Marketing Genius

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Marketing Genius: Startup Customer Service Done Right at HipChat


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


If communication leads to community, then BuzzFarmers has the strongest community known to man. We’re storytellers, so we have a lot to say (some more than others). Good discussion is at the core of the BuzzFarmers culture, and no topic is off limits.

We facilitate that discussion with one of the most popular apps in the BuzzFarmers office: the instant messenger tool HipChat. HipChat is a startup that offers free and paid private chat services for internal communication and collaboration. Unlike AIM, Google Talk, and Skype, HipChat was built for businesses.

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Marketing Genius: WhistleGPS Hits 10k Pre-Orders With Cute Dog Photos


Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


Everyone at BuzzFarmers is always on time, because there’s no such thing as sneaking into the office if you’re late. The second you open the door, you’ll receive a friendly – and frenzied – greeting from Napa, the office dog and housecarl (who has his own blog: Napa’s Daily Growl). Although he’s not very good at answering the phones and sleeps through our weekly meetings, his fuzzy face is a reminder that there is a world outside the workload.

As much as we love our co-workers (and I think I speak for everyone), the connection we share with our pets is one of the most important bonds we have in life. Not only do pets reduce stress after – or during – the workday, but they also motivate us to exercise. Our four-legged friends keep us healthy and active, but who’s taking care of them?

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Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in 500 Words and Four Examples

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook in 500 Words and Four Examples

Oh, happy month, I had the pleasure of reviewing Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook on About.com for one of my favorite social media dudes.

Gary Vaynerchuck (@garyvee on Twitter) was originally known in the social media world as the guru of wine, and I think he can take a lot of credit for making wine cool again through Wine Library TV, where he shot videos sampling different wines in an Average Joe kind of way. At least, he had a lot to do with how I came to love wine. I’m getting married in Napa, for cripes’ sake!

But what makes Gary stand out in the social media and business world now is his hustle. Inc. dubbed him “the hardest working man in social media.”

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How Businesses Are Saying Happy 50th Anniversary to Dr. Who

Are you a Dr. Who fan? I’ve been watching Dr. Who here and there for several years, starting with the originals, and then more excitedly when it came back in 2005. I love the current doctor, Matt Smith; I think his storyline was the best yet. If you follow the #drwho hashtag today, you’ll find yourself among lots of happy fans celebrating the 50th anniversary and TV specials.

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So You Think Nobody Buys Things on Facebook? Grace Graffiti Proves They Do.

Illustrated by David Flanagan

I just witnessed, before my very eyes, a small business with a killer sales strategy on Facebook.

Meet Grace Graffiti, a small retail shop in Downtown Brunswick, Ga., that specializes in handmade wood decorations and accessories.

The Fourth of July is coming up, so GG decided to put up some of their patriotic items in a “first one gets it” kind of way. They told fans, “First to comment SOLD gets it.” And guess what … it worked.

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An Open Letter From a Small Biz to Customers Who Want Discounts

Illustrated by David Flanagan

If you know us, have read our blog, and follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, you know we love to support local business. We blogged our Small Business Saturday in Western Massachusetts, our Pizza Crawl, and we always like to point out when we see a small business doing something cool.

Two years ago, I started writing for Swipely, a company who is super-dedicated to helping Main Street businesses succeed, and ever since, I’ve been extra-sensitive to what ails the locals. And, heck, I’m a small business, too! But I can’t imagine having a storefront to maintain and inventory to stock.

Today, I saw this open letter on Facebook from Rob Babigian, owner of Wharf Clothing & Wares to some of his, er, thrifty customers. I thought it was worth sharing and thinking deeply about if you’ve chosen to shop locally.

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What an AWESOME Bakery Marketing Strategy!

Illustrated by David Flanagan

Tis the season for good karma, right? It’s almost like we think our “goodwill” budget expires at the end of the year, and so we all rush to do good deeds by the end of the month. With this whole Mayan thing going on, I wonder if good deeds are up by some of ridiculous percentage.

Well, how about being the beacon of light that encourages those good deeds in a creative way?

Next week, we’re going to be in Jackson, N.H., for half of the week for a special occasion. So, naturally, I’ve been looking around for neat things to do while we’re there. It’s in the White Mountains, so there’s plenty of snowshoeing and hiking to do. After talking with Chris Sturk over at Mequoda, he convinced me that we need to try ski boarding, too.

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Marketing Genius: Heineken’s BeerFriender Facebook Promotion


Marketing Genius: Heinekens BeerFriender Facebook Promotion

Marketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


When Heineken took a step back from their holiday marketing and considered that it’d be really easy to tell people to “Drink Heineken” but harder to convince them to actually do it, they must have stopped and paused a bit longer than other beer companies.

Touching on the guilt that most people have around the holiday season every time they buy something for themselves, Heineken partnered with Krups to create BeerTender alongside a Facebook application (BeerFriender) that encourages you to “gift” a BeerTender to a random Facebook stranger.

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Marketing Genius: How Urban Daddy Gets Readers on Every List

Marketing Genius: How Urban Daddy Gets Readers on Every ListUrbanDaddy brings elitism down to the middle class, bringing you exclusive deals that are amazing, always impulsive, and incredibly splurge-worthy. Being on their email list reminds you (daily) of all the wild things you could be doing out from behind your desk, like eating dinner in Vegas at a private chef’s table that dangles 160 feet in the air.

They cater to the self-induced elite class of people (for real, or pretend) who like expensive things, expensive vacations, and once-in-a-lifetime almost-affordable experiences like private dinners with famous chefs, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Brunches, even a freaking Halloween Costume Concierge Service. Personally, I love UrbanDaddy, which is why I can talk smack.

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Marketing Genius: AppSumo’s Secret ‘Like’ Button


Marketing Genius: AppSumos Secret Like ButtonMarketing Genius is a series created by BuzzFarmers to give virtual high-fives to anyone who develops a unique (and brilliant) marketing idea worth talking about.


AppSumo is one of the few “daily deal” emails I look forward to and still subscribe to. In their own words, “This fat-ass Sumo sends you one MASSIVE money-saving deal on tech stuff for startups (like apps and software) … Every day.” Font packages, training videos, apps, you name it.

Patrick and I deeply admire AppSumo’s creator Noah Kagan and all of his ventures, but two things that AppSumo itself does fantastically well: writing copy and getting their deals shared.

When faced with blasting their readers with soul-sucking jargon or throwing in a swear word, they’re happy to drop the f-bomb. Their copy is second to none and follows the same mantra as Groupon, who’d rather turn funny people into funny writers, rather than trying to turn a writer into a funny writer.

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