SamC2270 aka Sam Crowder aka “The Venmo Bro” is your latest internet sensation with one simple sign…check this genius out:
His “Hi mom! Send beer money” sign on ESPN’s College Gameday was broadcast to millions of people on Saturday, September 10…
…and unlike hundreds of other 15-second internet sensations, Sam’s stunt actually made him some cold hard cash.
No reports yet on how much was sent to him, but I think it’s safe to say his beers tabs should be covered for the rest of the school year.
When I read some comments on this story, I saw a lot of haters…
“Why are people giving him free money?”
“He should be using that money for school.”
Blah, blah, blah. Haters.
I loved it. In fact, I applaud Sam’s marketing genius. Even though he may not have intended to do so, Sam reminded me of a few vital marketing lessons I want to share with you.
1) Innovation is rewarded.
Sam probably looked like a fool to a lot of people walking around with that sign.
He took a chance to plead for money on national TV – and it worked. People appreciated his ingenuity and responded in kind.
2) Keep it simple, stupid.
There were literally 5 words in Sam’s sign – and he got 3,000 people to send him money.
I don’t know what the conversion metrics are for that, but if you can get 3,000 people to send you money for 5 words, YOU ARE A BOSS.
Too many marketers write too much or don’t get to the point quick enough to capture their prospect’s attention.
Get to the point and make it simple for people to take action.
3) Funny = good.
A lot of businesses, brands and marketers still take themselves too seriously.
Be fun, be playful, be real – it pays off.
4) Location, location, location.
If Sam would’ve just taken that sign to the tailgate section of the game, he might’ve gotten a few laughs and even fewer donations.
But he held the sign in front of the camera for people watching at home. These people watching at home also probably had their phones within arms reach. That made it that much easier for them to laugh, open their Venmo app, and send the bro some beer funds.
5) Just ask.
If Internet explorer is brave enough to ask you to be your default browser, YOU are brave enough to make your offer.
Too many entrepreneurs still struggle to make their offer. They’re great until it comes time to ask for the cash.
Literally, the worst that can happen is that the market says no to your offer.
Don’t be afraid to ask – you never know who’s watching.
6) Know your audience.
A sign like this at most other events wouldn’t be received well.
It’s too bro. It’s too frat.
But at a massive college tailgate?
It’s too legit.
You might have the right message and the right offer, but if you’re not speaking to your target audience, your message will fall flat.
7) Have a clear value proposition.
Venmo bro didn’t just ask for money. He asked for beer money so he could have a good time.
The value proposition was clear. Support an in-need college student so he can enhance his experience at a massive football game – and feel good while doing so.
Too many marketers don’t have a clear value proposition – they don’t explain clearly enough what is in it for the prospect.
8) Take advantage of attention.
SamC2270 didn’t stop at just taking Venmo cash – he’s now taken that momentum and offering shirts with a place for people to write in their own Venmo name.
He’s reactivating his buyers and tribe into buying form him again. Too many businesses and brands are afraid to ask for more from their audience once they’ve already gotten a little bit.
Keep riding the momentum you’ve created and re-engage your buyers as much as possible.
Whether he knew it or not, Sam became a digital marketing professor on this day – great reminders of factors your marketing campaigns should consider if they want any hope of going viral.
Well done, Sam – I applaud you, bro.