Instructor Carly Pierson’s Principles of Marketing course recently welcomed two guest speakers to class—Seth Kitchen, founder of Collaboarator, and Jason Klein, founder of Logic Forte. Both speakers shared their marketing insight, including how they utilized distinctive resources to shape their strategy.
Seth Kitchen created his online company in April 2019 as a full-time student at Missouri University of Science and Technology. The company, Collaboarator, allows early musicians to work together to get a head start within the music industry. The platform tackles three main issues that many early musicians face: standing out from the crowd, finding talented artists to collaborate with and avoiding the high cost of producing music.
The most popular songs from Collaboarator are then exported to streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music to gain exposure. This last step is crucial—early exposure contributes to the success of the musicians, the album itself and Collaboarator.
During his presentation, Kitchen explained his strategy for promoting the platform. As with many startups, his primary focus was to secure investors. He described how the first advertisement a startup creates will be targeted toward investors, and it should include a business model canvas. Once funding is secured, then the company can start to advertise to their intended audience.
Kitchen described a wide array of approaches a company can take to reach their target audience. He encourages marketers to think outside of the box and maximize the resources available to them. For example, when creating a blog, journal or website, he demonstrated how to use Google to track popular search terms and optimize the project for its intended audience. Kitchen showed students how to work smarter, not harder, by effectively using their resources to obtain maximum exposure.
Jason Klein founded Logic Forte in September 2015. The company helps restaurant franchises use data to run their businesses more effectively. More specifically, Logic Forte analyzes big data from restaurants like Sonic to generate reports that allow businesses to better understand their sales and how to improve upon them.
Unlike Kitchen, Klein focuses less on advertising and promotion to attract his audience. Instead, he already has a target market in mind and relies heavily on word of mouth. Once he establishes credibility with one or two restaurants, a snowball effect is created, and additional restaurants learn the value of his services.
In summary, Kitchen and Klein use marketing in very different ways to promote their businesses. Kitchen relies heavily on advertising and promotion to gain investors and build an audience for his company. Although risky, the potential for growth is high after an audience has been established.
Klein, on the other hand, invests his efforts in building relationships with customers to establish his credibility. Once he makes a connection with one restaurant, he can attract others relatively quickly. The potential of his audience is limited by the number of restaurants that are around.
Both speakers shared their personal experience and helped students better understand diverse applications of marketing. Kitchen shares that while business experience is not necessary, school is very important as it shows stakeholders that you are an expert on your topic and are resilient.
Hannah Kassing, a junior management major, said, “I spend a lot of time seeking advice and connections from people in the industry. Instructor Pierson makes my job far easier by bringing in the very people I’m seeking outside of class, allowing me to ask questions and to network with people who have a genuine interest in my success. Needless to say, I loved our guest speakers.”