There is one place to share ideas about the web and its name is @WebExpo – Prague

Categories Community Management, Marketing, Mashup, Open Technologies, Services, Technologies

No kidding. Prague became one of the finest European technology and start-up hubs and I believe there is a great future and potential, which we will see coming true in the next couple of years.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons I moved here a couple of years ago. If you add the beauty of Prague and the fine quality of the Czech beer, you will not be surprised that I want to invite you to an unique event.

[note]This is one of the few places in the world where developers, designers, product managers, marketing ninjas, big data nerds, content management racoons, hackers and even normal people can sit together and discuss a lot of things together and even to start something..[/note]

I know, you will say that you have such events in your country, but this is international, have a look at the speakers and do not forget the beer and the city.

Trusted companies and awesome startups are happy to be here and to turn their dreams into reality and most important, into profit.
[highlight]13 different subjects, many speakers, 3 days of fun and beer + something you can take home with you – knowledge and inspiration. That’s priceless.[/highlight]

 

Join the event:

 

$you->is_geek(): apply

 

We are looking for ambassadors in every European country. Prime directive – to spread a word about the event and to become a super geek star. In exchange we will give you free entrance and will make you famous – this is a long time deal.

[highlight] Interested?[/highlight] Follow the link to fill a secret form. Shhh!

 

? buy_ticket();

 

Another option is to buy a ticket and join the magical Prague, beer and awesome knowledge.  Invest in your future.

 P.S This is still a secret, but all sessions will be in English this year. Visit the website to find out more, because this is just the top of the iceberg.

P.P.S Oh, did I mention the parties. We will have couple of parties that will blow your head away :)

Marketing Kanban Style for Tech Startups

Categories Community Management, Lean-Agile, Marketing, Marketing Tools, Mozilla, Startups, Technologies

Oh no, there is no mistake. It’s not Gangdam Style!

I am always trying to mix software development methodologies into community and marketing management.

Last year I gave a talk at Fosdem about using Agile methods, and especially Trello, to engage your community. Currently I implementing a similar approach into a project I am involved in.

Warning: The following paragraphs may contain a mixture of different software methodologies, usually not compatible with each other.

What is a modern marketing world?

Marketing now, especially online marketing, is a mixture of Community Management, Brave Content Management, Strong Business Analysis, Good and Awesome Metrics, knowing the hacker attitude, fast problem solving and many, many tasks every second.

I am talking about using new technologies, methodologies and fun in the marketing world. I know there are marketing departments with 100 or more employees, busy with a little tiny boring segment, but with an exciting title. But also, there are startups and small, but very successful companies, having teams with up to 4 members that can do better marketing than those 100 using Marketing Kanban Style.

 

That’s why we need Marketing Kanban Style.

I am an internet enthusiast – maybe one of the few left in the world. I really want to test and hack amazing web tools. Sometimes I find a great tool like Trello and I start using it and talk about it without having been paid a single cent, sometimes it turns out to be a negative experience, like my Facebook story. But I love being an enthusiast.

Yeah, so let’s focus on the step by step go-through:

trello.com 2013-1-31 13:14:42

0. Plan Your Sprint

  •   Sit on a table with your team and define the 3 main tasks you want to see implemented this week. Yes, I am not talking about months or years here. Of course this should be in line with the marketing plan, budget and other documents, tables and graphics …
  •  Define what resources you will need – guys from IT dept, Customer care service, Sales dept, etc.

1. Visualize

  • Tasks may look good in your brain or in a paper or event in your notebook, but they must be placed on a board and here comes Trello.
  •  Start: All tasks start from “To Do” or you can call it “Repository” or “The Dungeon” or even “Death Start” but this is your starting point
  • Define your flow process. It can be simple “Doing” – “Done” or you can add additional steps like “To be approved” or “Testing needed”. Please do not work with more than 5 steps. It’s a waste of time a energy.

2. Make Policies Explicit

  • Define who will do what. If you want you can let people choose what they want to do. This works perfectly for community based marketing and it depends on how cool is your team.
  • Resolve conflicts before they appear. Define the collaboration flow – for example – for this HTML newsletter you must talk with Mike and Petra from Dev department. Add this as a note to the task.
  •  Do not add other department members to the board.

3. Marketing Stand-ups

  • I know the developer stand-ups are real – the people actually are standing up, but the marketing people are allowed to sit down :)
  •  Do a stand-up every day for 15 minutes and be sure you have feedback loops. Every member of the team should report what he/she is working on now and what troubles he/she is having.
  • – This is not a problem-solving meeting. Afterwards you can sit down and try to find a way to resolve the problems.

4. Be а Brave Marketeer

  • Your team must not be afraid to test new techniques in order to achieve the weekly goal.
  • Try to find the boundaries of your team and push a bit outside of them. The marketing world travels with light-speed and you must be very fast as well.
  • Explore the Trello functions and use them for your work. It’s a really useful piece of code.

This is just the beginning of a journey for you if you are taking this path. This is the easiest part but believe me you will be more flexible and successful than the good ol’ huge marketing slow moving company.

This will allow you:

  1.  to achieve results every week.
  2.  to plan your work better
  3.  to easily define metrics and goals
  4.   to do more work for less money
  5.  to build your team and let them evolve together with the company
  6.  to have fun.

Let’s do some Marketing Kanban Style. Shall we?

Learn more?

If you want to learn more about Marketing Kanban style and some more amazing ideas – subscribe to my mail-list from here. No spam guaranteed.

 

Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

Categories Marketing

Just before Christmas one of my favorite service in the web crowdbooster.com announced they will discontinue their freemium model and will introduce paid only service. This is a tendency these days. I can notice couple of services abandoning their users for more money. Maybe this is a good approach, maybe not, the time will show.

Right now I am working with more than 1 mln free users on our freemium model and the challenge is of course to keep this model forever and we will. So how we can get some more money from this user?

Converting “Free” users to “Paid” users.

 

There are a lot of methodologies to use here, but I am not a fan of any of those. Ha ha, this is so me.

As you know I really like to mix things and I am using a 3-component campaign:

 

E-mail drilling + behavior recognition

 

[list style=”arrow2_bullets”]

  • One e-mail every week during the campaign with the main campaign message  and a clear call for action: I am using Order now instead of Buy one, exception is of course a BOGO campaign, but now it stands for Buy One, Gift One.
  • Three days after the first wave I analyzed the user behavior and sent a different message to those that opened the campaign but didn’t click and for those that clicked on the link but didn’t buy the product.
  • Repeat the action for couple of weeks, but try to not duplicate the messages.
  • Use a different, but smart subject. I am using Wingdings  Unicode character coded into the subject. It makes miracles. Open rate was +1% just because of this.
  • I am using my own e-mail as a sender instead of “no-reply@” or “somethingboring@” The users prefer a real person, instead of Mr. No Reply Jr

[/list]

If it’s possible do not send the same message to all users. Try to separate them to different segments according to their activity on your website/service, location, habits or even culture.

Give them a reason to buy.

 

Internal website support

 

It’s not a secret that the e-mail marketing is not an effective way to make business these days. Most of the people are not reading their e-mails in the time when they have to or some of the messages go directly to the spam folder or are blocked because of the content.

I combine e-mail marketing with internal website messages, because we run a SAAS and we can do that. Some of the messages say “Go read your e-mail inbox”, some of them are linked directly to the landing page of the promotion.

I am changing the messages almost every day and this works very well.

 

Social media support

 

I know our community spends a lot of time in Social networks and that’s why оne of my components is social networks like Twitter, Edmodo and Facebook. No direct buy is requested, just informative campaign.

The campaign is focused on our current free users, I am not looking for new users with this campaign, that’s why I choose informative campaign in social media instead of pure “Order now” campaign.

 

Nice deals

 

Obviously our “free” users are happy with the product and do not want to buy, the question is that we want them to buy, so we have to offer them something really attractive:
[list style=”arrow2_bullets”]

  • A discount deal, for those that don’t buy because of the price of the product
  • BOGO deal for those that want to buy more for their money
  • “What you are missing” – for those that do not understand the product and don’t know how to use it

[/list]
Anyway I am including “share the deal” functionality everywhere, because if a user is not interested in the deal, they can pass the ball to a colleague.

 

Metrics’n Tracking

 

I am measuring everything starting from user’s sentiment via online tools + customer satisfaction via RATER model, open rates, click rates, purchases, different channel behavior and many more. When you have the data, using a tool like geckoboard.com for example will show you in REAL TIME what is going with your campaign and if something went wrong, you can modify it in the fly. Priceless!

 

What’s next….

 

Do not discontinue the free service, most of the people count on it, try to monetize it instead, that’s the second part of this article, that will be published anytime soon.

Wrong marketing approach from Comodo and ActiveState.

Categories Marketing, Mozilla

I have downloaded a free version of Comodo IDE, called Comodo Edit. It’s fucking good IDE for HTML5, PHP, JS and [put your own language here].

[box color=”green”]
So far so good. I gave my email address to them, because I like the product and the team. After 12 seconds I receive this “help material”.
[/box]

They don’t want to provide me help how to get started, but to sell me the pro-edition:

 
[line]
I understand that approach, but please first give me what I need – links and materials to help me to understand “Comodo EDIT” better and 1 month after that send me an offer for the better IDE.