It pays to be a pioneer
People are nervous about being the first to try something but there are benefits to being a sector leader, says Paperplanes founder and MD Daniel Dunn.
Dunn will be presenting at BusinessCloud’s ‘Tech 1sts’ event on November 28th and featured on the upcoming list of the same name. Registration for the event is free.
Launched in February 2017 Paperplanes sends out personalised physical marketing material to customers based on their online journey.
For example, if a customer is browsing but doesn’t make a purchase they would receive post containing similar product ideas several days later, which has greater impact than online marketing says Dunn.
Now the company has the likes of Benefit Cosmetics on its roster but Dunn told BusinessCloud being a first-to-market isn’t always viewed as a positive.
“It’s very hard to find people who want to be the first to try something,” he said.
“I worked on the assumption people would want to be first, and went out brazenly saying ‘you’ll be the first ones to do this’ but found out early on that’s not always a good thing.
“Brands are more comfortable with others trialling something first and seeing the case studies. They want to be the second one or one who does something better off the back of initial learning.”
However innovative businesses will always find those that are willing to be the first to try their product and once that happens there are benefits to being a thought-leader says Dunn.
“You can always find someone to be the first to try your service but it can be like finding that special needle in the haystack,” he said.
“Once we got the campaigns up and running our results out-perform anything the brands have been doing on other channels.
“We’ve got 100 per cent repeat business so far because the results speak for themselves.
“We’re taking direct mail and making it relevant for brands today and once they see results coming through they’re really proving to be the test case for us.”
Being seen as the authority on a subject can also open doors Dunn has found.
“You can shape and inform how a brand utilises the product and we’ve had incredible opportunities,” he said.
“We work closely with Royal Mail in terms of driving relevance and have been on stage speaking with Jonathan Harman, managing director at Royal Mail MarketReach.
“It also gives the opportunity to lead the market in thinking.”
While not all brands will want to be the first to test an area, all brands should be innovating says Dunn.
“Things change so quickly nowadays and tech allows us to mobilise new ideas so fast that in order to differentiate themselves brands always need to be thinking about innovation and the next thing,” he said.
“Big opportunities come from brands who can identify what the new capabilities are and how they can make them relevant and work for them as quickly as possible.”