Bad things, good things

Week 41–42

Marketing!
Getting traction for Coastermatic has always been a challenge. It turns out that when you make something, people don’t automatically flock to it. Over the past year, I’ve tried all kinds of things: social media, blogging, speaking, email marketing, ads, etc etc. Nothing has consistently worked, and I often feel like I’m shooting in the dark.

Recently, I’ve begun to get some clarity — YAY. Data, experimentation, focus, and funnels are now terms that actually make sense and I’m starting to build on. I found a couple of resources recently that’s helped make everything click: Hiten Shah, and a book called Traction.

Hiten is the co-founder of KissMetrics, and has given a few amazing talks about digital marketing. I found his talk, Lean Analytics (slides), super insightful. He walks through a formula for experimentation and uses case studies to express how each step worked. Said formula is the scientific method, so nothing new there, but the way he talks through it is what I’ve been looking for.

Traction is a book that was re-released recently. It’s a shallow book that covers a wide range of topics. As I read the intro, I thought — where was this 3 years ago! The first few chapters give you permission to be crap at marketing (turns out it’s hard for nearly everyone), and then gives you a framework to figure out what type of marketing to focus on. The rest of the book are short chapters on 19 different types of online and offline marketing. They’re very quick chapters, but it’s nice to have a high level overview of so much in 1 book.

Moving ahead, Coastermatic is focusing on press and holiday reviews, and also building a solid social media presence to show how awesome we are to all of the people who will find us through said reviews. Curious? Check us out on Instagram and Pinterest, or join our mailing list!

11,000 labels, and a so-to-be coaster press.

Manufacturer visit
A couple of weeks ago, I made the trip out to visit the coaster factory! It was fantastic to see the team who make the coasters again, and work through a bunch of production questions. Here’s a couple photos from the trip — a box of CM labels, and the so-to-be new coaster press.

Finally, it has happened to me
Someone in Asia completely ripped off Coastermatic. I’ll refrain from giving you their name, cause lord knows they don’t deserve attention. I heard about them a few weeks ago, and was very surprised to discover that they’d used 100% of our selection flow, js, html, images and all! I quickly learned the extent of my rights, and it turns out that I can sue, amongst other things.

Instead of doing that, I reached out to them to let them know we welcome competition (there are a lot of tables in this world), but we don’t take kindly to our code being copied and that they needed to take it down. To my surprise, they actually did…for a week. When the site popped back up, they’d simply updated class names and hidden their js a bit better. But, it’s still the UI Tom and I built and designed. *sigh*

My next steps are either to pursue legal action, or just let it go. For now, I’m opting for the latter — my energy is better spent making Coastermatic amazing.


Originally published at tashwong.tumblr.com.