This is the fourth post in a series by Jordan Behan highlighting the successful marketing practices of Canadian startups. Behan is the Director of Marketing of Strutta and knows a thing or two about the topic.
In the heart of downtown Moncton, NB, are the headquarters of Lymbix, a company of 10 dedicated individuals building solutions to help determine the "tone" in text-based communications.
It was raining in Moncton when I reached Lymbix CEO Matt Eldridge by phone, but that didn't seem to have any adverse affect on his attitude, or his opinion of his adopted city. "I fell in love with Moncton, and the people," said the former Vancouverite. "The people are very cool." Eldridge moved to New Brunswick four years ago for a job, and never left. When he decided to go out on his own, he chose to start Lymbix on the Easter seaboard, rather than returning west.
Now, Lymbix is about to debut their new product "ToneCheck," an Outlook plugin that reviews emails for tone to ensure that they are in line with the sender's intentions. "It will flag any email (after hitting send) that doesn't meet your tone tolerance," explained Eldridge, "and transform that message to meet your desired tone." Pressed to share some details about the tech, Eldridge explained that their algorithm operates on a "deeper level of sentiment" from some existing message review tools. By reviewing words, phrases and even emoticons, they are able to give a "connotative analysis" of a message.
Last month, Lymbix won “Most Promising Startup of 2010” at New Brunswick’s KIRA awards, a 12-year-old event recognizing innovation in the province’s tech industry.
Entering the "beta" phase, Lymbix's marketing initiatives are still ramping up. But Eldridge knows technology marketing rule #1, and it drives the company's mission: "Our main goal is to build a product people want to use, that fixes a problem they face everyday." To that end, they not only value input, but have incorporated a feedback network that is designed to make the product better. By letting users make improvements and suggestions on-the-fly, "the engine gets smarter the more it's used." And to assist with building their product's lexicon, they also created ToneADay.com, a crowd-sourcing model that lets users rate words and phrases for tone.
And all of this from what could become Canada's newest tech frontier, Moncton. Eldridge's love for the city and the people isn't the only thing that kept him there, and he wants the rest of the country to know it. "The great thing about New Brunswick is the low cost of living, and the low cost of doing business," said the savvy entrepreneur. "Our lease rates are super-sick low."
A quick look at Lymbix's site, and it's clear their marketing is multifaceted; they have a presence on the "usual suspects" of social networks. But it's telling that Eldridge chose to highlight product development as their most crucial marketing tool, and serves as a great reminder to the rest of us.
I owe a debt of thanks to a number of people for helping me find and research these Canadian stories, so here's a hat tip to David Crow and James Sherrett, most notably. If you know of a startup that you'd like to see featured here, tell us about in the comments, or by contacting Techvibes directly.