customer acquisition and retention, is on the brink of experiencing a renaissance of sorts where interactions between businesses and customers will be more closely crafted and nurtured. In the world of abundance in content and availability, the details of the experience play an essential role.
In keeping with that tone, Holocene has decided that the core of our marketing strategy is based on transparency, openness, two way dialogues, and relationship building. We’re trying, as much as possible, to step away from the broadcast model which equates “eyeballs” with awareness.
One of the biggest misconceptions related to user behavior, whether it be in regards to usage or marketing/sales data is that of assumed intent. The old model of circulation numbers for print publications and “ad views” online assumes that every impression counts and has the same level of impact. This is simply not true. Simply being shown something on a screen does not allow us to determine anything more about the viewer. We cannot assume she read it and decided, consciously, to ignore it. Nor can we assume that a click is a sign of intention to purchase. People click on things by accident. Or perhaps they simply want more information and do not intend on buying anything.
The point is that old models are lackluster in not only how they function, but in the somewhat presumptuous data they offer.
As such, our model is based on community. We believe that we are building a product which will serve a community of DIYers, makers, and crafters. But, we also know that we are not the only service provider to that community. In fact, we love the other service providers in the community because we are part of it.
What I am talking about is not the caricatured community manager who posts cat videos all day long. I am talking about actually serving a community. Being part of a thriving group who meet up online and across the world. Understanding customers intrinsically because you are one of them.
And so, we are starting small; as you have to start somewhere. We are going to be rolling out, over the next bit of time, a number of features and events across the web, and in person, which are for and about our unique community. We are actively looking to build relationships with the members of the DIY community. And we encourage two way communication; our purpose is not about broadcasting, but dialog. We want everyone to be involved.
PS If you are a knitter, or simply want to get to know us, Kim and I will be hosting our first virtual Stitch n Bitch this Saturday at 4pm EST. Find one of us on Twitter or leave a comment here if you’d like to drop in and say hi!
For those of you in a marketing role, if you could start from scratch, what would your strategy be?