Client Company: Songs For Gifts
Industry: Start-up (Custom Written Songs)
The collaborative economy has opened the door to a whole new way of thinking about producing and distributing products and services. Never before has there been the ability to seamlessly connect individuals in an organized, safe way - at scale.
New business Songs For Gifts leans on this approach by sourcing musical talent and connecting that talent to customers looking for a novelty gift. Potential customers filter their song selection by genre, listen to samples from various artists, complete the customization form, and between 3 and 5 days later receive a completely original, custom song.
This provides talented artists a means to do what they love, while earning some additional income as well as delighting customers with something that lasts forever and is completely unique to them.
Summary of the Problem:
Songs For Gifts operates at limited margins and needed a way to keep operations minimalized to ensure profitability. Research had shown that $99 was the upper limit for pricing a custom song and the minimum required by an artist to write the song was pushing right against that limit. As a result, the fledgling business faced two main problems:
First, operations needed to be seamless and cost effective. Any extra time spent by staff managing communications between the client and the artist resulted in business-model breaking costs.
Second, this dramatic pricing pressure did not leave a lot of room for marketing dollars. Thus, the business needed to address a core challenge: How to design a digital business model to incorporate marketing directly into the process to gain organic growth, rather than spending a lot on advertising?
The team utilized a combination of a content marketing system, marketing automation, and integrated social media to develop a self-sustaining, self-promoting song producing machine.
Utilizing the Drupal Content Management System (CMS), the company used intimate knowledge of online software to create a self-serve website with two different “roles” - one for the customer and another where the artist can manage their songs.
Using this programming:
- Customers can order and download their songs, manage preferences, or check on a status.
- Artists are able to view recent orders placed and upload completed songs.
- Email notifications are triggered upon new orders as well as completed orders with automated follow-up for feedback.
Further, to share the song with the gift recipient, users create an e-card that was built for the specific purpose of easy sharing across social media.
The integration of those three elements, CMS, Marketing Automation, and proactive sharing via the e-card has resulted in an almost touch-free business model.
- Less than 4 hours per week are needed to manage the website and marketing materials.
- Further, completed songs are shared an average of 40 times, often with a follow-up purchase.
This approach cleverly allowed the new business to leverage social sharing and other crowd-sourcing tools to create their own demand curve. Further, an intelligent approach to development and design meant that the website itself performs a good deal of traditional customer service roles, reducing administrative costs and increasing business efficiency.