Success in the Management of Crowdfunding Projects in the Creative Industries – Reviewing Emerald Article.

Source: Jake Hobbs , Georgiana Grigore , Mike Molesworth , (2016) “Success in the management of crowdfunding projects in the creative industries”, Internet Research, Vol. 26 Iss: 1, pp.146 – 166.

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Crowd funding isn’t a new technique and its use can be identified as far back as 1700’s and has developed onto an online system. There are now over 450 crowdfunding platforms online. The article sourced above investigates the use of crowdfunding, using the platform Kickstarter, within film campaigns. It analysed over 100 campaigns comparing the successful campaigners to the failed campaigns. It identifies key techniques to make a campaign more successful such as quality control, networking, developing trust, updates and reward quality.

10% of the Sundance selection in 2012 was comprised of projects funded via Kickstarter (Kickstarter, 2012a) however in the same year 60% of film Kickstarter campaigns failed to reach their targets. The article analyses data using a specific method to investigate why this was and what made the successful campaigns different.

Focus has been given to this report so that a clear and concise plan can be made for the crowdfunding campaign ‘The Mines’ a feature film set in 1984, England. The goal is to raise a specified amount to successfully produce the film by Autumn 2017.

The report provides detailed differences between successful and failed campaigns to take on board within your own project. The article was published in 2012, however the majority of data and references are before 2014 therefore re-analysis of current projects would be required to see any changes over the couple of years.

Successful Campaigns – Do’s and Don’t

  • Accessed a large network that branched out from family and friends to interact with a wider network of target audience interests. This is recommended to be done in three stages.  Phase 1 ‘Friend Funding’ -initial quick flow of investment. Phase 2 ‘Getting the Crowd’ – Beginning to branch out further. Phase 3 ‘Race to be in’ – Individuals who see a campaign is close to it’s goal and donate due to a fear of missing out.
  • Develop trust and loyalty with target audience – Giving people a personal connection to the project.
  • Clear understanding of online mechanisms such as social media and data analysis techniques. Don’t underestimate the time and commitment needed to run a campaign.
  • Provide daily updates to keep backers informed of progress and changes. This engagement is an important part of campaign management.
  • Offer value and something in return. Most campaigns offer rewards depending on the amount donated. This is usually split into $10, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 and $2000. The reward also represents the quality of the amount donated and the greater the range of rewards the more successful the campaign.
    Examples include; physical rewards such as badges, copy of the script, DVDs or opportunities to be a cast member/extra, co-creator, producer. This enhances engagement and relationship with the audience.
  • Pitch Quality.
    Directly address the audience and give as much information as possible in both text and video format.  Help reduce the risk of uncertainty by displaying your passion, business strengths and film making capabilities.
  • Give an explanation of fund use that the users can understand.
  • Partner with known people and/or products to emphasis the quality of a product.

Remember: TRUST DIRECTLY AFFECTS TRANSACTIONS.

The data also suggests that the target amount represents an average of 1%-2% of backers e.g. a £4000 target would need 40-80 backers to achieve it’s goal.

The articles provides over three pages of references for further reading and available data. This allows me to view other investigations in the subject and view their conclusions too. I will be investigating the subject further to be able to create a successful campaign and reach the goal required to produce ‘The Mines’. Unfortunately the article only looks at campaigns on Kickstarter and no other platform so it would be interesting to gather more information and compare the successes by platform too.

New Course, New Campus, Same University

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After finishing the BSc it was time to decide what to do next. Find a job, continue studying or build on my business? There were a number of factors that led to choosing to do my Masters. These included time, money, family and the future.

Deciding to continue studying was the first step, the next was to decide the appropriate course. My dissertation had given me a passion for film marketing and that was the career path I now wanted to take.

However, there were no specific courses for film marketing. After discussions with some of the course lectures I decided to apply for the Creative Futures: Advertisement and Brand Management MA. This felt like a big step. A new subject from what I was used to studying but an opportunity to develop and learn.

Soon I was accepted but now had to decide whether to move closer from my Stafford base or to stay where I was. Stafford had become a home and I was now comfortable.  I also had a car to travel so the decision was made pretty quickly.

The new campus was no longer as daunting now that I had spent 3 months working for the students union in Stoke but it was a bigger campus with more students and brand new friends to make.

But I know I can do this and look forward to the year ahead!

Creating a Commercial Fair for the Students’ Union

During the summer of 2016 I secured the role of marketing assistant for Staffordshire University Students’ Union and would be working with there marketing team on a number of tasks.

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The biggest task was to hold a commercial fair as part of the Welcome Fairs. This involved contacting both national and local business and selling stalls to reach a target profit of £35,000.00 which is a lot of money. I was supplied with the previous years information and a lot of support from surrounding staff.

Contacting business took up the majority of my time but it was also important to plan for the day by communicating with venue and day staff as well a marketing so the right message was communicated to students. Booking the venue was sorted quickly along with tables and supplies for the day. Every new business signed up also had to complete a booking form for our Finance department to create an invoice. It was important the admin was kept up to date because of this.

Enter the newest task: an on campus NUS Extra printer that needed to be ready for enrolment and the fair. Although this should have been a simple task the software became a new challenge. However, I finally got it ready in time for enrolment to sell lots of cards to new students.

The fair stalls sold quite quickly the closer we got to the date of the fair with big companies such as Dominos, Spotify, Dilveroo and Lucozade all wanting to attend. So how was I going to fit them all into the venue? A very detailed floorplan was created that included electrical points, fire escapes and stall places. Many of the companies were bringing exciting equipment for the students to interact with which required more space than the regular stalls (and paid more for the space).

On the day:

The day of the fair approached quickly but we were prepared. We welcomed Spotify first who had to build a 180 degree camera set. Soon the companies were piling in and we made sure to welcome them all and show them to there space. The doors opened at 12am for students and the walkways were soon flooded with people.

University services explained where to find more information about the library, Erasmus and career services. Dominos and Dixi Chicken handed out free food while CityCabs gave keyrings so you always had there number on hand. Re-solv, the recycle team and NHS sexual health gave you important safety things to get by while at uni (such as glow in the dark sperm). The night clubs were out in force with Revolution, Chicagos and Fiction handing out goodies. You could even have a go in the confetti machine.

Deliveroo also brought a wind-machine and Lucozade had prizes for those who managed to get zero on their buzzer machine. There was lots to do! Outside we also had a poster sale to stop those hall walls looking bare.

We continued to make sure everyone was happy and as many people could enjoy the fair as possible. After a long clean down, the day was over and we could finally have a chance to rest.

It was a highly successful day with no hidden bumps and the day ran smoothly with positive feedback and student enjoyment. I enjoyed this role and would love to do it again! The most important part I can take from this is to be organised and plan. You may miss something but if you are organised enough it is easier to fit it in and adjust. Also don’t forget to enjoy yourself and make sure everyone else if happy too!

To find out more about the commercial fair 2016 check out this article by Regan Foy https://www.staffsunion.com/news/article/softwaresurvey2016/Staffs-welcome-fair-a-day-to-remember/