HSE Fest Has Officially Begun!
On June 24, the International University Startups & Spin-Offs Festival commenced with an opening ceremony. The first guest lectures covered marketing for young companies.
Marketing with a small budget
Raman Kumar, CEO of Marketing Agency and Co-Founder of Qlean, spoke about how to attract clients with a zero marketing budget, and how to scale marketing tools to a business's growth. In Kumar’s view, if a company wants to expand the pool of its customers at minimal cost, it needs to acquire three tools.
First of all, discounts for those who help you matter. Find HR managers and offer something unique (for instance, a loyalty card with a maximum discount or free shipping) in exchange for all available email addresses they have for purposes of mass mailings.
Secondly, work with micro-influencers on Facebook. This is a fairly simple but effective mechanism: find a well-known blogger, and then micro-influencers with around 2,000 subscribers. Offer these people a swap: they get a free product or service in exchange for promoting it among the followers.
And the last thing is PR. Compile a list of media outlets you would like to cooperate with, and prepare all materials for publication in advance. Try to reach out to the journalists who write for the audience you are interested in. Offer media outlets a ready-made article, as it will lighten the journalists' load and increase your chances of getting published.
Entry into foreign markets
Robert Neivert, Venture Partner of 500 Startups, unveiled the secret of how to geographically expand your business. Before branching out to other countries, it is essential to test your product in the local market. However, this does not mean that the country of origin will remain your product's main market: the decision to develop your business abroad and seek subsidiaries from foreign partners in certain locations should be made in accordance with investment returns.
The lecture also covered the issue of recruiting personnel—particularly, the importance of hiring personnel at the stage of the company's inception, distributing their responsibilities as well as preparing them for working in a foreign country.
All in all, the main focus of the lecture was the cultural, linguistic and administrative differences of the countries that affect ones interests and approaches to any kind of business.
Working with bloggers
Alexander Nevidimov, CTO at BitRewards, said that the relevance of business promotion on the Internet and the high competition of influencers in social networks is beyond a doubt.
The speaker discussed the issue of professional etiquette for customers and bloggers and presented some relevant cases for startups: how to choose the right candidate for posting an advertisement, and whether a business area has a direct impact on the relevance of advertising in social networks. He also spoke about the technical solutions that help automate client activities and make the best offer to an influencer. Many bloggers with an audience of 1,000 to 50,000 subscribers (about a million users of social media) express interest in participating in these projects.