From left to right: Julian Buitrago (Colombia), Daniel Laplante (CEO of booxi), Mike Grandinetti (Global Professor: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing & Management), Eduardo Yi (Venezuela), Mariam Giorgadze (T.A.), Maryna Goushcha (Ukraine), Helena Simon (Venezuela) and Ilias Aboubeker (Algeria)


Nowadays, it can be overwhelming to see so many options claiming that they will help you to finally take your business to that promised land of growth and prosperity: whether it is Google telling you the advantages of AdWords; Wix stressing the importance of a good website; or Facebook and Twitter saying how important it is to be active on social media. All of these arguments may be perfectly valid, but none of them help you figure out where to spend your limited resources when it comes to investing in a marketing campaign. Since your business is not like any other out there, there is in no one­-size-­fits-­all solution. If you manage your own business then you know how hard it was to get to where you are now, and it was certainly not by making decisions lightly.

We are happy to help

The most logical option to solve this predicament is to go to a marketing professional, either adding one to your current team or hiring a consultancy firm; they can perform an analysis of your business, the market, competitors and customers, and make an informed decision on the best way to invest your hard earned dollars. However, hiring a marketing consultant just takes money out of your pocket that you could be investing in marketing activities or developing your product, without even having the certainty that the given recommendations will work. In other words, you are paying forward without a guaranteed return. I am here to tell you that there is another option for you: get someone to do it for free!

I am currently a Masters student in International Marketing at a business school in Boston, and I am part of a team of 5 members from 4 different nationalities (Algeria, Colombia, Ukraine and Venezuela). Under the mentorship of Prof. Mike Grandinetti and T.A. Mariam Giorgadze, our team was given the challenge ­- although the school called it an assignment ­- to come up with a complete marketing strategy for a start­up in Quebec in a period of just 2 months.

The challenge was going to be difficult, but in no way did we ever consider it impossible. We were excited by the opportunity to finally apply the knowledge into a real company with current challenges and ambitious goals that we’d gathered in the past months.

At this point we were done with reading and learning about innovations that companies implemented in their path to success. Now, we’d be the ones steering the wheel and generating change.


We were taught in class that businesses that reach success do not achieve it because of their longing for fame or fortune; they get there because they manage to solve a real and relevant problem in a way that no one else can. booxi is one of those companies.

booxi is an online smart solution that allows small business owners and solo-­entrepreneurs to easily manage one of the most time consuming tasks of their jobs — appointment booking — while at the same time assisting them in terms of client relationships and online visibility. In the problem / solution sense, I like to think of booxi as what is known in showbiz as a triple threat:

  • It can sing: booxi allows business owners to save a massive amount of time and focus on more productive aspects of their jobs.
  • It can dance: booxi tremendously increases convenience for end ­users (our client’s clients), by allowing them to book appointments online and receive confirmation and reminders via email and SMS.
  • It can act: booxi puts a virtual assistant at work for the clients by analyzing their data and giving advice, as well as executing simple management and marketing tasks for them.

Having such a product to work with certainly made our job easier, but we were not going to release the throttle. We researched everything that we could to deeply understand the company, the environment and our customers: who they are, what they do, what they need, their aspirations, likes and dislikes… They became our passion.

The result of this was a marketing strategy consisting of 15 different tactics, each specifically aimed at attracting customers, getting them to sign up for booxi and engaging them with our service. Within the tactical activities were: a multi­platform social media campaign that included content and an implementation schedule; proposed partnerships with other companies with whom booxi shares potential customers; a new feature that can significantly increase the value of the product to its current users; among many other tactical activities.

A lot of reasons to do this

If you are still dubious of whether this would be good for your company or not, I can sum up the benefits for you:

  • It is free.
  • It is international.
  • It provides you with a fresh outside look.
  • It requires little effort on your part.
  • It engages more minds who want to solve your problems.
  • It is free.
  • It involves students who are eager to get some real business experience.
  • It can help you find potential talent for your company
  • It is free, did I mention that already?

Go ahead, try to find a downside.