How it all started…
September 27th, 2010 was the day when Alpha version of Simplify360 was shown to the world for the first time. The product, developed inside a small apartment in Murugeshpalya, Bangalore was opened to the big tech audience in MidVentures Launch Event at the University of Chicago, United States.
The feedback was not good, let alone great. People liked the product but they didn’t like the look and feel of it. A gentleman from Morgan Stanley couldn’t bear it for more than 2 mins. He asked us to stop and suggested that we make a better UI. In his words, “the UI sucks big time”. Another Gentleman from P&G was decent enough to suggest that the product was good and he connected us to his agency is Texas, who could have a look and work out something for P&G. At the end, he too suggested that the UI needed an improvement.
The event went well. Lessons were learnt- a product is what people see, not what you have built. The other lesson learnt was that there are just too many products and everyone out there is making a product. Most people came to our desk for the story – the company that travelled all the way from Bangalore to showcase the product. They became interested in that particular fact.
Now, the real fight began. The show of interest had just passed. Now, we wanted something which people could use.
How it entered the second phase
Having been a self-funded company for long, we never had marketing and advertising budgets. The product got redesigned and got better UI but the game had just begun. People liked the product but didn’t buy it. They wanted to know who had written about the product, who was using it, who had invested in the company and much more. The questions were the reality for enterprise products; every enterprise and business leader wanted to use a big brand.
This was the real world. The world that is driven by the fear of failure and not by the joy of victory. We had to build a brand that could compete with the likes of Salesforce and Oracle. They were big and so were the companies we admired. Something they lacked was a story that people would love to read. Their stories had become exclusively about buying the companies, putting them together and bringing them under one umbrella. They were huge companies with unlimited resources. The only way in which we could have won was to be extremely innovative and creative.
Then comes the way
You realize that you are in deep shit when your biggest fears come true! You are ready to throw away your modesty and say out loud to the world that you exist and you are amazing!
The good guys who built the product because of their passion started making efforts to make money; they built their first marketing plan. The plan that was not based on money power but on the collective strength of the team, passion and belief of the leader, and the ultimate belief of everybody else associated with the company. The plan was to build the towers around the castle – Simplify360.
These towers were the Social Profiles – Company Blog, Slideshare, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Quora and more. All these channels had a strong strategy and execution agenda. For Slideshare, the plan was bigger. We identified it as the channel that could become a complimentary castle with our expertise and resources at hand. The game was on. We started building towers, converting towers to castles and building more towers.
All this happened with an ultimate Content Marketing focus and amazing execution by the Marketing Team under the leadership of CMO Deep Sherchan. Congratulations to him and his team.
Today Simplify360 is an established brand in several countries. The product is being sold in over 100 countries, and enterprises in over 11 countries use it. We are fortunate enough to have esteemed clients like Star TV, ITC Foods, Mahindra Retail, HDFC Bank, Hero Motorcorp and many others. The product is used by several Software Integrators, BPO Companies and Media Agencies around the World; some of them include Tech Mahindra, Intelliverse, Websia, UBITech, StarTek, Hinduja Global Services etc.
Till date we have not used any advertising route. We publish a lot of eBooks, books, articles, presentations etc., and we have been quite regular in doing so. We have mastered the way of storytelling via several media formats – text, image or videos.
Simplify360 is purely built on discipline in execution, passion for content, love for design and motivation to make it the biggest Enterprise Product success story from India. Thanks to the amazing team of Simplify360, we have established a global brand – Simplify360.
Details of our Content Marketing Strategy are in the following presentation. Hope you like it.