Gravit-e Blog

May 06, 2015

Co-working Spaces In Vancouver

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Yesterday it took some time to find a free spot to host a meeting in a coffee shop in Gastown, a historic neighbourhood of downtown Vancouver and the epicentre of much of Vancouver's startup culture. Laptops were everywhere and when we did find a spot to sit down and talk, we found ourselves speaking softly so as not to disturb anyone from their work. This made me think of the myriad of coworking spaces that have emerged in downtown Vancouver in recent years as startup culture has grown and telecommuting continues to rise.

Here is an overview of co-working spaces in Vancouver:

In Downtown Vancouver

The Profile

Description: The Waterstreet Profile is a co-working community and workspace that offers events, room rentals, and networking activities. 

Where: Gastown- 375 Water Street

Cost: 875$/year for startups. Co-working/Studio Membership $225/month

Website: http://waterstreetprofile.com

 

Launch Academy

Description: Launch Academy is co-working space designed to mentor and educate early stage tech startups.  They are focused on accelerating growth and connecting entrepreneurs with resources. Launch Academy is more than just  co-wroking space. Being a participant in even their most basic program includes mentoring and lectures from some of Canada's top tech founders, such as Stewart Butterfield and Ryan Holmes.

Where: Gastown- Suite 300 at 128 West Hastings Street

Cost:$250/month for basic membership. They offer a variety of more intense programs for entrepreneurs for this who are looking for something more involved.

Website: http://launchacademy.ca

 

HiVE

Description: HiVE is a collaborative co-working space targeted at social entrepreneurship, sustainability, tech and creative sectors. In addition to memberships they offer drop-in passes and other more flexible options for those who are looking to participate on a more casual basis or just visiting.

Where: #210-128 West Hastings

Cost: Community memberships (no desk included) start at $30/month and hot desking packages start at $100/month. 

Website: http://hivevancouver.com

The Network Hub

Description: The Network Hub offers on-demand workspace from $250-400/month. They also offer their facilities to non-members at drop-in rates. 

Where: The Network Hub has one location downtown, at 422 Richards Street. There are also locations in New Westminster, Whistler, and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Cost: $250-400/month or see website for drop-in fees.

Website: https://www.thenetworkhub.ca

 

Lower Mainland and Burnaby

Suite Genius

Description: For those who wish to avoid the commute to downtown, Suite Genius may be ideal with two locations in the lower mainland. Suite Genius offers membership for less than a hundred dollars per month for those looking to use the space on a more casual or part-time basis.

Where: One location in Mount Pleasant and one in Kitsilano

Cost: Membership ranges from $95/month to $1195/month depending on team size and space needs.

Website: https://suite-genius.com

 

Cranium Office

Description: The Cranium Office is a collaborative space for technology entrepreneurs. Cranium is focused on helping teams scale their technology business and generate revenue. 

Where: 308 East 5th Avenue, Vancouver

Cost: $350/month for individuals and $225/month for team members.

Website: http://www.thecranium.co

Discovery Parks

Description: The Centre at Discovery Parks is a large co-location facility for companies in the high tech and life sciences. They offer office space and lab space to growing companies. 

Where: One location is just outside of downtown at 887 Great Northern Way. There is another in Burnaby at 4475 Wayburne Drive. 

Cost: Inquire for details

Website: http://www.discoveryparks.com

 

Anywhere

ShareDesk

ShareDesk.net is the Airbnb of the office world. This website allows you to find office space and meeting rooms available for rent on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis. It's ideal for temporary stays and travels, but can also be used to find office space to share locally.

 

April 30, 2015

We Launched Our New Website

Like many software development companies, we can spend so much of our time working on our client's websites that we neglect our own. We were over due for a website update and launched our new site this week. 

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Our new website features a mobile-friendly, responsive design that better demonstrates our skills. We also updated the imagery throughout the site to better illustrate our abilities. 

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 12.32.59 PM

In addition to updating our website we will be updating our case studies gallery and this blog. Soon you can expect this blog to have the same design as the new website and we may even migrate to Wordpress. Sorry Typepad!

Please check out our new website and let us know what you think!

April 16, 2015

How Much Of Your Marketing Strategy Should Be Automated

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Marketing automation refers to the application of software and technologies to marketing activities such as marketing through multiple online channels and scheduling repetitive tasks.  It can be an extremely valuable tool for businesses seeking to expand their social media presence and increase lead generation from their website. Managing multiple social media channels and email marketing campaigns is becoming an ever more time consuming job and automating these tasks not only allows marketers to focus their efforts on more meaningful activities, but also saves time and money. However, the degree to which marketing efforts should be automated remains a point of debate among marketers.

According to Hub Spot, new research demonstrates that many marketing automation investments fail. In many cases marketing automation has lead to companies becoming spammers and not nurturing organic leads. Marketing automation is not a solution in and of itself, but when applied correctly can lead to great results.

Marketing Automation Efforts Require Direction

Effective marketing automation is much like driving, the mechanics are there but you still need to steer your campaign in order to keep it on track and arrive at your goals. The 'Set-It and Forget-It' attitude is not an effective marketing strategy.

Here are some Do's and Don'ts of Marketing Automation:

Do

  • Apply marketing automation in a way that amplifies, rather than simply replaces, effective marketing tasks that serve your end-goals. In many cases more messaging does equal more sales. 
  • Automate email responses and social media efforts that go outside your regular working hours. One of the charms of marketing automation is the ability to be present online even when you're not working.
  • Use marketing automation platforms to get creative and test your content. In the same manner that Adwords copy can be perfected over time, so can the copy of your messaging across different channels.
  • Tailor your content based on specific user profiles and their browsing patterns on your website.
  • Use software to categorize customers and prospects by demographics, interests, and what stage they are at in your marketing funnel. 
  • Set up your marketing automation strategy with metrics and clear indicators of success. Your marketing automation techniques should provide you with a clear picture as to which techniques generate the most leads and, in turn, sales.
  • Make use of the analytics that are part of many marketing automation platforms. Like using tools for SEO, paying attention to what is and is not working with your automated campaigns can lead to better SMO.

Don't

  • Don't put too much messaging out there. Just because tools like Hootsuite allow you to schedule constant social media messages, too much can lead to your company being seen as a spammer and cost you followers.
  • Don't fall under the impression that marketing automation will create content for you. While some platforms do assist with curating content, writing original content cannot be automated.
  • Don't let the ease of automation turn into laziness. At it's best, marketing automation is an enhancement, not a replacement.
  • Don't become a robot. Your customers want to interact with a real person, so be sure to reply to tweets and messages.

So how much of your marketing strategy should be automated? Well it depends on your marketing activities and the size of your business. Overall you should treat marketing automation as an opportunity to enhance and amplify your efforts while gaining insights from analytics and other measures of success. Automated campaigns require observation, experimentation, and adjustments as your online community and customer relationships evolve.

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