Joonas Tähtinen is an entrepreneur, video producer and the owner of a Finnish production company JooWorks. Years ago, he started shooting videos for Finnish companies and learned practical marketing without any formal education.
– Many people wanted a video, but they didn’t know what to actually do with it. So besides filming and editing, I also started participating in the planning part of how to use the video for their business. And little by little I came to know marketing more and more. I personally like stuff with function and I like to understand how things work as a part of a system. But I also like creating things. This is marketing for me.
Joonas explains marketing as a part of a business chain that also contains production, sales, billing and management of customer relations. But from these parts, marketing is the first that can be left out.
– You can do business by just doing sales, production and billing. The purpose of marketing is to make these other segments more effective. It makes selling easier and creates an image about the company, which might help the management of customer relations. Marketing is where you create mental images. Create awareness about your brand or products.
Latest campaigning Joonas did was with TTY (Tampere University of Technology, Pori-unit). The task was to create a certain image about the university for potential students and channel them through Facebook for engineering program in the city of Pori.
– Application process in Finnish schools is standardized. So the only thing they could invest in was marketing. We wanted to create an image about the place as young, relaxed, modern, flexible, fast, top-research-making university. I was filming and planning the concept of the videos at the same time.
First step in a campaign like this is to figure out the target group. In this case the target group was young potential engineering students.
– The marketing had to be somehow extraordinary, comical and high tech. Mediasexy stuff like pole dancing or video blogging, so we decided to create a video-blog-like commercials about adventures of Santa Claus in Pori.
After figuring out the target group, it is helpful to create an avatar out of it. This means making up a fictional character that represents the target group, in order to get a glimpse of what are the likes and dislikes of an average representative of such a group.
– If we just start marketing without considering the target group’s perspective, we might end up campaigning with features that for example the TTY management is proud of. But these features might not at all be the reasons for our target group to apply for studies there. For example, we might want to mention that the school is advanced in thermal camera research. But there is a good chance that youngsters don’t care about such a thing. But when we create a fictional, but carefully considered avatar, we might realize that the target group could instead be interested in things like job opportunities, lasers, motors, college life etc.
The script for the campaign must be based on the interests of this fictional avatar. In TTY campaign, the story was about Santa Claus studying in Pori and filming himself on video while going around the campus and the city. These videos were posted in social media. During the process of posting materials online, it is important to consider what is the path of the client towards the goal as actual small steps.
– When a potential student sees the first post, he/she is unlikely to be convinced right away, but he/she might be a bit interested. So we have to offer him the next step on the ladder. It might be a blog article about Pori’s hipster restaurants. At this point he gets a mental image about Pori as a hipster-restaurant-city and if he happens to like hipster kind of restaurants, the positive feeling about Pori as a place to be, grows inside him.
Last step is measuring the results. Lesser results can be measured with surveys and social media likes. But even huge number of likes won’t necessarily mean success, since the people who actually go all the way and buy the product is what counts.
– The people who liked the videos might have had been children who were just fond of Santa Claus, but because of their age none of them could have applied to study engineering. After application period, we could of course measure the results easily. We could just look at the amount of people who applied to study there. If the amount was doubled compared to last year, our marketing was successful. If not, something we did was wrong and we would have had to further develop our strategy.
These are the basic steps of a modern marketing campaign. But as always, unique ideas rise above others. Besides understanding the system, successful marketing requires creativity and continuous effort in adapting to current social phenomenas and finding advantages in them.