Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Negative Customer Acquisition Costs - Creative Startup Marketing Ideas - Eric David Greenspan

I’ve recently had a chance to reconnect with Eric David Greenspan (LinkedIn, Twitter)  He’s the CEO of Make It Work a high quality, personal, high touch technology service provider for homes and small businesses.  He’s done several startups and is a board member of the Technology Council of Southern California (which is where I met him originally).  A great opportunity for more visible networking.

I roughly know about MakeItWork, but tell me a bit about where you spend your time day-to-day.

A typical day starts with email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yammer checks/updates. Then I check and manage our Google Adwords campaign and check our analytics/stats. Sometimes I make a blog entry. I have a few meetings with the team, perhaps about the website design, radio show structure, an event we are working on, a sponsorship (perhaps the uniforms for our youth basketball team). I frequently work on networking through the social web and building new relationships that will foster knowledge gathering or business growth. A day might include a discussion with a finance partner, an investor, a customer or a fusion partner. Some days I respond to questions asked by folks like yourself, the press, or an entity doing a case study, i.e. Citrix, RIM, USC. I might also be found working on a presentation for an event or speaking engagement. I like to book my own travel, so I might be on Expedia or on an airplane. In between it all, I'm dropping off/picking up my son, hanging out with my wife and dogs, or perhaps a cigar with my brother or friends.

We need to spend some time discussing what you do with the social web.  It’s something I speak about quite a bit (see Social Media to Build Reputation and Reach Prospects and Social Media for Service Professionals).  It’s something I do a fair bit myself, but I’m always learning.  Look forward to the discussion.

Any aspects of the business you are particularly working on now?

Poogling events/webinar, radio show expansion and social media relationships and events.

It seems like a lot of what you are doing is about providing valuable information that accompanies the work that you do.  Again, an interesting topic to discuss.  I’m more familiar with content marketing in B2B Marketing.  I’ll be curious to drill down a bit around concepts like Browse My Stuff.  However, as I read more about your focus, you are using these things in a slightly different way, i.e., not sure if SEO is as important.

What's keeping you up at night?

Growing faster, increasing cash flow and satisfying my shareholders' desire for an exit.

That all sounds easy. ;)

What are you doing with social media to drive business for MakeItWork?  Anything that's been particularly successful?

Building relationships, partnering with social media experts on events (SBTwestival and 140 Conference Meetup), learning at events, building a following, testing any and all formats/venues, integrating social media into our radio show. So far, its been instrumental in expanding our reach, presence and brand, but I still believe that we must do it, but not sure exactly why yet.

Great stuff! 

I recently posted about SEO for Startups.  Is/was SEO important for MakeItWork? Any thoughts on my post?

Very important, but less than before. We have traditionally been a company heard about through word of mouth, radio advertising (now our own show) and from a Mini sighting. I'd rather invest time investing in social media to drive traffic to our site.

Love the minis!  Really aligns with the brand and are quite easy to recognize.  Plus, I’ve got to imagine your employees love it.

Your take on sources of leads is interesting.  I’ve got to imagine this makes tracking marketing spend challenging.

Anything else you doing from a marketing standpoint that's working well?

Our radio show, Tech News, powered by Make It Work has been a great success. Our new customer acquisition has grown and our costs have plummeted. We are actually getting paid now to obtain customers, so our customer acquisition costs are now negative. We are also building an audience from our Poogling Internet Safety Seminars, soon to be an online Webinar/video for broader reach.

Wow!  A negative customer acquisition cost!  I’m going to be using that as an example for a long time!  Just found the title of my post.

You've been blogging for a while, what are five good posts that I should check out?

Flip flops required, How I got my mortgage company to lower my payments by $10k, Want more Twitter followers?, Santa Barbara: the home of the clicks (and the calls), Do your kids Google poo?

Great posts.  I’ll be curious to hear more about your experience with affiliate marketing.  It seems like a lot of your time is spent finding creative ways to build your customer base.

I’ve personally been hesitant about using things like TweetAdder.  You must be doing more than just using the application to get followers in order to make it effective.  It’s that same discussion around how you are using social media.

What networking events in Los Angeles or Southern California do you go to? What was the best one you've been to recently?

VentureNet, Perfect Pitch

You and I have both been on the board of the technology council. What motivates you to do that? Is it a good use of your time?

My company and I are a perfect case study for the Tech Council affiliation. We won the Industry Awards category of Services Company of the Year that led to meeting the Executive Director of CTM at USC who asked me to become a member which led to many new relationships and speaking opportunities, then led to meeting Verizon where we secured a very unique partnership and they are now our radio show sponsor and we presented at VentureNet which led to a sizable funding from Tech Coast Angels. I've made solid press contacts from it, found quality partners, supporters of events and many other resources. I consider it INVALUABLE!

Who are some of your go to people in Southern California?

CTM and USC, staff of Citrix Online, TCA members, and now you!

Eric – this has been great getting to know you.  Really fantastic insights and I look forward to continued conversation around these things.

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