"We're still here. We're not going anywhere," says Michael Beresford, founder of NetScope Inc., a Web development firm in Irvine, California. It's a refrain he's repeated often in the wake of the dotcom bust. It seems a dark cloud continues to shadow Net-related businesses, and companies like NetScope have been undeservedly tainted by association.
Proving that NetScope is still thriving is a major marketing challenge for Beresford since the fallout. To solve the problem, he and his crew launched a streaming e-mail marketing campaign featuring animated versions of themselves. Using tongue-in-cheek humor and Flash and HTML technology, NetScope draws attention to the fact that the company has prospered despite the downturn and continues to succeed, thanks to good service and business practices. Says Beresford, 32, "It's a fun approach. Yes, the market crashed, and all these dotcoms [failed]. But people still need to market their companies; the Internet's not going away."
NetScope plans to use follow-up phone calls to complete the campaign-and win new clients. "The ultimate goal is to get in front of them so we can do our presentation," Beresford says. And, of course, show just how different NetScope is from all those defunct dotcoms.
Need to stretch your advertising budget? Be on the prowl for "remnant space" in major magazines-it comes available when a company pulls an ad or misses a deadline. Instead of running public service ads or self-promos, publications would prefer to sell the space at a discounted rate-from 30 to 70 percent off the regular rate.
Don Carlin, COO of media buying agency Pro Media Inc. in Natick, Massachusetts, offers these tips for funding these sweet deals: Negotiate remnant space as part of your overall media buy or as "added value" (that's free for good customers), and set aside bucks to take advantage of last-minute opportunities.
Rich e-Mail, Cheap!
We've all seen those groovy e-mails with cool characters and multimedia graphics. Big corporations use 'em, but can growing companies get in on the action-without breaking the bank? We found that Beema Inc.-a Campbell, California, provider of rich media services such as e-mail marketing-offers options at affordable prices.
Beema's online store has lots of e-mail templates you can customize with logos, graphics and fonts. Prices range from $300 to $3,500, with many templates hovering around the $1,700 mark. If you lack the desire or capability to send e-mails from your server, don't miss the MyBeema service-for a few cents per message, Beema will handle it for you.
Kimberly L. McCall is president of McCall's Media & Marketing, a business communications company in Freeport, Maine. Nichole L. Torres is a staff writer at Entrepreneur magazine.