London's burgeoning tech scene lends itself to innovative marketing tactics that all modern marketers should consider. Here are more marketing tips from a trip across the pond.

The London tech and media scene is booming and continues to push boundaries. Last year, I shared some British best practices, encouraging readers to diversify their social media plans and to evolve their owned assets.

Here are five more tricks to steal from my most recent trip across the pond:

1. Enlist Brand Evangelists to Fund Your Growth

In a crazy/brilliant move, hipster coffee shop Grind is asking its customers to invest in its future expansion. Founded in 2011 in Shoreditch, the heart of London's tech scene, Grind already has four locations across London. Now it's seeking to raise 1.5 million GBP on CrowdCube (think Kickstarter for investments in the U.K.) to open two new locations, create a state of the art coffee roaster, and start selling its beans wholesale. Backers will earn 8 percent annual interest over a four-year period, as well as free coffee and cocktails. By the time I visited, just three days into the campaign, Grind had already raised half its goal. And yes, their coffee really is quite good.

Expert Takeaway: How can your customers help you grow? Short of forking over dollars, can they help grow your following by sharing their brand experiences on social media? By referring a colleague to try your services? By donating time to help spread the word as a brand ambassador?

2. Don't Let Upstarts Eat (or Deliver!) Your Lunch

Lately, it feels like every app is positioning itself as the "Uber for X," from drinks to dry cleaning. But supermarket mainstay Tesco has risen to the challenge with a service that lets Brits purchase groceries (Read more...) for delivery or local in-store pick-up. While disruptors like Ocado, the British version of FreshDirect, have certainly gained traction, and Tesco has suffered a rough few quarters recently, I applaud Tesco for innovating alongside these newcomers.


Expert Takeaway: Innovate now; don't wait for disruption. Speak with customers to find out how to serve them better, and then do it!

3. Get Connected - Even Your Suitcase Has a Story to Share

As the Internet of Things continues to grow, so do its applications. I saw this ad at Gatwick Airport for Trace Me, smart baggage tags that help track your luggage. (What this says about the Brits' confidence in the lost luggage department is another story...)


Expert Takeaway: Start thinking about IoT and its implications for your brand and business. What data, customer feedback, or operational efficiency could IoT provide?

4. Organic is Mainstream

As Campbell Soup Co. CEO Denise Morrison told analysts this February, "We are well aware of the mounting distrust of Big Food." That's one of the reasons large U.S. outfits have been buying up smaller, healthier-seeming organic brands to help them grow and maintain consumer trust. This trend toward organic is decidedly global. Take London-based Pret A Manger: While the brand has always positioned itself as "freshly-made food," I was impressed by the depth and scale of its in-store marketing around these themes - and the irreverent tone of their creative made healthy fun.

Expert Takeaway: Be authentic and honest in your messaging, but don't take yourself too seriously.

5. Pull Out all the Stops

Glam Squad. VIVE. Drybar. RPZL. The list goes on. It turns out, New York women aren't alone in their quest to find a convenient, luxurious blowout. Show Dry, a chain of blowdry bars founded by Formula 1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone, opened this past March in London to much fanfare, and the company now has locations in Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Dublin. In addition to the standard menu of blowouts and updos, Show Dry offers a complete cocktail and snack menu, provides iPads at every station for browsing, and puts lush roses on nearly every surface. It's posh primping at its finest.


Expert Takeaway: Go all in. Define your brand and then bring it to life at every touchpoint.

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