Fulltime HEL: Episode 19 - Marketing with MAA

Fulltime HEL: Episode 19 - Marketing with MAA

And…. we’re back. Well really we and by that I mean me, never left. Rather the show has been on hiatus because of some work I took on for a couple of weeks. That combined with other commitments has meant that I’ve failed to bring a podcast episode to completion when I promised to do so.

That’s a failure that I own. And it goes beyond this podcast. It goes to the blog, my own writing and other projects. It’s not something I’ve really had the time to address till now. But that failure to produce anything reflects the reality of this endeavor. As much as I’d like to make this my profession, right now it’s only a side-project, so other things take priority.

Which makes it hard to grow this project. I know I could do more, I should do more. The marketing I’ve done for this podcast is next to nothing. I’m relying more on the very existence of the episodes and the interviews to be enough. But it isn’t enough. If I’m going to get more then I need to do more, but before that…

Welcome to episode 19 of Fulltime HEL, the podcast about startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and co-working spaces in Helsinki, Finland. I’m your host Gregory Pellechi.

On this episode, MAA, bring marketing down to earth.

Marketing can be a confusing concept and I’ve done a fair bit. It’s branding and communicating what a company or product is, but can also include advertising, how systems function, and even what’s available.

Maa translates into a surprising number of words in English. All of them synonyms of earth, ground or soil. A company or a product isn’t going to work unless it’s firmly planted in a reality that clients and customers can comprehend. Marketing is that, it’s the interaction between person and product or person and service. That focus on design from Anna’s side is interesting because to balance it Antero focuses on analytics, but not to the detriment of the other areas of their job.

Data means results, but results don’t always translate to change or iteration as the common parlance within startups and computer programming.

Reactions are the key to marketing, you don’t want to produce something where clients and customers are simply going “meh.” So it’s interesting to hear from a designer how important such developments are to her work. Feedback obviously is important, but few fields receive such direct, immediate and actionable feedback as marketing.

Take podcasting for example. The technology around it is pretty old compared to a lot of stuff now in common use on the internet. Distribution relies on RSS feeds, and as a result social features and analytics are limited. The most you really learn is the distribution of listeners through your hosting service. Any other information comes from listeners contacting you or leaving reviews on iTunes. It’s feedback that startups need to, and one that a good marketing company can help provide if such mechanisms aren’t built into the company and its products or services already.

Getting people to notice your work is hard, which is funny because some of the best design is meant to go unnoticed. After all as R. Buckminster Fuller said, “99% of who you are is invisible and untouchable.” To some it may seem simple, but the work Anna and Antero do is not just art, but science. For more on their work check out maa.fi. And for more on design check out the podcast 99% Invisible.

On the next episode of Fulltime HEL, Arctos, aiding in adventures.

Fulltime HEL was produced by me, Gregory Pellechi. Music for the show is courtesy of Chris Zabriskie.

Fulltime HEL: Episode 20 - Arctos Adventures

Fulltime HEL: Episode 20 - Arctos Adventures

Fulltime HEL: Episode 18 - HealthSPA

Fulltime HEL: Episode 18 - HealthSPA