As a follow-up to my post on Buggy Games, I think it brings up a telling point for any business and a key to smugmug’s success.
Word-of-mouth is an incredibly powerful thing.
For a video game, they have a very small window (not quite as small as a Hollywood movie, but still very small) in which to attract a lot of purchases. If they don’t, the game flops. In the case of Battlefield 2, if the game crashes constantly when your average customer gets it home, your word-of-mouth campaign comes to a screeching halt before it’s even gotten started.
With smugmug, it just doesn’t make sense to run expensive TV campaigns and the like to get our brand and product out there. We’d have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get even a single customer, who then only pays us $30 per year. What to do?
It’s shockingly simple. There’s no great secret. If you build it, they will come. Not in waves upon waves, at first, but they will come.
The end result of the above formula is a fanatical customer base who does your marketing and advertising for you. They’re so enthralled with your great product and great service, they shout it from the mountain tops.
How great would it have been if I could, instead of lamenting the quality of Battlefield 2, have told the world how great it is? Bought copies as gifts for my friends?
We’ll try to never let something like that happen with smugmug.