I spent Monday evening having a conversation with a group of small creative business owners - from the Surrey/Hampshire area - in Guildford.
Many thanks to Kate from the Farnham Electric Business Club for asking me to fill in.
I was asked to give a short presentation and kick off a discussion and braindump to see if we could collectively come up with some ideas and tactics around the theme of 'Know your Product'.
In retrospect I think I tried to squeeze a bit too much content into the presentation as I had to whizz through to allow enough time for the dialogue piece, and despite leaving my notes in the cab I just about managed to wing it.
My presentation was loosely themed around the value of conversation and connection strategies for small businesses with low or no budget for marketing.
I started off with a sort of case study of a piece of work we did at Weapon7 for the launch of Xbox360 which went viral via the Xbox fan forums. Using a fraction of the media budget it created a disproportionate buzz compared the more expensive media and showed how getting the early adopters and influencers talking can accelerate the spread of an idea.
I introduced gapingvoid's Stormhoek blogger outreach from 2005 and neatly segued in the launch of the Blue Monster label (how cool to be featuring it on day of launch) to demonstrate the influence of social media and show the value of unlikely partnerships, and followed that up with a look at Go Home Productions - how garden shed remixer's cgc ends up on MTV and remixes for David Bowie.
The homework for the group was to connect to me, join the conversation, start experimenting with new tools/tactics outside of traditional marketing and look into the kind of innovations that can develop the talkability of their product or service.
I also promised some recommended reading to get some thinking going, I'm going to list a couple of things here for those who have done the homework and looked me up.
BOOK - Seth Godin's Purple Cow , when I first read this about 3 years ago all sorts of lightbulbs started going off in my head.
PODCAST - to get enthused about all things new media you could do worse than Six Pixels
BLOG - Any of the links on my sidebar will lead you off to many more links.
And in the spirit of link-love heres the people who left me their cards at the end.
Claire Harrison, Fine Artist
Designer, Nick Cannons
Another designer, Andrew Cross
The Boiler Room, Guildford music and arts venue.
Whats the pic all about? On my way to work I usually buy a coffee off Mr Coffee, a van parked on the courtyard ouside new Spitalfields market. Despite having Starbucks, Costa and numerous other established coffee chains around them, Mr Coffee has a long line every morning. Instead of the usual boring loyalty stamp cards you get a free pair of pants with every 20 coffee's. Or if you just ask they will give you a pair anyway.