Inc. Magazine Gives a Helping Hand

hunchIndecisive? hopes you are – because it’s relying on your questions to build a community of answer-seeking users.

Inc. magazine recently profiled the company in its latest issue – and asked other business owners how Hunch can get the word out about its service. The company has benefited from steady positive buzz, but it hasn’t yet launched a formal marketing campaign. No sweat. Five entreprenuers offer different suggestions on how to put Hunch on the top of the heap.

Idea No. 1: Create Personality Profiles

John Vechey – co-founder of PopCap Games, a video game publisher in Seattle – thinks Hunch should keep track of users’ answers and use that information to create mini personality profiles. The more questions a user answers, the more refined the profile would become. Vechey thinks this tactic will keep people coming back to the site, and it will allow Hunch to add contextual advertising that “comes across as fun and highly appropriate for each person.”

Idea No. 2: Use Celebrities

“I would harness the power of celebrities,” said Anne-Marie Faiola, founder and CEO of Bramble Berry, a soapmaking supplier. She adds that Hunch could have a celebrity “question of the week.” When a celeb asks a question, Hunch can blog or Twitter the answer. Faiola thinks her method would result in more clicks on sponsored links, which is Hunch’s planned route of generating revenue.

Idea No. 3: Develop Partnerships

Genevieve Thiers – founder and CEO of Sittercity, an online community that connects parents with caregivers – thinks Hunch should partner with other Web sites. For example, she said, “Maybe Hunch could offer relationship advice on a site like or travel answers on a site like”

Idea No. 4: Focus on Social Integration

“Every time a user gets an answer to a question on Hunch, there should be an option to share the result on Twitter or Facebook,” said Gay Gaddis, founder and CEO of T3, a marketing firm that specializing in digital campaigns. “If people see their friends using the site, they will likely be intrigued to try it.”

Idea No. 5: Prove It Works

Cal McAllister – co-founder and creative director of the advertising agency Wexley School for Girls – thinks Hunch has the potential to be perceived as a fortune-telling tool instead of a functional tool. He offers two ideas for Hunch to prove it isn’t a hack: a) script a show online in which people choose a challenge, and for one day they make all their decision using Hunch, and b) appear at a big event where Hunch is demoed live – like on the JumboTron of a baseball game.


Caterina Fake – the brains behind Hunch (and also the co-founder of the photo-sharing site Flickr) – took these pitches into consideration, saying that she liked the ideas about creating personality profiles, partnering with other sites, and integrating social networks. But promoting the site through huge events and celebrities isn’t something she wants to do. “It doesn’t make sense to do something on a JumboTron, because we are online, and people find out about Web sites through other sites,” she said. “We also don’t feel like we need famous names to get the word out.”

What do you think? If you were tasked with providing a marketing idea for an online company to get its word out, how would you do it? Do you agree with the ideas above – or do you have something completely different to bring to the table?

Let us know by leaving your comment…


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