What is ReelSurfer?
ReelSurfer is a site that lets users aggregate clips of video together to make “reels”. Users can troll the internet and find clips they want to put together and use ReelSurfer to make and share those videoreels. The company has not really pivoted from their original concept, except they have refined their video clip features so they are marketable to educational institutions, as well as individual consumers.
The company is targeting all video content users, from social media buffs to quirky work colleagues. They give examples of who can use ReelSurfer, including friends that distribute clips across social media channels, like Facebook. They also suggest that people can distribute clips of video from educational talks back and forth via email.
As the company has grown, their target customers have evolved. They have found value in pursuing educational and large-scale organizations and institutions. Neil Joglekar, the company co-founder (without another title, as they do not believe in hierarchical structuring until it is necessary), says the company is always looking for new areas for growth and customers beyond their current user base.
Customer Acquisition and Retention
The company acquires customers through word of mouth marketing, as well as specifically targeted campaigns for large-scale customers, like educational institutions. These large-scale customer acquisitions are made through their specific salespeople. ReelSurfer continually improves their user interface and features. These improvements are made to keep the customers they have acquired. Recent improvements include:
o Advanced profiles that allow users to create reels to collect and organize clips
o Built-in clip commenting so users can create clip conversations
o Infinite scrolling reels so users can watch the best short clips shared on the web.
I think one of the best marketing tactics of ReelSurfer has to be its “test it out small first” strategy. A lot of the guest speakers this quarter talked about what worked well (regarding their marketing strategy) for their company, but very seldom did our class hear about what those companies did to figure out which marketing tactic to use.
ReelSurfer tests out its marketing strategies by experimenting with many different options they were consideration and trying to do them as cheaply as possible. Doing things cheaply allows them to test out multiple options, rather than focus on one option that might not be very effective. ReelSurfer also coupled this test and scrap method with larger plans, that once they realized were not working as expected, could be scrapped. As company co-founder Neil Joglekar puts it, “try huge things and figure out if they work.” If they do not work, “close them down immediately.” I think what makes this strategy so effective is the ability to take risks in trying out multiple strategies, as well as larger ideas that would normally be very cost-intensive. However, while taking these large risks, ReelSurfer is nimble and is not afraid to shut down any marketing strategies that are not as effective as planned.