Ted Murphy, the CEO of PayPerPost, is a genius. Not because of what his company is doing, PayPerPost and paid posting isn’t my thing, but I find him a genius with my marketing hat on, because in years to come Ted Murphy and his marketing strategy for PayPerPost will be taught to kiddies at University in their ECommerce and Social Networking text books. It’s that good. Really.
Let take a run down of the PayPerPost (PPP) marketing strategy.
1. Launch a product without the one thing everyone said you should do: disclosure.
There are a number of competitors out there to PayPerPost, can anyone name more than maybe one? I can’t. PPP cut through because they intentionally left out forcing their “posties” to disclose the financial arrangement. Net result was a complete bushfire of outrage and indignation. Not even PPP itself could pay for that sort of attention and link love.
Remember that there is NO such thing as bad publicity. All those indignified soles were NEVER going to sign up in the first place. However, not all of their readers would have shared these views, and the company received exposure to millions of people.
2. Get in peoples faces
Industry events, even industry Top 100 lists, just to provoke the haters to slam you some more. If Web 2.0 is all about Attention, then PPP has mastered the art. I can’t remember a week in the past 3 months where I haven’t read someone carrying on about the company. It’s literally a red rag to a bull play, PPP wants attention, it helps drive new “posties” and advertisers to the company. Most people are grown up enough to make up their own minds…but they need to know you exist, what better way than to whip up the haters.
3. Hire a prominent opponent
Robert Scoble and PodTech have decided to turn down payment for Scoble speaking at the “Postiecon”, but he’s still speaking at it (and the time of writing). Whether he is for them or against them makes no difference, his credibility is being leant to the conference by his appearance. Just word of his appearance has whipped up a whole pile of PPP discussion in the blogosphere (me included). Lots of mentions, lots of attention….lots more visits to their main page, potentially lots more signups and advertisers…you get the idea.
4. Self Promote
Have you checked out the PPP’s fly on the wall style documentary (or should that be mokumentary) Rockstartup? I watched an episode and I really wanted to reach through the screen and punch half the people in it. Jeff Jarvis covered it at Buzzmachine last week. Yes, it’s awful, yes it makes them all look like grade A w*nkers, but as a promotional tool to get more attention? it totally rocks (pardon the pun). More attention = more visitors = more posties + advertisers.
5. Thick Skin
The above 4 sound simple, but having a think skin is the magical ingredient that makes PPP’s marketing strategy work. It’s not nice being slammed in any shape or form, and yet if you can hold it together, take the blows, and the end of the day you laugh all the way to the bank…just as PPP is now undoubtedly doing.