I came across this wonderful presentation by Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, linked via the ever-useful twitter feed @smashingmag. (So useful, in fact, that I don't actually folow the feed — I subscribe to it in NetNewsWire, using a script I wrote that turns the embedded URLs into links for the feed itself so it's easy to open the linked pages. But I digress.)
This presentation has quite a few gems. Some particular favorites of mine:
- Search is a way to harvest demand, not create it.
- Typical Dropbox user: Hears about Dropbox from a friend, blog, etc. and tries it → "I didn't realize I needed this" → "It actually works" → Unexpectedly happy → tells friends.
- Three types of markets: existing, resegmented, new. Marketing tactics for one market fail horribly in others.
- New strategy which worked well was to encourage word of mouth and viral spreading.
It's astonishing how Dropbox was able to enter an already crowded field and come to dominate. Their word-of-mouth techniques worked rather well, of course. (It's interesting to note that Dropbox used to have a paid referral program but they no longer do. I guess they felt they no longer needed it.)
You can draw your own conclusions from how Dropbox did it to your own business.