To put it simply, the Eshena Gear project plunged us into the world of crowd sourcing, an unchartered territory not only to us but also for most in the world of traditional public relations and advertising. The whole financing idea as an IT-mediated phenomenon is still new and until recently was roughly confined to tech related ideas and products.
Essentially, crowd sourcing is a financing model usually employed by startups or small companies and individuals to launch their products to the market. Ideas are posted at crowdsourcing platforms with the hope that they get funded by contributions from Internet users. The Eshena Gear project was posted at Kickstarter for this very purpose.
My target was to create awareness and drum up interest so that Eshena Gear can raise its $25,000 crowd funding goal. The job, therefore, was to articulate the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment or MOLLE concept, which is the basis of Eshena Gear’s value propositions. We were also incredibly motivated to push the fact that 10 percent of the profit for each backpack sold or pre-ordered will be donated to support the education of children affected by conflict around the world.
LASER SHARP FOCUS
Our approach for the project was straightforward and it is anchored on zeroing in on the correct audience. Internet users are notoriously diverse not just in terms of demographics and so here lies another challenge. We had to consider factors such as user preferences, user origin, knowledge about crowd sourcing, and interest for cause-oriented initiatives, among others. For this reason, we have segmented our audience and developed marketing contents accordingly, highlighting specific value proposition that would appeal to each category. We then launched an aggressive campaign using creative press releases and advertorials, tapping both our traditional and digital media networks to propagate our message.
We also looked into the competition. Kickstarter hosts thousands of campaigns that directly and indirectly compete with Eshena Gear. Our solution in this area is two-pronged. First, we had to ensure that the product stood out. Here, our approach involved the production of a strategic visual presentation that is distinguished for its focus on stunning visual content and simple but creative copywriting. I believe that the attention span of Kickstarter users, who are inundated by numerous and conflicting messages, is quite short. Eshena Gear’s page in the website, therefore, needed to immediately draw the eye and hold the user’s interest and emotion.
Secondly, we initiated extensive media and social media outreach, aiming to draw new audience – those who have not heard of Kickstarter or crowdsourcing before. We crafted a series of clever advertorials that educated the audience about Eshena Gear and its value propositions as well as the merits of crowdsourcing as an effective investment and charitable platform.
I am proud to say that, a little more than two months since the Eshena Gear campaign was launched at Kickstarter, it was able to exceed its funding goal. It has raised $32,207 the moment the campaign ended, which is 28.8 percent more than the initially set target.
When the team behind the Eshena Gear project chose my digital strategy proposal for their Kickstarter campaign, we embarked on an ambitious journey to set the funding goal ablaze. The objective was to grab niche press coverage in order maximize what tiny budget we had in order to gain credibility and therefore; traction. The universal challenge with crowdfunding is that upon launch there is no actual product on hand to sell yet. Instead, we had to generate enough interest to sell the idea of the product. We had to make it desirable enough for people to pledge support with their credit cards without any guarantee they will actually receive the product.