ThinkGeek: Marketing “Nerd” to the Masses

As the technological world develops, everything else must develop with it. So when it comes to e-commerce, the social technology advancement was the biggest thing to affect businesses today.

As stated in the McKinsey report, there are five main organisational functions which will add value to each business: Product DevelopmentOperations and DistributionMarketing and SalesCustomer Service, and Business Support.

In this entry, I’d like to explain how well a company has improved their Marketing and Sales function and how without Web 2.0, they wouldn’t have been so successful.

“ThinkGeek started as an idea. A simple idea to create and sell stuff that would appeal to the thousands of people out there who were on the front line and in the trenches as the Internet was forged.”
About ThinkGeek

Founded in 1999, ThinkGeek is one of the most well known companies selling pop-culture apparel and gadgets. With such a niche audience, it wouldn’t have gotten the popularity they have today if it weren’t for the internet and the development of social technology.

When it comes to their Sales and Marketing techniques, they are very friendly towards their customer base. The staff at ThinkGeek are very on the ball with social technology, using it to really listen to what the people want.

Derive Customer Insights
Each of the products have a feedback section at the bottom which allows customers to share and comment. This enables the company owners to gauge the popularity of each product by a qualitative manner rather than a quantitative one.

Social Technologies for Marketing Communication
Staff have utilised the popularity of facebook pages in order to start discussions about each new product. Using a picture of the product and an opinion sparking caption, they are able to engage users in discussion. They use social media as a platform to display marketing messages to the masses which costs little to no money (depending on whether they purchased ad revenue).

Generate and Foster Sales Leads
Each product has a feedback system that involves using your facebook account, each page also allows users to like, share, tweet, and even pin the product to their personal pages. This system makes the products marketable to new clients and reminds existing customers which generates more leads.

Social Commerce
On their website, they have a recommendation bar to the right that suggests products by using an algorithm that determines which products were also bought by people who purchase this product.

Once any company has a following, it’s easy to get the word out there through social technologies. A revolutionised marketing paradigm to accommodate for the rise of digital media and the shift of communication platforms.

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2 Responses to ThinkGeek: Marketing “Nerd” to the Masses

  1. brantsmith89 says:

    Great post Amanda. I use Thinkgeek a lot, so this post definitely gained my attention. Nice use of the examples for the Sales and Marketing techniques (the feedback system, recommendation bar). Thinkgeek really utilises social media and the web in general to better develop content for their market.

    I also like the layout (use of bolding and short paragraphs). Makes it easier to read. I also voted Facebook for the poll. It has so many elements such as posting, starting discussions, adding applications for location, promos and competitions. So for general businesses I think it’s the best tool to communicate with the audience and understand what they want. Look forward to reading more from you!

  2. As someone dealing with marketing on a daily basis, all I can say is that ‘what is best’ is entirely dependant on the audience you’re trying to reach. General service businesses (and most brick and mortar stores in general) will get more mileage out of Google+ and their services as people increasingly slap something they’re looking for in to Google search and let the results point them in the right direction. Facebook has its niche (as mentioned in the article) as a way of generating buzz through discussion, but if you don’t have the kind of products that provoke discussion… you’re going to have to work much MUCH harder at making Facebook a worthwhile option.

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