Start Up Blog

Difference between traditional & social media

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 25, 2009

This is the difference between traditional and social media in one simple chart (albeit a little fuzzy). Forget all the crap you have read on how social media differs to traditional media. This is it summarized right here on startup blog in terms which matter for business:

Difference between traditional & social media

I’ve made some notes above. Don’t believe what you’ve heard – old media isn’t dead – sure it’s more expensive for the return, but it still kicks but. When rentoid was featured on a nightly news TV show as a positive story, we had more hits that one day than we did for the entire year. And we had been and are investing a tremendous amount of time on new and social media. It’s been a two year effort.

If you want a few other qualitative ideas to take with you then here’s a few:

  • They work better together
  • Social media is incredibly slow but has a compound effect
  • If I had endless funds available for media, I’d still prefer traditional media (for now)

These comments are based on fact and real experience in Australia from my business rentoid.com which has had heavy exposure in both.

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Business pulse

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 6, 2009

You have a pulse – it’s important it never stops.

Your business has a pulse – when it stops your customers assume your dead or dying.

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This why the following elements are crucial for your business or startup:

  • Advertising frequency
  • Newsletter updates
  • Web page changes
  • Twitter feed on your homepage
  • Regular blogging
  • Returning phone calls & emails the same day
  • Speedy invoicing (guilty)
  • Product iterations and improvements
  • PR & media exposure
  • Team, fan, member, evangalist get togethers
  • Conversing with your people on line
  • Conversing with people off line
  • Acknowledging (not hassling) everyone who enters your office, retail space or workshop.

Let your customers know you’re alive, and they’ll treat you like you are. Let them think your dead or dying and they’ll ensure you die for sure.

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Digital Footprints – the power of

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 25, 2009

Recently I took a photo in New York of something I thought to be particularly interesting. I uploaded it to twitpic and posted it on my twitter page. The net result was approx 100 views of the image. Here it is below:

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Fast forward 2 months and the image is ‘re-tweeted’ back to me from someone else after it has made the rounds and it now has more than 38,000 views. Holy Wow. (You can click the image to see the current view count)

How did it get 38,000+ views after only 100 people cared when I first posted it? Well the answer is simple, it’s digital, which means its footprint stays forever – the digital footprint. And when someone more influential on the web than me share’s it, it spreads in a compound fashion. Sure it got shared, call it viral, call it what you please. But the thing of true power here is the digital footprint. It wasn’t an instant in market reaction. The spreading happened 2 months after the launch. Not the day it went to air, like a TV advertisement.

The lesson for startups and marketers is simple. The real power of digital media is the footprint it leaves, the permanency, and the ability for people to catch up. This is something traditional media (newspapers, radio, billboards, Tv) just don’t have.

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Great work from Craig

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 7, 2009

Here’s an example of why creativity beats a big  budget every time. A very well executed ‘idea’ – I wont say campaign, or viral marketing ‘yet’. Sure, it’s gone viral, but I’m not yet convinced it is marketing…..which we’ll have a little chat about after you read the attached visuals:

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Clearly, this is some very clever and funny work. Engaging, entertaining and creates strong curiosity.

Yep, it’s gone viral, but is it marketing? I’d say not yet. Simply because effective marketing has to create a change in behavior, a call to some form of action, which this hasn’t done yet.

I can’t help but think that any added brand addendum in part 2 of the campaign will make it lose credibility almost instantaneously. To me it could work if it was Craig’s list – which would make sense, or maybe ‘Craig’ the local comedian doing some nice street level brand awareness bootstrapping. It will be interesting to see what this thing ends up being. It comes from this webpage: http://users.tpg.com.au/morepats/Craig/ – If any one knows be sure to share it with us.

So what’s in it for startups?

This campaign, proves that we can do really cool, engaging stuff for less than $1. in printing costs. It proves that media is ‘free’ for cool stuff. We just need to unlock our imagination.

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Dubai series: Hijack Advertising

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on January 31, 2009

The photo below is on the car of the guy I am staying with in Dubai. Have a look at the wheel cover on his 4 wheel drive, of which there are more than sedans on the road in said location.

wheel-cover

You’ll notice that it has a cover on it for ‘Danube’ which happens to be a building materials company. Funny this is ‘Michael – the car owner’ doesn’t work there. He told me one day he returned to his vehicle to find it placed on his spare wheel.  I asked him if it annoyed him, and he proceeded to tell me, it doesn’t worry him as it protects his wheel, and it is a bit of a hassle to remove. Yep, he hasn’t got around to removing it yet…

Subsequently I noticed these on many cars in Dubai. Seems the other owners of the hijacked cars haven’t bothered to remove theirs either.

It’s an interesting piece of advertising and media invention.
It is giving an item of value to the hijacked, that is the wheel cover, but on the same token it’s very interruptive. If the cover get’s thrown away, it becomes a costly exercise for the advertiser. I’m not sure it would be tolerated in a western market, but it’s innovative non the less.

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Business relationships & startups

Entrepreneurs must build all types of relationships.

  • Relationships with our suppliers and the value chain
  • Relationships with our buyers & resellers
  • Relationships with our staff and business partners / investors
  • Relationships with our audience & evangelists

In fact, when we are small have little or no revenue, the only thing we can do is have conversations and build relationships. These will lead to action and revenue. While having dinner with a colleague the other night, John Colbert of Corporate Edge training he gave me his view on relationships.

He said:

There are two important factors in relationships – frequency & proximity.

How frequently are we engaging the other person? Where frequency, is any type of conversation, communication or interaction.

And what is our proximity to this person? Where proximity pertains to the physical closeness and real world interactions we have together. Do we meet in person? Are we getting to know each other without the use of technology? Simply meeting in the same location?

The more of the above two things we have the stronger our relationships come. If we for a moment think of who we have strong relationships with, we’ll see we have both Frequency and Proximity.


The reality is humans want to deal with people they like, trust and know. This is what relationships build.

So if one of our important business relationships (those listed above) is flagging, maybe we should have more frequent interactions, get closer or do both.

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