At Zecco, I oversaw the marketing efforts to bring this online stock trading company to market, building from zero to 140,000 customer accounts over two and a half years.
Zecco Company Launch
I led efforts to garner Zecco the media coverage we needed to propel the company into investor awareness. My team’s initial media relations efforts yielded coverage in Bloomberg and the WSJ. Unfortunately, that coverage was skeptical. Journalists saw Zecco as an upstart brokerage with an untested business model. European investors and headquarters outside the financial center of New York were suspect. The gist of the criticism was, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” With an incipient launch and media skepticism coalescing, we needed something big to turn the tide and build momentum from a launch. So, we seized the moment to change the conversation.
For launch day we planned something special for New York City. We collaborated with all the hotdog vendors within a four block radius of the New York Stock Exchange to offer a free lunch to anyone who wants one. Dressing each cart in Zecco pink and campaign graphics, we accomplished a “station inundation” for one day. We also had a street team of actors performing a mock protest of high stock commissions covering the area.
The PR team made hay of the event, sending free hot dogs up to the producers at CNBC and engaging media in the event. We earned spectacular media attention with experiential marketing on company launch: four segments on CNBC, coverage in Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USAToday, Forbes, Businessweek, Wired, and Fast Company.
Zecco scaled up quickly. I personally recruited and cultivated team of top marketing talent to help drive the growth. With a comprehensive marketing plan including online and offline advertising, we built the customer base. Advertising, coupled with partnerships, a bevy of new services and innovative social networking tools, helped drive a 20% weekly growth rate. Marketing efforts, along with product development helped quadruple valuation and secured funding rounds on favorable terms.