Business owners need to stop taking “stabs in the dark” and get focused when it comes to their advertising campaigns, says Lenny Manor, who has launched media marketplace Find Media.
Find Media helps SMEs make better marketing decisions by giving them the power to search, compare and contact a wide range of advertising and media services from one central place.
The Melbourne-based website includes reviews, star ratings and blogs to help businesses make decisions in a timely manner.
Manor talks to StartupSmart about the inspiration for the website, and why marketing-related services are a necessity, not a luxury.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea occurred to me in December 2011. I had been travelling with my now wife for over a year after the sale of my previous company and was looking for jobs in the advertising sales arena.
After having some positive interviews with a few companies, my creative juices started to flow and I began wondering why there was such a great disconnect between advertising sellers and buyers.
Why was it that the media sales companies empowered so many people and placed so much time and resource into selling advertising when at the same time the majority of businesses (SMEs that is) struggle to get their advertising correct, let alone generate a result from it?
I began right away to put together a skeleton business plan, which is what I do when a new idea occurs to me.
It’s a brief plan outlining what problem the business will solve, who are its potential customers, is there enough demand, what are the basic expenses and people needed to get this idea off the ground, and a time estimate.
Sure enough, after testing the market the results were positive and – aside from people thinking that it couldn’t be done – they were all for it and Find Media was born.
How did you fund the business and what were your start-up costs?
The business was initially funded with personal savings of $30,000 and I was able to continue growing the business by working part-time.
How many staff do you have?
Currently there are nine of us working on the project.
Experience has told me that it’s important to find people who are specialised in the various areas of the business rather than trying to tackle everything on my own.
How do you promote the business?
As the business is 100% online, and we are very focused on process and marketing analysis and improvement, we centre our efforts around the following: online marketing, including search engine optimisation, pay per click and social media marketing.
And, as the nature of the business requires that we have continually growing awareness, we build strategic partnerships with businesses that have the same customers as us but service a different aspect to be able to create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Apart from these methods, public relations has proven to be a wonderful tool for presenting our true goal of wanting to help SMEs with their marketing and bringing out Find Media’s vision for the future, which is a first point of call for businesses when thinking how to promote themselves.
What are your revenue projections for 2012/13?
As we are still in the growth phase for this financial year and are focusing on building both our supplier base and awareness, we haven’t planned for, nor are we expecting, a big return for this financial year.
However, we predict that the coming financial year will bring an estimated $110k.
What’s your point of difference? What can you give SMEs they can’t get elsewhere?
The ability to make an informed marketing decision based on actual opportunities, reviews and relevant information as well as the ability to compare advertising opportunities and not just company names and phone numbers.
As well as the opportunity to find advertising deals that they may not have ever considered because either they didn’t know they existed or they had no idea how to get in contact with them.
What sort of business is your ideal client and why?
SMEs who are time-poor and eager to get their name out there with a marketing budget to make it happen.
They also need to be comfortable with searching and contacting companies via the internet.
Marketing-related services are often seen as a luxury. How do you intend to change that?
We have already begun changing the mindset as information continues to become readily available to all of us, and the community continues its hunger for information at its fingertips.
SMEs can now search for advertising and media services the same way they would search for a car – quickly and easily.
And, after trying Find Media, they quickly realise that there are services which suit their budget and business needs, and it’s not a “luxury” but rather a convenient tool to boost their business productivity and exposure.
Using our site gives control back to SMEs, allowing them to make their own informed marketing decisions. Already results have shown that over 33% of our traffic has been return visitors.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
People not realising that we are more than a place to find media companies – we truly want to bridge the information gap between businesses and the media industry.
We are opening the doors for a range of companies relating to business promotion to be listed on the site, from promotional items and advertising space to public relations and web design.
As one of our users put it, instead of having to contact many different media companies to ask for their media kit, they will just be using Find Media from now on.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I think the path leading to where we are today could not have happened any other way.
We needed to pass through the good and the bad times to realise the many lessons we’ve learnt along the way.