WhatsApp Launches Free Business App

WhatsApp B2C messagingWhatsApp Launches Free Business App

Things are going to change around here. At least, that’s what WhatsApp is promising SMEs and corporations with the roll out of its new business messaging service.

WhatsApp is offering easier business to customer (B2C) communication, the capacity to separate client and personal communication, and the opportunity to build “an official presence”. The goal is to improve customer experience and business efficiency.

A feature-rich experience

WhatApp’s business app promises a range of services, including a business profile with contact information and website and email details.

The familiar messaging facility will also include automated greetings, away messages (so you can switch off if it’s time for a nap or your afternoon tea), and quick response answers to FAQs.

For the data obsessed, you’ll have access to stats, though we’re not sure why you’d need this exactly.

Verified business number are also soon to become a thing and will match official business numbers to WhatsApp accounts. This is being beta-tested right now and will likely roll out WhatsApp-wide in future.

Soon to be global

To date, there are 1.3 billion monthly active users of WhatApp.  Crucially, regular users will not have to download anything extra and will be able to interact with businesses just as easily as they do with their friends and family.

This zero-friction approach to B2C communication almost guarantees its success.

Moreover, the app falls in line with the new Europe-wide GDPR act, which will become official in late May. Offering end-to-end encryption, it will only allow businesses to contact clients who have given them explicit permission to do so.

The WhatsApp business app is now available for businesses  to download for free, on Android and is currently available Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

It will start to come alive in the rest of the world in the next few weeks. And we’re emoji-excited to see it reach Spain.

Good Timing

The announcement comes soon after Facebook’s move to demote Business Page reach. Businesses looking for new, more direct channels of communication with customers and leads should be thrilled at the prospect of a purpose-built user-friendly and feature rich service.

And with more businesses adopting a mobile-first approach, it looks like WhatsApp is destined to be one of the biggest players in the B2C eCommerce space.

Join us for more insights

Interested in reading more digital marketing insights? Sign up now to receive regular updates and exclusive Hubbub Labs content right to your inbox

What do upcoming changes to the Facebook Newsfeed mean for your business?

Upcoming changes to Facebook Newsfeed

At the beginning of the year Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised to make some big changes to improve user experience of Facebook:

The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.

My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues.

Source: Facebook

Last night, Zuckerberg went further, announcing on his Facebook feed that user feedback indicates that people are being overwhelmed by business, media and brand posts and that this is “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Referring to academic research, Zuckerberg says that while personal posts and real connections benefit people, reading articles and watching videos may not.

As a result, the Facebook team is concentrating on updating the News Feed. It will soon start to deliver more content from friends and family, rather than from brand and media channels.

In his post, Zuckerberg predicts that time spent on the platform and engagement would decrease, but would bring long-term benefits to people, communities and businesses in time.

Facebook Newsfeed Changes
Mark Zuckerberg, Extract


Facebook & the Big Picture

Facebook is positioning itself as a user-first platform. It aims to regain public trust by limiting the reach of fake news sites and spammy brands.

While Facebook began as a social media platform, it has developed into a fully-fledged marketing platform with a well developed business model. 

Organic reach – or Newsfeed penetration – for business pages has been in decline – dropping 20% in 2017, according to research by BuzzSumo. 

As a result, brands are are spending more on ads; spending grew 23% in the first six months of 2017, reaching $40.1 billion in the U.S. alone.

What might this mean for business?

The Facebook algorithm is now punishing engagement bait, as we outlined in a recent post – 5 Social Media Trends to Watch For in 2018, and is rewarding higher quality and more relevant content.

Zuckerberg’s announcement probably means that only highly engaged fans are likely to see your content in their Newsfeeds, resulting in an even greater push towards sponsored publishing on Facebook.  

We are sure that as the year progresses Business Page reach will fall further and your strategy will have to adapt as a result. Smaller business platforms and media outlets will likely suffer, and those relying on organic reach alone will see a big drop in traffic.

Start strategising your content distribution and think about your budgets accordingly!

Join us for more insights

Interested in reading more digital marketing insights? Sign up now to receive regular updates and exclusive Hubbub Labs content right to your inbox

Barna Hub Interviews Esteban Redolfi, Director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship

Barna Hub

We first met Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director, at the Smart City Expo World Congress this November.

 4yfn Esteban Redolfi, Director Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director
Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director


Today he’s come along to Barna Hub to talk about startups, 4 Years From Now  (4YFN) and tell us just why Barcelona is the place to be for entrepreneurs and founders.

Introducing Mobile World Capital Barcelona and 4YFN

Following three pillars of innovation, transformation and empowerment, Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative that promotes and fosters mobile and digital progress. Its aim is to improve people’s lives all over the world.

The organisation is funded by both the public and private sectors. It achieves its success through the development of a number of initiatives, including; GoingDigital d-LAB, mSchools, and 4YFN – a platform connecting startups with investors and corporations, and drives innovation through collaboration.

Take it away Esteban!

140 character pitch

We love helping to create scalable businesses with passionate archi-TECHS who happen to be entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives.

How can startups get involved with 4YFN?

Startups are at the centre of everything we do at Digital Entrepreneurship in Mobile World Capital Barcelona.

Our next event is 4YFN Barcelona 2018 and startups can apply to be part of our Innovation Market. 

Come along to exhibit your solutions, not only to a variety of investors, but to more than 10,000 executives from Mobile World Congress. You can also get involved in many of our networking activities, including:

  • Pitching to the press
  • Meeting investors
  • Pitching sessions
  • Networking drinks
  • Mentoring sessions
  • And much more!

Down to business

4yfn logo

What makes Barcelona’s startup scene unique?

Barcelona’s startup scene is unique because of its affordable lifestyle and work force, great access to talent, as well as an early-adoption market. There is also a direct connection with the European and American market and great connection routes by ground and air.

What benefits can startups bring to a city or region?

Apart from the obvious economic activity that a growing startup ecosystem brings into any city or region, startups bring innovation at an astounding speed.

They introduce a culture that looks at products and services from the user’s perspective. They also bring a new work methodology, where constant learning and iteration allows projects to survive and prosper in an incredibly challenging market. What’s more, startups continually incorporate new talent.

This last point – having international talent developing projects in our ecosystem – spreads to other areas such as corporations, public entities, and traditional businesses.

Where does 4YFN fit in?

4YFN has enabled Barcelona’s and Spain’s startup ecosystems to showcase their accomplishments, projects, talent and potential to the world. Our event in Barcelona gathers 20,000 attendees from 138 countries. We have bridged our tech hub with San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Helsinki, London, Paris, Berlin, and a number of other important tech hubs.

We have created an investor’s only platform that gathers more than 1,000 VC members from some of the most active funds in the world. Plus, we have contributed to building a successful methodology, exemplifying how startups should be served during a B2B event.

As Director, I am very proud of 4YFN’s accomplishments and thankful for having had the opportunity to contribute to the consolidation of Barcelona as a model for the startup world.

What’s been the most memorable moment at 4YFN for you?

The most memorable moment is happening now – a few months before the next edition of our Barcelona event.

Right now, we’re receiving a lot of calls, emails, and messages. At the same time, we are juggling meetings with passionate founders, heavy players from investment funds, and representatives from corporations, country delegations, and acceleration programmes.

They are all reaching out to be part of 4YFN Barcelona 2018. Of course, they want to leverage on the event to grow their businesses, but they also bring proposals on how to create more value in the ecosystem.

These past few and very intense months confirm that we have created a platform that makes sense, and something that the ecosystem feels they want to be a part of.

Where do you see yourself 4 years from now?

Behind all the action we have created at 4YFN, there is a large international digital entrepreneur community, which is always evolving and growing.

We are already working on new projects and ideas that will tackle the new challenges that this global community will face. We know that Barcelona will have a leading role in the consolidation of Europe as a relevant global startup ecosystem.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Barcelona Insight

What advice do you have for first time entrepreneurs here?

My advice to first time entrepreneurs will always be to get connected.

Barcelona, like any of the top ten tech hubs in the world, has entities, accelerations programmes, corporate open innovation programmes, experienced entrepreneurs and smart money investors that can provide advice, resources and support.

Being an entrepreneur is extremely tough. There is no need to face it completely alone.

If you were leaving Barcelona tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

I would come to the office to do my job. Having such passionate and talented people in my team turns every meeting into a great opportunity. It is an honour to discuss the future of the ecosystem with them, and to create new initiatives in order to contribute to it.

Finish this sentence: “The best thing about living and working in Barcelona is…”

… the opportunity to walk around and absorb the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Barcelona is contagious and every corner, every overwhelming view of the sea, every vision of its urbanism, every walk through the surrounding mountains invites you to create something new, something big, something better.

So, why not make it a startup?

Hubbub: Why not indeed! Thanks very much for your fascinating insights Esteban!

Find 4YFN online

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4YFN_MWC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FourYearsFromNow/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/5321378

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/4yfn_mwc/

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

Smart City Expo World Congress: 3 Barcelona Companies Making a Difference in People’s Lives

Empower Cities, Empower People

This November 18,754 people from 700 cities and more than 120 countries descended on Barcelona to nerd it out for three days of smart city excitement, networking opportunities, and inspiring talks from 420 speakers and 675 exhibitors.

Welcome to the record-breaking Smart City Expo World Congress 2017!

Smart City Expo Barcelona

An exciting glimpse of the global startup future

Wandering around the exhibits at the Smart City Expo, we saw a mix of industry powerhouses, including Microsoft, Huawei and Siemens – and they were, as always, very interesting.

But we were also pleased to catch a glimpse of the future, meeting a number of nascent tech companies and up-and-coming startups dotted around the exhibition centre.

The majority of these were in the 4YFN Village (4 Years From Now)—the startup business platform of the Mobile World Capital BarcelonaAnd we were lucky enough to speak to Esteban Redolfi, Director of the organisation.

Esteban Director 4YFN Barcelona
Esteban Redolfi, Director 4YFN

He said that Barcelona is one of the main hubs of the technology industry in southern Europe and that it is “attracting talent and investment and becoming a leading city in the smart city sector.”

Natasha Dullaway, Social Media Executive at 4YFN, told us how the platform had given 40 startups from 14 countries the opportunity to exhibit and pitch their ideas to investors, town planners, experts and investors.

“The highlight of the event for me was seeing the startups take to the centre of the Agora stage and pitch their products to the packed-out crowd,” said Ms. Dullaway.

Meet the 4YFN Village People

After having walked what seemed like 10,000 steps, it was good to be able to sit down, have a coffee and friendly chat with different startup teams.

What we really loved about the 4YFN village was the intimate and relaxed environment. Much like a real village, it gave us some much needed respite from the intense buzz of the city (or in this case…conference).

We found a diverse array of entrepreneurs, CEOs and developers. They were stationed in the charming wooden booths and could not wait to tell us about their ideas and goals.

4YFN Mobile World Capital Barcelona
4YFN Mobile World Capital

Don’t miss out on the 4YFN event of 2018held at the Mobile World Congress Barcelona from 26-28th February.

Join more than 20,000 attendees to explore 600 exhibits, and watch and participate in over 150 hours of inspiring talks, activities, pitches and workshops from those who are pioneering the future of the digital world.

So who did we meet?

Company #1: Shotl – go carless

First, we spoke to Shotl. This ride-sharing app aims to solve rush-hour traffic, reduce pollution, and save people money, all at the same time.

It may sound impossible, but they assured us  that it is quite a simple concept; download the app (on iOS or Android) and input where you want to go. The app does the rest, finding other people going in your direction and notifying them where you are. Then you are picked up on route by van, taxi or mini-bus.

It’s a bit like taking the bus, but much more direct and without those uncomfortable seats and sticky floors. Better still, by collaborating and sharing rides we can reduce the number of cars on the road.

If you want to take the stress out of your daily commute and help save the planet at the same time, download Shotl. Join the vehicle sharing revolution today!

Company #2: Live Cities – connecting challengers and problem-solvers

We also had the pleasure of meeting the team from Live Cities, another promising Catalan startup. It is a mobile crowdsourcing platform that allows individuals or organisations to connect with the talent and resources needed to complete a project.  

Its aim is to make innovation accessible to everyone and not just large organisations or public administrations, empowering citizens so they can turn their ideas into reality.

The app is still in beta and not yet available to download. However, customised versions are available for universities, city councils and other organisations at a cost. This is helping Live Cities to finance the project until it’s ready to launch to the general public.

Live Cities - connecting challengers and problem-solvers Barcelona
Mariale Tord, CMO of Live Cities

If you want to be the first to hear about its launch sign up to Live Cities mailing list.

Company #3: Bit4id – simplicity is the key to security

After spending most of the morning at the 4YFN village, we headed over to the Bit4id (Best Information Technology 4 IDentification) stand and spoke to Marco Scognamiglio and his team.

Founded in 2004, the company certainly isn’t a new kid on the block. Bit4id  has offices in Barcelona, Naples, London, and elsewhere.

The company originally focused on a B2B model, developing and selling online authentication, e-signature and data protection solutions.

Bit4id introduced SignCloud at the expo. This revolutionary app, created in partnership with Uanataca, allows people to access their digital certificates from their mobile phones.

You often need a digital certificate to prove your identity and access confidential information online. For example, you might use one on government websites to submit your tax return or to complete other administration, without having to physically go to the office. Setting up and downloading one of these certificates can be an extremely painful experience. Thanks to outdated government systems you often need to make one on a PC using an old version of MS Explorer. Imagine.

Bit4id - simplicity is the key to security Barcelona
The Bit4id team. From left to right, Gertrudis Camps, Marco Scognamiglio, Montserrat Delgado, and Domingo Espinar.

SignCloud offers a much simpler solution to traditional digital certificates and is available to download now on iOS (Android coming soon!).

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Social Media Followers

social media

Social media startup tips from George Chilton, Creative Director of Hubbub Labs.

If you have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, you’ve probably bumped into a bot or two. You may have even received messages from them offering you thousands of new social media followers, or dozens of fake likes a day, for a couple of hundred dollars. While most people ignore it, this can be tempting if you represent a brand, especially when your demanding boss expects you to grow your company’s online communities and “increase engagement”.

But don’t do it.

Buying followers is like making a presentation and filling half the auditorium with cardboard cutout people. It looks good when you take a selfie from the stage, but the applause is pretty weak.

It’s far better to have a small group of engaged followers, who represent your target market, than thousands of random accounts who pay you no attention.

So please, for the love of Zuckerberg, don’t make this horrible social media mistake. Here are 4 reasons why you should never buy online followers:

1. Fake social media followers hurt your marketing objectives

Think about why you set up a social media account in the first place. You want to be there for your customers, reach a wider audience with your content, potentially advertise your services, and talk to real people. It’s great branding and helps build your reputation.

Now imagine, for a moment, that instead of your customers, their friends and wider networks, you have a series of fake accounts following you.

What value will you give them? Absolutely none. At the end of the day it’s a vanity project that helps no-one but the people getting paid to follow you.

2. Zero engagement kills your visibility

Fake followers suck; they won’t ask you questions, they won’t like or share your posts and they certainly won’t get or give any value. All they’re doing is swelling your numbers and lowering your engagement ratio.

The numbers might look good at first glance, but this lower engagement ratio means your content will get rated lower by social media algorithms, and will therefore be less visible to real followers.

Fake likes don’t count as engagement, either. See what Facebook has to say about it:

Facebook takes into account Page engagement rates when deciding when and where to deliver a Page’s legitimate adverts and content, so Pages with artificially inflated like counts are harming themselves, making it more difficult and more expensive to reach the people they care about most — https://www.facebook.com/business/a/page/fake-likes

3. Buying fake social media followers and likes harms your reputation

You wouldn’t pay actors to come to your dinner party and pretend to be your friends. It would be humiliating if you were ever caught. The same goes for buying fake followers.

First of all, like fake dinner guests, fake accounts are obvious. They:

  • Are clearly not part of your target audience
  • Often tweet or post in unrelated languages
  • Probably live on the other side of the world
  • May have no photos (or weird photos)

Once you’ve been rumbled, people will have a hard time trying to trust you. Not only does it make you look vain, it shows that you’re desperate and unable to run a valuable social media account (I mean, who are you trying to kid, Donald?).

4. Breaking the rules could get you banned

Every platform has its own terms of service. Buy buying fake followers and likes you could well find yourself in hot water. Having a suspended personal account looks bad, having a suspended brand account is worse – particularly when you’re being paid to run it.

Twitter, for example, may temporarily block or permanently ban you from using the service if:

You are selling or purchasing account interactions (such as selling or purchasing followers, Retweets, likes, etc.).

You are using or promoting third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast”, or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account).

Source: https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311

Don’t take the short cut

A strong social media following can take time to build. Aim to deliver consistent value to your audiences you’ll begin to see more engagement. Speak to real people, ask questions and lead the conversation.

Tell us how you get along – you can get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!


Barcelona and Startups: “Emprendimiento” a Free Lunch Podcast with Corpore Wear


Barcelona Podcast

By George Chilton, Creative Director of Hubbub Labs, a content and digital marketing agency based in Barcelona.


Earlier this year, I was honoured to take part in an interview with Mike Manganillo. I was invited on his excellent Free Lunch podcast alongside entrepreneur and writer Michael Thomson, co-owner of Corpore Wear.

We had a great time talking about Barcelona, Silicon Valley, the risks and rewards of Entrepreneurship – and much more.

Listen on SoundCloud

Read more about Barcelona on The Next Web

In this article in The Next Web, I expand on our points in the podcast. I take a look at how the Barcelona startup scene is different to Silicon Valley:

Barcelona isn’t the next Silicon Valley – and that’s a good thing.

Here you can read more about the challenges that Spain faces as a country and the leaps and bounds Barcelona has taken in recent years. I also go into the initiatives, funding and programmes available for startups in the city. And you can read about what Sançar Şahin, the Director of marketing at Typeform has to say about Barcelona, and why it will never be Silicon Valley (but really, we don’t want it to be).

About Corpore Wear

Corpore Wear manufactures and sells a posture enhancing undershirt. The company was founded around 3 years ago in Barcelona by Michael’s business partner, Albert Moreno. The Italian-made shirts work wonders by gently coaxing you into sitting and standing with good posture. Not only do you look better when you put one on, but you feel better, exuding confidence and improving your body language at the same time.

The best thing about Corpore Wear’s undershirt, in my opinion, is that they are unintrusive and comfortable – yet they have an immediate effect on your well-being.

The shirts are available to buy in the U.S. and Europe:

USA: http://corporewear.us/

Europe: http://corporewear.com/en

Follow Corpore Wear:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/corporewear/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corporewear/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/corporewear?lang=en

About Free Lunch by Clean Publishing

Mike Manganillo’s free podcast dives into a whole range of topics, from startups, entrepreneurship, marketing, even beer and SXSW.

Expect fun, irreverent chats, with lots of interesting questions (he kept us on our toes). I’ve come to be a big fan of the show and I highly recommend listening on the drive home…or during your lunch hour, of course.

Follow the Free Lunch Podcast:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FreeLunch_Show

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/cleanpublishing

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/free-lunch/


Let us know what you think. Have you based your business in Barcelona or would you consider relocating here?


Startup Academy: Downloadable Press Release Template

Press releases can get your featured in the media

By George Chilton, Creative Director of Hubbub Labs, a content and digital marketing agency based in Barcelona.

In our previous Startup Academy article we showed you how to write a press release. Due to popular demand, here is a downloadable template for general product launches and startup news. The Google Document can be viewed here: Downloadable Press Release Template.

Press release recap:

  1. Keep your releases short, sharp and to the point
  2. Lead with the most important information, add details as the press release progresses
  3. Don’t use jargon or media buzzwords, it is off-putting and unnecessary
  4. Don’t try to sell your product to the journalist, but do outline key features
  5. Tie your news into a current trend or story
  6. Make the most of your social proof (reputation) and link founders’ names to relevant professional profiles (e.g. LinkedIn)
  7. Ensure your service is clear and easy to understand and that you differentiate it from the competition
  8. Outline your company mission and make it compelling
  9. Use industry context to show where you fit in and why your company is important. Back up any claims with trustworthy links
  10. Use strong, media friendly quotes
  11. Put key company information in your About boilerplate

A quick note on reaching out to the media

Journalists have very little time to read and evaluate your news stories. Ensure that you are targeting the right reporter; each writer has a beat, or specialism, and they will ignore stories that fall outside of their remits. Also make sure that your pitch is personalised, and explains exactly why your story is important and of interest to them.

If you get traction, be prepared to make yourself available to interview and add further details. Journalists will do their own research, and often need more background from company leaders.

Read more about talking to journalists and pitching your press releases and articles to editors in George Chilton’s Entrepreneur Magazine article 5 Things Entrepreneurs Should Never Say to Journalists.

Before you go!

If you would like help writing a press release and pitching it to relevant media contacts the Hubbub Labs team is here to help. 


Downloadable Press Release Template.

The one key metric guaranteed to help your startup grow

Help your startup grow with

Are your clients saying good things about your startup? Let’s find out.

Metrics bring targets, focus, and scary pivots to startup teams. George Chilton, Creative Director of Hubbub Labs and prolific tea drinker, looks at one metric he believes could be the difference between life, death and impressive growth at your startup.


When I’m at parties people often approach me and ask, “George, what’s your favourite business metric?”

Okay, that’s never happened. Firstly, I don’t go to parties, and if I did, people wouldn’t approach me. Regardless, I’m here to tell you about Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

The NPS is an effective metric for startups, SMEs and enterprises, because it boils down how well you are serving your clients. What’s more, it’s not pie in the sky. According to the Harvard Business Review, your NPS directly correlates with growth.

So what are Net Promoter Scores, exactly? And why do they work so well?

Your company’s NPS can range anything from -100 to 100. The higher the number, the happier (and more evangelical) your client base is.

Finding out your NPS is, understandably, a little nerve-wracking, especially if you own a new business or startup. It’s akin to turning on the house lights in a theatre; you’re either going to see happy smiling faces, or a bunch of angry people about to hurl tomatoes.

But whatever the result, it gives you a solid baseline to work from, and a chance to dodge those rotten vegetables.

NPS enables you to focus on your clients and their needs, which is especially great news for startup CEOs and founders, who find it increasingly difficult to stay on track as their startups grow.

How do I calculate my company’s NPS?

Like all the best metrics, it’s stark and to the point.

First, survey a statistically significant sample of your clients – or contact them all, if you’re a smaller company. Simply ask:

On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our service to your friends or colleagues?

Then, deciding whether someone is a detractor (D), neutral (N), or a promoter (P) is simply a matter of looking at their score. If a client responds with anything from 0-6 he or she is a detractor, 7-8 and your client is neutral, 9-10 means he or she is a promoter.

Finally, to calculate your company-wide score, simply take away the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Here’s an example:

You have 1000 results. 200 results ranged from 0-6; 300 were from 7-8; the remaining 500 were in the 9-10 bracket.

Your percentages would be as follows:

20% – D
30% – N
50% – P


So here your NPS is 30.

Easy right? So easy it’s worth doing right now.

How do I know if my score is good or bad?

Your score can be positive, or negative, even zero – and the higher it is, the better your company is serving client needs and exceeding expectations.

Context is everything, so if you want to see how you fare against your competition, SurveyMonkey offers industry benchmarks.

What do I do now?

  1. Run the survey and make NPS a company focus. Each department should be aware of the NPS and its consequences.
  2. Strive to increase this metric. It will focus your team – at all levels – on seeing things from the customer perspective.
  3. Rinse and repeat. Regardless of your current NPS, if you focus on pushing it up, you will see improvement in feedback, UX, revenue, referrals, reviews, and a whole range of good things.


The startup sneak factor: 3 tactics used by famous companies to supercharge their growth

Startups are sneaky...sometimes

In this article Hubbub Labs Creative Director George Chilton takes a break from drinking tea to look at the startup sneak factor, delving into some devious growth tactics and hacks used by PayPal, Uber, and SnapChat.

If I asked you to describe yourself in three words and one of them was “sneaky”, I’d be quite worried. It’s a character description that most of us avoid because it suggests that we’re untrustworthy. Putting a positive spin on the word, we might be able to call it “ingenious”. Nevertheless, there is sometimes an element of this in business – especially in the early stages of startup growth.

When you look at industry giants like SnapChat, PayPal, and Uber, it’s hard to imagine that they once struggled to get traction. Of course, they all provide a valuable service to their clients, but that’s not nearly enough to make it in an on-demand world with millions of apps, fintech solutions and transport options. They needed edge, or some kind of growth hack.

Here’s a summary of how these companies used some clever marketing tactics to explode their user numbers and grow in a very short period of time.

1. Create artificial demand like PayPal

When it rains in Barcelona the entrances to the metro stations fill with enterprising locals selling umbrellas for twice their standard price. These people are exploiting, quite rightly, the principle of demand. When it’s sunny and warm (which is very often here), no one ever thinks of buying an umbrella.

But as you trudge up those concrete steps and see a dark grey sky, and a slippery floor, you know you’re in for a drenching. Sometimes it’s hard – despite knowing you have three umbrellas at home – not to shell out for one and arrive to your destination dry.

These sellers have reacted to a situation that is profitable to them. They are leveraging brief and intense demand for something that everyone needs. It’s a good business move, but there is another way to do this though – and that is to create artificial demand.

Before you get your hose pipes out and stock up on umbrellas, hear me out.

Artificial demand is required when creating a 2-sided marketplace. Imagine you wanted to market a service like eBay, for example. There you must attract both buyers and sellers at the same time. Without a market to sell to, sellers won’t sign up. Without products, consumers can’t, well, consume. It’s a chicken and egg problem, well discussed in business.

The (now) world-famous money transfer solution PayPal was in a similar situation. It needed to create an artificial demand for its service in order for it to become popular and mainstream. The company decided it would pay eBay sellers (in a manner of speaking) to use its service.

PayPal employed bots to purchase items from thousands eBay sellers, each time requesting PayPal as a method of payment. Sellers, not wishing to lose out on sales, obviously created accounts with the service.

It was an undoubtedly sneaky ingenious way of forcing the market’s hand – creating an immediate, yet artificial need for the service. Of course, once PayPal was established, people saw its advantages and it began to take off.

You can read more about this in Eric M. Jackson’s Paypal Wars, which I’m sure you can also purchase on eBay.

2. Apologise, don’t ask permission like Snapchat

SnapChat, an app which I am thoroughly too old for, went viral because of its ingenious and somewhat devious early referral system.

When you download a social app and you already have contacts that use the service, you can often find them, add them as friends, or interact with them. If your friends are not on the service, they generally don’t appear.

In its early days, however, Snapchat, displayed contact lists from Facebook without differentiating whether each person used the service or not. So, when a snapchatter sent a photo to an uninitiated party, SnapChat would send a message inviting them to sign up in order to receive the image.

As a result, millions of invitations were inadvertently sent to non-Snapchat users. Of course, no harm was done – users only signed up if they wanted. But it was a brilliantly in-built viral mechanism that certainly added to the app’s viral growth.

This differs vastly from the early days of email spamming, which we saw from platforms like Linkedin. Sending emails to hundreds of your professional contacts requesting that they sign up seemed far more intrusive that a cheeky invitation to see a fun photo. In fact, the company, which is now owned by Microsoft, had to pay out $13 million in an out of court settlement to a class action lawsuit in 2015.

3. Divide and conquer like Uber

The final example really is underhanded. Back in 2014 (a million years ago in tech company time), when Uber was beginning to really take off all around the world, it decided to aggressively target competitor Lyft by ordering and then cancelling “more than 5000 rides”, according to CNN.

By disrupting the service on such a large scale, the company allegedly hoped to attract Lyft drivers to its service.

Of course, having been uncovered by CNN, this tactic was dropped and the company suggested in a statement to the press that it may have been third party recruiters:

“We…recently ran a program where thousands of riders recruited drivers from many platforms, earning hundreds of dollars in Uber credits for each driver who tries Uber.”

More recently, in a rather poetic turn of events, Indian competitor Ola has been accused of doing the same to Uber, however on a much, much larger scale. Uber claims that Ola made around 90,000 fake accounts on the platform, and requested and cancelled drivers – causing massive disruption and serious financial losses.

There are clearly pros and cons to growth by sneak. Resorting to sabotage is rarely a good thing, and the outcome for Uber was questionable at best. On the other hand, both SnapChat and PayPal solved some significant problems during early stage growth and overcame the tricky chicken and egg problem that many service industry businesses face.

While sneak might get your foot in the door, it won’t get you inside, so make sure if you do take this route, you also have some substance and other solid growth tactics up your sleeve.