Play To Win

As a have said before I got pulled into the Switchyards accelerator weekend which was followed by the Switchyards demo night, which resulted in VacayWay, a team I played on, winning the audience choice award.

We learned about the award on demo night. It was simple enough. Most retweets of a tweet by @switchyards announcing each company would win. Fair enough. We did not win by accident. We won because if you are going to play you might as well play to win. Here is our marketing effort to win the award.

It really started in our prep for demo night. We decided to do a Facebook launch contest with the help of PerfectPost. We were going to use the contest as a call to action at the end of our presentation. The contest had three actions. Subscribe to the VacayWay mailing list, Like the VacayWay Facebook page, and retweet the contest on Twitter. So that was setup and ready to go. When we learned about the Switchyards audience choice award we added a fourth action. Retweet the @switchyards contest tweet.

The other action we did is the most simple in the world. We asked for the vote. Closing out our presentation Caitlin Abshier asked the audience for their vote. She was coached on this. Always make the ask. Many of the companies that presented that not did.

Once we were finished presenting we did what every good politician would do. We voted for ourselves early and often.

We then laid a Twitter ad campaign over the top of the organic effort. I purchased the keyword terms tavani, switchyards, and #SYdemonight. Can’t tell how many of these folks really voted but we had 1,604 impressions, 56 tweet engagements, a 27% engagement rate, and 34 click throughs all for a whooping $37.58.

When demo night ended we were leading the audience choice award by about four votes. We were also winning when I got to work the following day by a single vote. Then our friends at Dibs got a little serious. Not exactly sure what they did but they pulled well ahead of us amassing 44 votes. We had some work to do.

So we went back to work. The VacayWay team used Twitter direct messaging to directly ask our followers to vote for us. It worked. VacayWay had taken about a 20% lead by Saturday morning.

Then I did a little marketing hack. Using a technique that I will not speak of because it is clearly in the grey area of online marketing underbelly naughtiness I ensured the win. End result: 277 votes, over six times our closest competitor. Victory. Tavani announced the VacayWay win last week.

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If you are going to play, play to win. You’ll lose if you don’t.

June 26, 2014  |  Comments  |  Tweet  |  Posted in Accelerators, Entrepreneurship, Marketing