Global accelerator MassChallenge taps GCAi’s Digital Marketing Team for another international startups bootcamp. View photos from the bootcamp on Flickr.
The innovation economy keeps growing and is now a global phenomenon. Through MassChallenge, GCAi has had the opportunity to work with startup cohorts from Columbia, Mexico, and, recently, Morocco. Our Digital Marketing Team recently presented “The Secret Sauce of Digital Marketing” to a group of startups from Morocco, which included an accelerator, a clean tech company, a car-sharing company, and many more.
“Their enthusiasm is incredible,” noted GCAi President John Garvey. “That is the universal factor we see with all successful startups – high energy and high engagement. This group was no different, and in a lot of ways, they were more ambitious than the teams we normally encounter.” John noted that the everyday tools that US-based startups can call upon are not as available to the Moroccan startups. “They told us that Internet is not always available and that fax is used as much if not more than email. Their media is also split, with some publishing in Arabic and others in French. So, for PR purposes, you are pitching in two different languages.”
“Even though their go-to-market needs are more complicated, they still loved our digital marketing tools and tactics,” suggested Darcy Fortune, GCAi SEO PR Analyst. “I showed them a traditional press release – which they all recognized. Then I showed them our Digital Media Kits, and the cell phones all came out and they started snapping pictures.” According to Darcy, much of the conversation related to PR focused on developing relationships with media and then creating the right approach to pitching them. “The fact that we were talking about doing that through facsimile sort of blew us away. But the approach we presented is flexible and will still get results even though the dissemination method is dated from a US perspective.”
“Of course it is difficult to use Social Media Marketing if Internet is not widely available,” explained James Garvey, GCAi Social Media Marketing Analyst. “Still, many of the ventures were already using Social Media Marketing and they asked a lot of great questions about content production – especially video – and targeting.” One of the startups that attended the breakout James facilitated was a venture that was developing a way to provide free Internet access supported by advertisement. “She was looking for methods to reach marketing and advertising professionals who might be interested in placing ads within her platform that provides free Internet access to users after they watch a branded advertisement. I was impressed that this founder had developed a way to turn a difficult situation into a positive and a business.”
Data was also on the minds of these founders. “One of the startups that I met with was interested to learn that Google Analytics provides keyword data – which search terms visitors use to get to their website,” noted Mary Shea, GCAi Vice President Digital Strategy and a Google AdWords Qualified Planner. “So, we discussed how their site’s keyword data could be used to launch a new and better targeted Search Network campaign.” Mary also worked with another startup that was developing online video campaigns. “We determined that the geo-targeting in Morocco isn’t as advanced as it is here,” Mary explained, “Therefore their service presents a unique opportunity for advertisers to reach users in a very specific location.”