Cardboard Technologies: A Game Changer

My love affair with Cardboard Technologies began soon after Nimrod Elmish, the company’s CEO, approached me to assist in their marketing strategy.  He was considering launching their product using one of the two largest crowdfunding websites: Indiegogo or Kickstarter.  At the time, we weren’t sure which platform to use for the launch or which would better serve our growing start-up needs, but you can read more about that in my blog post:  Cardboard Technologies:  Indiegogo vs. Kickstarter.

The Revolutionary Technology
Let me tell you briefly about the product:  it’s a bike, but it’s no ordinary bike.  Using a revolutionary technology, Cardboard Technologies recycles used cardboard, plastic and rubber in building a cardboard bicycle that is durable, fire and waterproof, and can withstand over 250 pounds of weight.  This remarkable innovation converts waste into an affordable and environmentally friendly method of transportation for people around the world.

Soon after meeting Nimrod, I got to take the bike out for a ‘test ride’ and was astonished by its performance.  It was inconceivable:  a bike made from recycled material functioning like any ordinary bicycle!  Needless to say, I joined the Cardboard Technologies team.

Social Media Optimization
After some initial research, I discovered the cardboard bike had quite a following:  thousands of people just as excited as I about Cardboard Technologies’ product.  It didn’t take long before my inbox filled up with emails, inquiries and requests to be part of this revolutionary movement.  It became clear by the overwhelming interest that this project was for the people, but we would need their support to turn this vision into a reality.

The online world serves as a perfect medium to tell your story and garner support.  I worked out a plan to expand our support using Social Media Optimization (SMO). We created pages on the main social networks like Facebook and Twitter, generating publicity and increasing awareness of the cardboard bike (search engines are increasingly turning to recommendations by users of social networks to rank pages in their results).

The Ambassador Campaign
We then came back and challenged our supporters to take it a step further by establishing an ambassador campaign.  The campaign calls upon our community to share the content of the campaign and earn green wheels, or virtual currency, redeemable for rewards on our Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.  With the help of our campaign platform, TrenDemon, we succeeded in recruiting hundreds of ambassadors helping to “spread the word” and increase support for the cardboard bike.  What’s more incredible is that we achieved this solely via Social Media Optimization!

The Game Changer
We chose to foster this extraordinary community by creating what we refer to as, “The Game Changer.” To cultivate growth and participation, the idea behind the game changer is to shift the playing field of market economics:  let’s downplay the idea of growth through capitalism and promote the concept of growth through social participation.  And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Now the only question is whether you are ready to join this concept revolutionizing the transportation world.

To learn more about Cardboard Technologies and to support the cardboard bicycle, visit our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-cardboard-bike.

To become a Cardboard Bike Ambassador, visit our Ambassador Campaign on TrenDemon:  http://www.cardboardtech.com/ambassador/


The Evolution to Crowdfunding

In the financial world, they say you must adapt to survive changing markets.  I would argue the marketing arena is no different.  The marketing field is constantly evolving – just look at the changes over the past decade in response to technological developments:  what began as advertising has progressed to online marketing been perfected with second screen and, incorporating social media, has evolved to crowdfunding. 

Advertising – Where it All Began
We’re all familiar with advertising – those humorous, at times annoying TV commercials or radio jingles.  Advertising has been around for centuries, beginning with wall paintings in ancient Rome to the multi-million dollar TV commercials of the Super Bowl.  Traditional advertising – via the television, newspaper or radio – has undoubtedly the greatest reach:  one message to an extensive audience.  But in today’s ever-advancing, technological world, advertising has growing limitations:  it is diffi
cult to personalize; it is a one-directional line of communication; and there is no room for error as consumers have little tolerance for poor ad campaigns – in turn, the brands pay the price. 

The Internet Brings Forth Marketing Communication
With the introduction of the Internet nearly a decade ago, there’s been a shift to a more effective form of advertising we refer to as online marketing communication.  Online marketing communication is the ability to communicate a message or product to a targeted audience; but, as opposed to advertising via traditional mediums such as the TV or radio, online marketing com
munication allows for return communication by the audience, whether it be positive or negative reactions, feedback, needs or feelings.  This bidirectional communication provides advertisers with invaluable information about their audience, thereby affording the ability to tailor ads to each audience, if not individual users.

Personalize Your Message
I was recently approached by a client, a well-known marketing VP for a leading consumer product, who was troubled by a failing online “Two-for-One” campaign.  He had a great product, a solid ad, but the campaign wasn’t selling units; what he had overlooked was the importance of personalizing the message.  Tailoring your ads is critical in the online arena, not only as a means to 
capturing your audience and achieving sales goals, but perhaps more importantly, in building the customer-brand relation. 

Cardboard Technologies Crowdfunding

Second Screen

With the adaptation to smartphones and tablets, another form of online marketing communication has evolved called second screen.  Second screen refers to the use of an electronic device such as a smartphone or tablet that allows the consumer to interact with the content at the same time the content is being advertised on a traditional medium such as the television; generally the content on the device is synchronized with the content of the traditional medium.  Second screen is a brilliant example of personalized marketing communication and an extremely effective marketing tool.  

I’m a baker.  I’m addicted to those baking programs on TV.  They’re a product advertisers’ fantasy, filled with product placement and advertisements – and, they have perfected the second screen concept.  Their shows offer viewers an application downloadable to their smartphone or tablet, in real time, where they receive recipes, ads and special offers tailored to them based on the content of the program. Like this one: my code

We’ve clearly advanced from traditional advertising.  That is not to say we’re going to see the end of TV commercials, newspaper ads or radio jingles; rather advertisements must be personalized!  Personalized advertising is simply more effective.

Which brings me to crowdfunding, or the idea of raising funds for a movement or product from a large group of people, generally an online community.  Crowdfunding is personalized online marketing communication.  With an extensive reach, exercising the great advantage of traditional advertising, crowdfunding has the ability to share a personal story, experience, product or issue in order to gain support.  It is this personalized element that contributes to the success of hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns and why Cardboard Technologies has initiated a crowdfunding campaign for its revolutionary cardboard bike. 

Check out Cardboard Technologies’ crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-cardboard-bike