10 months ago I joined Forbidden Technologies with a clear brief: Build a consumer product, using our technologies, which will have millions of monthly active users.
From there eva, the video social network was born. If you don’t know much about eva, then you should read the story on the eva blog. In 10 short months the business has moved forwards significantly, and my remit has evolved too. In October I was asked to take over the group marketing function across all brands, and earlier this year my team has started the development of a brand new product: Brand Y. In this post I’d like to give you an insight into our objectives, introduce some of the team and whet your appetite for what promises to be an extraordinarily exciting 18 months, the most exciting in the company’s long history.
I’ll start with eva. I feel kind of selfish, I use eva everyday, and almost every day someone asks me when it’ll be ready. The truth is simple, we could release eva now, but I’m opting not to. We didn’t expect the hype around eva to be so intense, and we’ll be one of a rare breed: a debut app that launches to thousands of users immediately thanks to the ‘register app’. Consumers are fickle and unforgiving. App brand loyalty doesn’t exist. So to launch an imperfect app is unforgivable and (almost) unredeemable. So I’d rather wait. Recently we met with Apple and showed them eva, we explained how we’ve done things that nobody else has even tried with the iPhone, and they are equally keen to see the end results. So, eva will come. Soon.
The B2B marketing challenge of Forscene is a starkly different challenge to that of eva. When I took over group marketing, I immediately made 3 decisions:
- Our focus is to sell the product. The product is Forscene and therefore the dominant brand is Forscene, not Forbidden.
- We need to significantly improve our digital presence, so we designed, built and launched 2 new websites within the first 3 weeks.
- Our cost of acquisition is too high, and we need to implement digital marketing strategies excellently to create a significantly lower cost of procurement.
In the 4 months since, the team has executed perfectly on these objectives and continues to do so. Forscene is being successfully positioned as professional video editing software. A few data points from our new website include:
- Forscene has 297% more traffic than in 2014
- It ranks 3 times higher for industry keywords in Google than ever before
- Visitors to the site engage for 507% more than last year
Most importantly, in the last 4 months the new website and digital marketing strategy have generated more inbound customer leads than in the entire history of the organization. The team has also revolutionized our brand presence at shows such as BVE. This year’s BVE has been the most successful in our history: we engaged with 450% more people than our previous best show; we have more confirmed meetings than ever before; and we even managed to complete deals on stand, which is pretty rare. The exciting part is that we’ve only just started!
This brings me to Brand Y. People often ask me where the path to revenue is for eva, well the answer is Brand Y. Clearly there are huge upside benefits to having an actively used video social network, but having a revenue stream is equally desirable. When users record their video in eva, they can use the online video editor Brand Y. That said, it isn’t exclusively for eva users, anyone can edit any video in Brand Y. Brand Y will likely be a subscription based revenue model, and our aim is to get the masses expressing their creativity by creating a new paradigm in video editing.
Have you ever wondered why so few people edit video? I mean the amount of video being shared is growing at an exponential rate, Facebook feeds are being dominated by video, Twitter has integrated video, and YouTube and Vimeo are growing massively. Yet relatively few people actually edit video. Why? Well, I can tell you. We did a lot of research, gathered a lot of data, spoke to a lot of people and I have a definitive answer. Ready…? Because editing video is too hard. It’s too much effort, way too much effort. Every video editing product in existence is just a mini version of a professional video editor. But the use case for someone with 3 minutes of content is astronomically different from someone with 3,000 hours of content! Their needs are different. Imagine if Henry Ford invented the Fork Lift truck before the Model T – would we all be driving Ford Fork’s now? Of course not. Our needs as consumers are different. If eva lets you shoot the story, Brand Y lets you tell the story. It’s an existing, huge, and growing market with entirely digital customer acquisition channels. Our technology wins already. The main users of Brand Y will be consumers who want to edit, all the way through to small business who want to create video content but have never done so before. This means that with eva, Brand Y and Forscene we cover just about every video use case in the market.
Finally, you’re probably wondering how many more people we’ve hired to achieve this hugely increased volume of work across eva, Brand Y and Forscene. Well the answer is none. Our marketing headcount is broadly the same as last year. We have a team of people who crave unremitting success. They work long hours, across multiple brands, over most weekends, doing more than teams twice their size. They work relentlessly, learn constantly, and they have clarity of focus that gives us an extraordinary chance of success. Amy our Content Manager, Jens who owns design and user experience, Candice managing Brand, PR and Events, and the guys that support them are bought into the tenacious success of Forbidden Technologies. As am I.
Hold on to your hats guys, we’re in for an epic adventure.
Aziz Musa, Marketing Director