Companies like Samsung are “crying out” to work with start-ups who can offer novel content in exchange for an entry into the business, an industry insider has revealed.
Samsung’s European marketing lead told fledgling businesses that companies need content from them because they don’t have enough to distribute across their social media channels. In return, start-ups would get a large audience to broadcast to, which they may not have had access to previously.
“Samsung and other big brands have this huge need for content, mainly on social media. They need to fill Facebook and Twitter to fill their social networks with content every day of the week,” said Piers Drake, senior manager of digital marketing at Samsung.
They are absolutely crying out to work with small, nimble companies who can come up with interesting ideas that can interlock with brand values as well as things that are just novel.
He also told the Tech Entrepreneur week conference in London yesterday: “We have got a 35 million-strong social audience in Europe. That is an audience that you, as entrepreneurs want to tap into. We need the content and you need the audience.”
Drake’s advice comes as tech start-ups are struggling to get attention from the board in big brands due to tech market saturation.
Entrepreneurs will receive brand association, reach a wider audience and get a an insight into the top technology companies in return, he added.
Drake began his career working for Sony and Formula 1 team Caterham Cars, then, just “a shed with some guys with beards that made cars”.
In 2008 he took time out of the corporate world to focus on his own crowdsourcing venture, combining digital content with car manufacturing, but after it was unsuccessful he took a role in Samsung’s European division.
Samsung is actively looking for any ideas that entrepreneurs might have in exchange for contacts in the broader business, he said.
“We are looking for content and we are looking for ideas, if you’re looking into Samsung then by all means get in touch” he added.
Top tips for getting big brands on board
Get in through a different door
Drake suggested thinking about what products could fit into brand’s sideline projects, to gain entry.
“We have a huge corporate programme tackling youth unemployment, education and poverty so there is always a project in different sectors and areas of life where your products and services could slot in,” he said.
“Of course, everyone wants to go straight to the top and get Samsung to buy your business for a few million dollars. But there are a lot more local level things you can do like contacting a marketing manager to do some shared content on Facebook.
Even running crowd-sourcing on a regional level is quick to get off the ground in a few weeks and straight away you get association with a big brand, an audience and knowledge,” said Drake.
Drake says his phone has been on the “do not disturb” setting for months now because of the masses of calls he gets about purchasing apps.
He said: “I’m not even the best person to call in the company by far, but I get the call nonetheless. Use Linkedin, use Twitter, I don’t know anybody who would be offended by being contacted that way, just don’t cold call.”
“I see so many pitches that are so vague. What exactly is the proposition and what would you like from Samsung?”
Map out the approval path
“Approval paths are the key. If you want something from a big company the person you are speaking to is almost certainly not the person who will sign it off. You have to understand this path and be flexible.”