TiEcon 2008 panel on ‘Creating Buzz’

Scaling: Building Buzz and Winning Customers



  Matt Marshall, VentureBeat


  James Joaquin, Bridgescale Partners

  Krishna ‘Kittu’ Kolluri, New Enterprise Associates
  Dave McClure, Stanford University
  Indu Navar, Serus Corporation


This was a great discussion on how to create buzz and acquire customers. Here’s a brief list of key takeaways from this panel:

Influence the influencers. Invite bloggers, analysts, reporters, and your other key influencers into your world, share information on your business/product so they can evangelize your business for you.

Let the metrics lead your way. Most people agree that marketing is a combination of art and science. Having clearly-defined metrics will ensure your costs are in alignment with the projected returns. Pick a few key conversion metrics that represent your customer and that increase value to you and increase your value to your customer.

Use analytics to make decisions. Test different pages, messaging, keywords and use conversion metrics to determine which ones are working and which don’t.

PR is often overrated. Find creative ways to create higher returns on a low budget. PR can be very helpful but it comes at a steep price and it’s ineffective if your product is not ready or it sucks. WOM is extremely effective for marketing on a shoe-string budget. Some quick and dirty (and cheap ways) to build buzz – daily blogging by employees, hire out-of-work writers to write up your PR, hand out funky t-shirts, or any other creative giveaways to get folks talking about your business/product.

– Make sure your product is ready and your marketing campaign is effective. Get statistically relevant data on your customer, iterate, and go to market quickly. Depending on how large your audience is, use the most effective medium. Word of Mouth is extremely effective in driving adoption on a bootstrap budget. Design your marketing campaigns to hit as many of these as following – High Volume (#), Low Cost ($), High Conversion (%).

Great buzz isn’t everything. Last but not the least, remember that great buzz doesn’t necessarily mean it will translate to online activity that you want. So don’t go crazy on just creating buzz, make sure you focus on whether it also translates into activity that you want.

PS: Check out Dave McClure’s blog for some great content (He’s brilliant!!!) 


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