We formed Curagami because we love e-commerce and ecom are changing. Google drives traffic to websites which build community, tap crowds and create online love, loyalty, and leadership. We named our startup Curagami to combine “new e-commerce” ideas.
- Content Curation
- New Customer Decision Journey
There is good and bad news about content marketing. The time when you could write, create or steal such great content visitors flocked to your website are over. Read Mark Schaefer’s Content Shock and realize content isn’t advertising anymore.
The phrase “content is king” continues to resonate with Google and visitors to your website. Content may not be advertising anymore, but it’s hard to sell things online without critical kinds of content such as reviews, contests and games, and comments. Perhaps we should amend to “Community Content Is King” because the signals your site sends about collaboration, community and service have never been more necessary.
Our post on “community shock” extends Mark’s logic to the formation of online communities. Life will be difficult for the fourth of fifth attempt to create a community content platform in any defined business segment. Some companies may not appear to need community. If you sell heating and cooling services in Durham, North Carolina where we live and work you may think “community content” isn’t relevant.
And you’d be wrong. Community content is only unimportant until someone figures out how to appify, create or develop a platform to ask for and reward customers for collaborating, sharing and helping. Some day a Durham HVAC company will think and act creatively creating a community content platform aligned to their “new” digital customer.
The New Digital Customer
Read The Consumer Decision Journey from consulting gurus McKinsey to understand how different your smartphone enabled, used to a ubiquitous web, and the fickle searching customer is today. Don’t mistake the massive and sometimes brutal truth beneath this new consumer journey. No matter what business you are in your customer’s expectations about communication, purchase, and loyalty are changing.
Change doesn’t happen the same all over, but every business has, is or will feel disruptions outlined in The Consumer Decision Journey. And there is GOOD NEWS for those willing to hear, act upon, and pivot toward key ideas including:
- Collaboration – How does your company encourage and reward customer collaboration?
- Crowdsourcing – Are you tapping the “virtual network” every company has but few use?
- Asking For Help – One of the most HUMAN things your marketing can or will do is ask for help
- Listening – Do you follow more than half your Twitter following if not your company is sending the wrong signal
- Playing Together – Are you finding ways to gamify your ASK?
There is an Indian saying about stories we would modify a little to explain “content gamification.”
Tell me a fact, and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth, and I’ll believe. But tell me a story, and it will live in my heart forever.
Our founder, Martin Smith, tells a story about growing up in Dallas, Texas. True to Martin’s baby boomer roots, his new neighborhood at 11410 Straight Lane was overflowing with children from eight to fifteen. Bucky was Martin’s age. He lived across the circle, 11410 was the corner house in front of a circle with several similar homes. Bucky and Martin treated each other’s houses an extension of their home.
Games were constant, outdoors, and fun. Some traditional games such as baseball and football required at least a nod to “rules.” Other games such as Hide, Go Seek and Climb A Tree were modified with creative rules established, agreed upon, and implemented. Rewards came fast and furious from being too tired to cause trouble, a parental bonus, to expanding minds and training young bodies.
Why do we complicate our desire to work and play together? Why is it hard to imagine the benefits of “playing together” again? Not surprisingly, we’d modify the old Indian saying. We’d say, “Tell me a story, listen to our story and create a game based on OUR stories to live in your online customer’s hearts forever.” Games create, strengthen and deepen online loyalty over time and that’s what we call “content gamification.”
Let’s face it we get bored. We depreciate and take for granted what was once magical and unique. The pressure to change, respond and add content is too big for any team, but easy when freely given, sought and rewarded. Easy is the wrong word since creating a sustaining and sustainable community is many things, and easy isn’t among them. Despite how HARD it is to re-imagine your business as a collaborative game that is our recommendation, skill set, and ardent belief.
Bad form to not have a Call To Action so here’s ours – if you feel overwhelmed by change, your new digital-savvy customers or figuring out how to make your content a community and a game call or email Martin and share your story.
What’s up with the logo?
We started with an origami bird, a bird you may see Martin wearing around Durham. As the company evolved so did our logo. Martin calls today’s Curagami logo Nessie as it reminds him of the famously shy Loch Ness monster. We use “link blue” because blue is men’s (42%) and women’s (29%) favorite color.
What’s up with the name Curagami?
Curagami combines two words the company founders thought would prove increasingly important to online commerce – curation and gamification. Curation is the purposeful filtering of content so others can more easily discover, read and interact with it. Gamification applies game theory to web marketing with an overriding belief everything is a game these days.
What is a “Startup Factory”
Chris Heivly and Dave Neal run the south’s best accelerator for startups in Durham, North Carolina. When Curagami was founded the Startup Factory was located in the American Underground. These days, because Chris and Dave love being where the cool kids are, the factory is located at the 201 West Main in downtown Durham.