25. 5. 2021

Professional marketing for companies that can(not) afford it

Outsourcing marketing – does that sound like a contradiction to you? For a surprisingly large number of companies, setting up marketing is a substantial challenge. They start looking for a marketing superhero and have unrealistic expectations concerning this expert. Moreover, they have no experience in coordinating external agencies and evaluating their contributions and services. As a result, they handle marketing inconsistently and without a real strategy. For these companies, outsourcing marketing is a chance to team up with professionals and start building marketing activities effectively from the get-go.

Who should consider outsourcing?

We founded our company with the vision that a typical client of ours would be a smallish Czech company. Within four years, we found out that most of our clients are medium-sized firms with 50 to 600 employees coming from all over Europe. Most often, we handle B2B of companies that have been underestimating the importance of marketing for a long time. Now, they are beginning to realize the importance of marketing, but do not know how to get theirs up to professional standards.

Typically, we deal with companies whose owners understand that their business could do better and see that the image of the company their clients, partners and employees have could be better as well if they invested in professional marketing long-term. A common denominator of such companies tends to be under-investing in marketing (our record figure is a mere 0,26% of the yearly turnover!). For such companies, the goal is not to save money by outsourcing, but to increase quality.

What outsourcing of marketing mean

The punch line of outsourcing marketing, the way we see it, is a medium- to long-term collaboration, with the goal of analyzing the company in detail, understanding its business and designing a marketing strategy and plan. Furthermore, it is necessary to set up marketing processes, find suitable service providers and partners and then implement the plan.

The marketing team is custom-built to fit the strategy, but mainly put together in line with time management – marketing strategists, project managers, but also various specialists are only on the clock when the company needs them. If the company wanted to put together such a team on its own, it could well take them months to years. The advantage of outsourcing is that the team is already set to go.

Another step is either training the existing team or to building a new team if there was previously none, and hand over a functioning system. Often, the outsourcing specialists stay on as consultants and sometimes also as executive team members.

Outsourcing marketing is not for everyone

We like to say that in an ideal world, our services would not be needed. A company that has a quality marketing department or a CEO with the mind of a customer-oriented marketer does not need us. And there are plenty of such companies. You just have to take a look at popular B2C companies and e-commerce (and you can also find small firms and B2B companies with great marketing).

Outsourcing is not appropriate for companies that see marketing as merely producing flyers, just PPC campaigns or for those who have unrealistic expectations and see no need to get rid of them.

How to outsource marketing

There is no shortage of marketers who can assist you. From our experience, we find that the most important task is that they become a part of the client’s company and behave as real partners rather than mere service providers. That they do not simply receive a call and start creating a campaign, but actively co-design marketing from the core, that they receive information, and have the same level of power and responsibility as an internal marketing director. Only when we approach the process this way can we build successful marketing and a strong, durable brand for a company.

Quality marketing is not just for big companies

We see outsourcing as a marketing stepping stone for some companies. For many, it is a way to start investing in meaningful marketing. It is a possibility to have professional marketing for a fraction of the cost of a comparable in-house department. At the same time, it is a way of acquiring a team with a deep understanding of your company that you can quickly „turn off and on“.

We are convinced that the main contribution of our collaboration – and the reason why this is worth doing – should be a total change of mindset about what position marketing has in the company structure. In a well-designed collaboration, it goes from being a neglected area to becoming an integral part of the business and the strategic planning of the company.

12. 3. 2021

5 Positive News Items from 2020 for Sensezoom

“The year 2020 was a time for us to recognise our values, slow down and work on our own development.” How many times have you heard that already? At senseZOOM, we also had to figure out how to best survive this new situation. Plus, thanks to how closely connected we are with our clients, we exerted even more effort to help them as best we could. Whether it was to bridge this difficult period, slow down and then start up again or, on the contrary, to manage the large growth of their transactions and activities. Thus, most months were far busier than usual. And we bring the determination to fight even more into the year 2021. We expect that more and more companies will be open to outsource services, including marketing.

Neither we nor our clients could have foreseen what last year brought. Unfortunately, it affected some a bit more than us (even though we grew by double compared to 2019, we originally planned 30% more). And how can we help clients overcome this unpredictable situation? We use our greatest advantage: the flexibility of our team. Thanks to our model of operation, we could rearrange the entire team currently working on a client according to its momentary needs and configure the cooperation so that it accommodates the current conditions. Sometimes we changed the composition of the team to be more executive, sometimes we pulled back and other times added more. In addition to the many challenges, 2020 also brought a lot of good aspects to us. We decided to choose five of the most important ones.

1. We welcomed new faces to the team

And both from the ranks of external workers and in-house employees. This helped us take our services to a higher level and now we target our clients’ needs more accurately. We have capable juniors in marketing and in the graphic studio, we have a far stronger copywriting team for both Czech and English content and we have also become stronger in digital marketing and social media. But we still are not complete. We are looking for a Marketing Manager that will take care of one of our key clients and will also finally have time for the marketing of senseZOOM itself.

2. We launched a graphic studio

During the course of our operations, we noticed that we are getting more and more assignments concerning graphics and visual identity. This led to the establishment of our own graphic studio and, at the end of 2020, we introduced www.primestudio.cz. Thanks to this, we are more flexible and can cater to companies that need to work on their brand and visual identity or only need a logo or a website. We are glad to be able to show you all the beautiful things that the lads from Prime have already created.

3. We zoomed on Novák’s social network

The success that we celebrated with our clients is no less important. Together with the traditional butchery Novák we managed to take its strategy, visual identity, communication and social network to a higher level. Thanks to this, we have noticed both positive commercial results and, more importantly, greater customer satisfaction. We also launched lots of local campaigns all tailored to specific stores, thanks to which we managed to better address the butcher’s customers with a more personal approach. We also improved the client’s product photos — their venison and pork feast campaigns were among those of which we are especially proud.

4. Success at Group-IPS and Crowdberry

For Group-IPS, we started producing podcasts, a form of media that maybe has its best days behind it, but is still an important channel for technological firms. It is called The HUB and introduces all the experts from Group-IPS, who pass on their experience and knowledge from all sectors of the company through it, but also share how they draw on inspiration from their children’s Montessori preschool for managing a team, for example. If you are interested in anything concerning project management and more, we recommend listening to it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For Crowdberry, the biggest challenge was to move all face-to-face meetings that are so important for investing to the online world. The second was to manage a large number of new investment campaigns as growing companies, especially e-commerce players, need more capital during the Corona crisis. We also completely adopted everything that is needed not only to hold successful webinars but also to host them. We helped successfully fund Isadore Apparel, which subsequently, thanks to Crowdberry, could launch a successful advertising campaign and celebrate a massive increase in sales. And we can’t forget the campaign for Footshop, the funding of which was undoubtedly the most significant event for Crowdberry. Last, but not least, we also contributed to the launch of a new Crowdberry division, which concentrates on the search for investment opportunities in the area of real estate and for the beginning of 2021 we are preparing the launch of a new, automated online platform.

5. senseZOOM and the chocolate factory

Chocotopia also went through a huge change thanks to us. Not only did we help with the new visual identity, but we also improved communication. That was a huge success for us in and of itself, though the most important event was definitely the launch of the Chocolate Experience Centre in Průhonice. We also started up online and offline campaigns and made sure that as many people as possible knew about its opening. And it worked! The number of visitors to the centre increased by 50–100% during our campaign.

In conclusion, we would like to thank everyone who went through this year with us. Though it was demanding, it was also full of experiences. We are fully prepared for the big question mark that is the year 2021, and we are looking forward to whatever it throws our way!

2. 3. 2021

Do You Think Marketing Is Boring? We Had to Rent a Helicopter. And a Boat.

Product demos work. Both Horst Fuchs and Steve Jobs understood this. Showing your product live is simply the best option. No one wants to read long technical specifications, brochures or just listen to a person in business attire talking about their wonderful product. So when we thought about how to present the prototype of the independent smart home Ecocapsule to the public, a product demo was the obvious choice. Back in 2018, when people could still freely gather in large numbers, we organized events in Bratislava and Prague. Those were proper adrenaline kicks — and there was even a higher power at work.

How to engage journalists and investors

In 2017, 11 brave Crowdberry investors combined their funds to invest in Ecocapsule. Its founders had a great idea — a mobile and self-sustainable microhome that can be installed wherever, and which can simply run by itself, in any environment. What was missing: a functioning prototype. Overall, 750,000 euros flowed from the investors into the company to allow it to develop the fully functioning prototype. But for a small-series production to start running to satisfy the growing customer demand, more investors were needed. All of this called for an entire marketing campaign — which is where we come in.

Bratislava — look out, flying house ahead!

In Bratislava, we chose the roof of Crowdberry’s company headquarters for the presentation. The Ecocapsule was transported there with a helicopter and even the mere transport already drew a lot of attention. Besides putting on a great event, we thereby managed to stress one of the main benefits of the product, too. You can put the capsule house wherever you want. Literally. All you need is a strong piece of rope and a capable pilot

Prague — we need more water!

For the Prague event, we partnered with Ogilvy PR and CreativePro, an event agency that was funded on Crowdberry. Together we chose the Vltava river as the location for the presentation. We invited journalists, investors, business partners and other guests to the all-day event hosted on the Cargo Gallery, a boat and event space in one. It had a great view: the Dancing House, Vyšehrad, we could already see it all coming together… The problem was, however, that at the time, the water level of the river was too low, so the boat carrying the capsule could not come. That is something you simply do not even consider when you are planning an event. It was beginning to look like we would have to go for option B — a pontoon near Střelecký island — or cancel the event altogether.

But then, three days before the event, it started raining and the level of the Vltava and Elbe river rose. In some areas, maybe even a bit too rapidly. So in the end, one day prior to the event, the Cargo Callery was able to take off from Děčín and come to Prague.

Both events resulted in a successful investment round with over 80 investors joining Ecocapsule to become its co-owners. The investment also allowed the company to start production and hire a number of professionals for its team.

And Ecocapsule’s success story didn’t end there on the Vltava bank. Thanks to the team and investors, the company ultimately made it to Times Square! Yet, we believe there is so much more to come…