Why 3 Colorado tech companies threw the marketing playbook out the window

by Jess Ryan
January 25, 2017

Though they get modified every once in a while, the contents of the marketing playbook remain relatively steadfast. But with innovation as a cornerstone of the tech industry, even marketers are bound to come up with creative ways to connect with customers, tell their brand’s stories and drive sales.

We caught up with three Colorado startups to learn about some innovative marketing tactics they’ve implemented lately.

 

 

Denver-based Red Canary provides enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions to organizations around the world. With a small but accomplished team, the company is making waves in Colorado’s tech community.

How did you realize you needed to go beyond traditional marketing tactics?

“The cybersecurity space is extremely noisy, and it is very common for CISOs and directors of information security to get dozens to hundreds of pitch emails every day,” said Cory Bowline, director of marketing.

What did you do instead?

“We partnered with one of our reseller partners based out of Vancouver, Canada to put on an event that would really stand out from the normal sales tactics,” said Bowline. “We charted three helicopters and flew into the mountains outside of Vancouver and had dinner by a remote mountain lake. It was super pristine. The event was extremely well attended and led to many meaningful conversations and ultimately a new customer.”

What are the benefits of thinking outside the box? How can marketers develop innovative strategies?

“For companies selling into enterprises, you need to stand out,” he said. “Your prospect is receiving solicitations constantly. Outstanding copywriting and a really solid pitch can definitely move the needle but every one of your competitors is working to improve their pitch as well. Figure out a way to rise above the noise and get to meaningful conversations."

 

 

 

eBags is an online retailer of bags and travel gear. The Greenwood Village company has seen massive growth in the last year, following a decision to pivot and re-focus on their travel vertical.

What have you done recently to enhance your marketing strategy?

“The marketing strategy shift to mobile requires better measurement and understanding of our users and their path to purchase,” said Chris Seahorn, vice president of marketing. “Many users discover eBags on a mobile device and ultimately feel more comfortable completing the purchase on a desktop. They may hit a number of different channels and devices along the way, and developing better means to understand this journey is a critical to making the right marketing investment decisions.”

What did your research uncover?

“The main behavioral shifts we saw from customers migrating to mobile was the use of voice to search and the consumption of video content,” said Seahorn. “The voice queries are much more specific than typing… terms into Google, and we reorganized resources to begin building out content to meet these needs. The consumption of content on Facebook is predominantly mobile, requiring eBags to adopt many of Facebook's best practices for the mobile feed — including designing video for sound, optimizing the vertical format and even tapping into Facebook Live.”

What did that strategy shift look like, from a technical standpoint?

“Because we know our customers are mobile first, we shifted our strategy to focus on mobile first shopping experiences,” said CTO Mike Frazzini. “Over much of 2016, we worked to execute a number of changes. These include, but are not limited to: reduced mobile checkout pages from seven to one; added mobile wallets (Apple Pay, ChasePay, MasterPass, Amex); increased mobile site load speed (a major hurdle for mobile conversion); incorporated adaptive design for site optimization; and fine-tuned emails to be easier for mobile users.

“We have also invested heavily in developing services like our eBags Connected Tag and Steals of the Day programs that drive customer engagement and loyalty through our mobile app,” he said.

How can companies benefit by thinking outside the box when it comes to marketing? Why is it important?

“In today's world, everyone has to move at digital speed to stay relevant in the market,” said CEO Mike Edwards. “The product and services you build and deliver have to create customer value and inspiration.

“For us at eBags, we have to anticipate our customer needs and meet them at the digital speed they’ve come to expect. With more than 3.3 million unbiased customer reviews on our site, we have the tools to help shoppers find what they’re looking for. From our early days in e-commerce, it’s been our mission to use our outside-the-box thinking to help people travel smarter.

 


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BombBomb’s video email platform helps its users connect with their prospects on a more personal level by adding short videos to emails. In the last couple of years, the Colorado Springs company has grown to one of Colorado’s largest tech companies — and they’ve got no plans to slow down.

What interesting marketing tactics have you put in place lately?

“Marketing is done best by happy customers,” said Ethan Beute, vice president of content and communication. “Structured as a contest, BombBomb asked our customers to use our product, a video email platform, to tell the story of how they’re using our platform to help them win more opportunities. Nearly 100 members of our community kindly shared their stories on the effectiveness of video communication with BombBomb.”

What does the final execution look like?

“We’re packaging the brilliant testimonials into a new series called ‘7 Stories,’ featuring 7 distinctive personalities from different industries, each winning with simple video,” said Beute. “The title’s a nod to our home on the 7th floor of the Wells Fargo Tower in downtown Colorado Springs.”

How does this tactic impact your company culture?

“Hearing real stories of success and appreciation from the people we serve certainly helps our customers and prospects, but it also inspires everyone at BombBomb to remember the purpose behind the work we do every day,” he said.

 

 

Photos via featured companies.

Have a tip or know of a company that deserves coverage? Let us know.

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