On Wednesday the 1st of November, Movac hosted the inaugural Movac Disruptive Marketing Jam. The event attracted 200 tech marketing and growth leaders from across Aotearoa, likely the largest-ever collection of New Zealand’s tech marketing professionals.

Movac operating partner Serge van Dam was the mastermind behind the event, as well as the MC for the afternoon. Following a welcome from Movac’s Senior Associate Millie McKelvie, Serge spoke to the importance of ‘audacity’ in global technology marketing and proceeded to introduce the format for the afternoon. The agenda involved six marketing leaders sharing six cases on disruptive marketing, including unorthodox case studies of marketing interventions that have delivered compelling growth. Each speaker was followed by a 10-minute audience Q&A session. Audience participation and motivation ran high, with Serge awarding participants a jar of Movac branded, strawberry-flavoured ‘Marketing Jam’ for each question asked.

First to be called on stage was Jo Blundell, previously Chief Product/Marketing and Revenue Officer of Timely (appointment booking software for the beauty industry) and a Movac Fund 4 portfolio company. Jo is more recently the founder of CarbonCrop, a forestry assessment platform that encourages the regeneration of native forests.

Jo spoke of the importance of building a community within your ideal customer segment, and on deliberately crafting your image around your target customer group. Timely identified the beauty and wellness customers as their ideal customer profile and focused their efforts on building a highly targeted, highly engaged customer community. They used this channel to evolve customer perception from ‘What is Timely’ to ‘We love Timely.’ Their community approach was particularly impactful during COVID shutdowns, where the team doubled down on this strategy, minimising churn as a result.

Up next was Jesse Logan, Director of Marketing at Tradify (a job management system for tradies) and another Movac portfolio company. Jesse spoke about the impact that influencer marketing via social media has in building the Tradify brand amongst its target customer base. By identifying and collaborating with influencers and content creators followed by their target customers (tradies), social media became Tradify’s most efficient marketing channel. Jesse spoke to marketing tactics such as influencer promo codes, which helped to grow the followership of their influencers and in turn build brand for Tradify.

Rounding out the first half was Dave Shoemack, the current CEO of Good Nature (pest trapping systems) and ex-CMO of Van Moof (e-bike company.) Speaking about his experiences at VanMoof, Dave told the story of the company’s tactical decision to put an image of a flat-screen TV on their bike delivery boxes, to reduce product damage by encouraging more careful handling in transit. A journalist picked up on this genius disguise, leading to press coverage on the BBC, CNN and WSJ. If you haven’t seen it before, this Medium article details what happened. Dave spoke about his team’s spontaneous and clever use of this global press coverage to drive engagement. The team made sure to maximise the return to the business by encouraging other media channels to spread the story further. Dave spoke of the importance of being playful and fun with marketing and left the audience with a clear insight into how he operates “..do what matters, but have fun and be creative.”

A quick break followed Dave’s session. The audience was under strict instructions from Serge to make sure they spoke to someone they hadn’t met before.

With the audience shepherded back into their seats, Georgina Bondfield took the stage. Georgia is Head of Marketing at Re-Leased (commercial property management software) and spoke of the company’s experience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on in the pandemic, Re-Leased had an ‘ah-ha’ moment where they realised they had the data to provide real-time answers to many of the industry’s questions in terms of rental market behaviour. They set out to maximise the impact that sharing this data could have. Coverage by global media provided a significant benefit, and Re-Leased became a trusted brand for telling a data-driven narrative. By elevating the profile and trust of their brand, the company ultimately benefited from increased adoption by customers.

Carrying on the theme of marketing interventions during COVID was Auror’s VP of Marketing Marcus Hoefliger. Auror is a retail crime intelligence and loss prevention platform. With a sales model that had traditionally included trade shows as a core channel, the global shutdown could have heavily impacted Auror’s ability to sell. But rather than accepting that, the Auror team brainstormed and decided to run their own online summit. Purchasing a URL called the ‘Retail Crimes Summit’ and inviting leaders from across their ideal customers, the Auror team set about building an agenda and speaker list. Executing their vision, the summit was a resounding success, with 2.5k registrants and an NPS score of 95.
Marcus spoke to Auror’s effective and ongoing use of this content, where they have been able to leverage the 13 hours of summit material to roll out hundreds of blog posts, podcasts and other forms of collateral. Marcus also highlighted the significant customer insights Auror gained, and how they’ve been able to shape more accurate customer personas based on this data. By treating their customers as a community, Auror was able to attract a significant portion of their market into one forum.

The final speaker for the day was Mikayla Hopkins of Tracksuit (a brand tracking dashboard for measuring and communicating brand-building activities.) Mikayla spoke to Tracksuit’s most recent disruptive marketing intervention, where they were able to leverage the Tracksuit platform to track Barbie’s brand perception leading up to the release of the Barbie movie. Tracksuit also implemented a feature which allowed customers to turn their dashboard Barbie pink, a feature that gained significant traction. Leveraging these insights, Mikayla created this post on LinkedIn – receiving 15k likes and driving engagement for Tracksuit. Mikayla also left the audience with some key messages, the first being her belief that the onus is on marketing teams to “prove that what they do works” – a challenge Tracksuit aims to help marketers address. Mikayla also highlighted “today’s future demand, is tomorrow’s future customer” and the importance of building brand familiarity so that people gravitate towards you when they make their future purchasing decision.

The evening wrapped up with nibbles, refreshments and networking with the majority of the crowd sticking around for rich conversation that carried on well into the evening.

A huge thank you to each of the speakers for sharing their insights; to Movac’s Belinda Yeo and Millie McKelvie who organised everything to perfection; to Movac secondee Byron Van Vugt for the photography; to Salesforce for their support and finally to Serge van Dam for being a top-notch host.

We are already looking forward to running more ‘Jams’ in 2024 – watch this space!

To read more, check out Caffeine Daily’s coverage here: https://www.caffeinedaily.co/stories/marketing-stories-from-the-trenches