The Missing Piece: How Marketing Is Redefining HEXONET
Though engineering and technology has been the heartbeat of HEXONET and the foundation of our success, we recently realized that we were terrible at telling our story. Like many technically focused companies, we neglected things like marketing, communications, social media, and a host of other ways of telling the world who we are and why our customers are so loyal to us. That is why in April of 2017, the founders at HEXONET decided to invest and make "Marketing" equally as important as our technology.
Being a team of geeks and nerds, the first step was to find someone that could provide HEXONET with a marketing strategy and build a team to execute that strategy. Luckily for us that search was short. Through a good friend of one of the founders, we were made aware of a great candidate, Mrs. Marie Lanyon who came from the digital marketing agency world and not the domain industry. We met her that same week and immediately knew she was the right person for the job, we made her an offer within 24 hours (I do not understand people who wait in making hiring decisions when the right candidate is right there) and Marie gladly accepted. The six month plan we agreed upon was the following:
- Goal 1: Learn, understand and analyze HEXONET and the domain name industry
- Goal 2: Devise a custom marketing strategy, team hiring proposal, and execution plan for HEXONET
- Goal 3: Ramp up marketing operations, based on the above plan, by finding HEXONET the right VP of Marketing
Marie got started sprinting towards the first goal by attending the 2017 NameSummit conference in New York. Even though this was her first exposure to the domain name industry she keenly deduced the industry had two major problems - trustworthiness and insular marketing. As an outsider to our industry, she echoed how fraud, phishing, and abuse was negatively affecting our reputation with consumers. Moreover, Marie clearly identified the appalling lack of consumers and businesses outside the industry as all marketing was done inward to each other. When she presented these findings to us, we simply responded that she create the marketing strategy and find the right person to fix these issues for HEXONET.
The subsequent three months after NameSummit, Marie impressively crafted us an amazing marketing strategy and execution plan. The next step, we knew that finding the best and right VP of Marketing to head up these efforts would be a challenge. "Marie, you won't be able to get everything we talked about done in the remaining three months, I think you need to be our VP of Marketing and join HEXONET" was the conversation I had with her. Thankfully Marie was thinking the same thing as she found the domain name industry and the marketing challenges we faced exciting and, more importantly, she also loved working with HEXONET. Marie officially joined the HEXONET team!
HEXONET's marketing team is four: Ana Milosavic, Marketing Coordinator; Johnny Vo, Creative Designer; Angela Huang, Office Manager and Marketing Assistant; and of course Marie. Together they have already completely refreshed HEXONET's brand by modernizing our logo and completely overhauling our website to now tell a simpler and clearer story of what we do. You may have also noticed that HEXONET's presence, frequency and style on multiple social media outlets has been growing and improving. Our online engagement is skyrocketing.
Marketing outward (rather than inward), the team has aggressively been meeting with marketing and advertising agencies in Vancouver with "Lunch and Learn" sessions. HEXONET supplies a free lunch which gives us an opportunity to talk about the company, the industry and domain names in a non-sales (neutral, yet informative) manner, which are received warmly and often lead to even more speaking invitations. These agencies appreciate the valuable information and learning we bring and are appreciative that HEXONET offers to be their local resource and experts on domain names. We have also been sponsoring and exhibiting at multiple events not directly related to domain names, which we are heavily tracking and analyzing for measurable benefits (essentially testing) to HEXONET. The experience and knowledge we are gaining from these outward engagements will empower HEXONET to be highly efficient and profitable on our marketing spend for 2019 and the years to come.
I am proud of how far we have come in such a short time, becoming more outwardly facing and building trust for our industry. Our Marketing team has done an amazing job and we are now telling the HEXONET story more clearly and to more audiences than ever before. We are far from perfect. HEXONET will continue to work to raise our marketing, communications, social media, and product marketing game. And not to forget that we are still geeky engineers at heart, HEXONET is working on some awesome new technologies too, one of which is a Premium Anycast DNS service coming in the fall of 2018!