Cyber-NY, a small emarketing and Web development firm in Manhattan needed more clients. They don't have a full-time marketer of their own or a major budget so Partner Damian Bazadona had to improvise.
Bazadona has tried a wide variety of marketing and sales techniques all the way from very soft relationship building to hard selling cold calls.
In the relationship front Cyber-NY launched two sites (aside from its own corporate one.) Disk-o.com is a jokey site featuring items such as "Cat-Cam" where a cat with a videocam tied on its head is supposedly beaming out shots from the Cyber-NY offices. Web Site Estates.com is a serious site featuring formal Internet marketing news and tips. Cyber-NY also started throwing a regular bimonthly party to invite potential clients and members of the press to, along with current company friends. They tried several tactics in order to stand out in the plethora of similar NY parties; including holding a professionally curated art exhibition in their offices and creating a viral invitation for their Halloween party featuring an interactive flash game.
Like many service providers these days, Bazadona formed partnerships with technology companies whose could flesh out Cyber-NY's creative offerings. The two companies would then pitch clients as a team. He says, "If we walk into the room together we're a stronger team. Clients are looking for a complete package." But there are drawbacks; "Some clients get nervous because they see two parties. They worry you are not on the same page. You have to highlight your past experience together in the pitch."
And yes, Bazadona has cold called for new business. This Fall he tried to warm up the leads before calling them, by having two informational packages in unusual coverings (one in a blue plastic case and the other in a blank, brown kraft envelope) hand delivered to the head of interactive at several dozen large ad agencies and PR firms.
Cyber-NY has grown over 600% in the past year. Much of the firm's work has come in the form of subcontracted jobs from larger ad agencies and PR firms. Bazadona says, "PR firms will farm out a lot of work, I see such growth in that. In particular we've been approached by tons of them for viral campaigns." Cyber-NY has also worked with two of the top 10 ad agencies in NY, whose names Bazadona can't reveal on record. (We promise you, they are biggies.)
The company's own viral party invitation was a big hit. Cyber-NY sent out about 200, and within 48 hours 2,000 people had viewed them, 150 of whom (including some name-brand press) showed up at the Halloween party. Bazadona says, "That was a huge hit for us." In comparison, the art opening party, which used a non-viral invite, only pulled about 50 attendees.
The cold calling has gone less well. Only about 50% of the recipients of the hand-delivered packages remembered getting them a few days later. Of these just one has panned out into a real meeting so far. Bazadona says, "Some people blew us off, another one was retiring.... I think we shot too high in the organization. We're going to try it again at a slightly lower title level."
Cyber-NY has just begun transforming satisfied Disk-o and Web Site Estates visitors into clients. Bazadona definitely feels the sites have kept up employee morale in the mean time.
NOTES: Bazadona credits much of the company's continued growth to the Cyber-NY's performance on the subcontracted jobs they do for other firms, "We understand that execution -- delivering on time and on budget -- is one of the most important components of a relationship of this kind. We've farmed out work ourselves in the past and we know what it's like when your ass is on the line. That's got to come up with you speak to sales prospects about this."
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