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Bananatag discovers the marketing power of good press

By Fiona Campbell

Corey Wagner, co-founder of Kelowna based tech startup Bananatag, accredits the company’s early success to a marketing campaign in which it used a public relations launch to put its own product to the test.

Launched in August 2012, Bananatag allows individuals to track opened email and clicked links on their daily emails, taking the guesswork out of how recipients are interacting with their email. Until recently, only marketers and salespeople using mass email services were able to track and see statistics. Bananatag has changed this by bringing the same capabilities to every day email users.

Along with opens and clicks, Bananatag also shows users the location of the recipient and the device the email was opened on. These in-depth metrics allow users to better interact and respond to their contacts. With extensions available for Outlook and Gmail, Bananatag makes email tracking simple and accessible to all.

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It takes more than bricks and mortar to build a regional economy

By Denzil Doyle

A few years ago, a group of hockey enthusiasts from southwestern Ontario embarked on an ambitious campaign to establish an NHL hockey club in their area. A nasty comment that went around at the time was that it would never happen because if it did, Toronto would want one as well.

That joke came to mind when I was asked to comment on the enthusiasm for the MaRS Centre, a Toronto-based innovation centre, only this time the shoe is on the other foot; MaRS appears to be a successful business accelerator that is being emulated across the country. In fact, it appears to have been looked at in some detail by the people who played a key role in the planning of the Ottawa Innovation Centre, to be located at the Bayview yards area.

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Do you know what your customer actually wants?

By Maurice Smith

I once spent a fortnight in Silicon Valley being trained in strategic planning. It was a fantastic experience. We spent the first week in groups trying to invent new products and industries, a motley crew of scientists, financiers and creatives.

In the midst of the workshops, a very opinionated participant from Miami told us – not once, but twice – that there were many modern technical inventions that no one had ever asked for – the minivan and the fax machine for starters.

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Great articles roundup: Startups, financing, crowdfunding, virality in videos

By Daylin Mantyka

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Techvibes, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and copyblogger.

Startup Financing: There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

One anonymous angel with a self-admitted “chip on my shoulder” provides their opinion on pay-to-pitch investment conferences.

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Customer service must be a deliberate strategy

By Francis Moran

I had a conversation the other day with a senior executive at a company for which I occasionally do some consulting. The executive wanted my opinion on how his company handles warranty returns. Under their current practice, they oblige their customers to remove the faulty equipment, which is often tightly embedded in an operational environment, pack it up as best they can with their own resources, and ship it back at the customer’s expense. If the fault is determined to be covered under warranty, they refund the customer’s shipping costs. Meanwhile, the customer may have to do without what is often a mission-critical piece of gear, although most of this company’s customers do stock healthy inventories of spare equipment.

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