Austin tech company uses guerrilla marketing campaign to lure workers

Jul 10, 2014
Austin Business Journal

Early Wednesday morning, Victoria Melcher — dressed as a donut — handed out about five dozen pastries at downtown Austin offices as part of a guerrilla marketing and recruiting event by Austin-based Bigcommerce Inc., an e-commerce platform company


Melcher, a recruiting coordinator at Bigcommerce, was accompanied by her colleagues Steve Donnelly, head of human resources, and Cheri Winterberg, vice president of communications, who handed out flyers and donuts to potential employees – on the street or by walking into other tech company offices


The donuts, sourced locally from Round Rock Donuts, lent themselves to the company's recruiting campaign tagline – Donut Settle for Less


With about 300 people in its Sydney, San Francisco and Austin offices, Bigcommerce hopes to hire more than 100 workers, a majority of them in Austin. In the next three months, the company plans to fill sales, marketing, support and development positions


As part of its guerrilla marketing event, the company is reaching directly out to employees of local companies such as OutboundEngine, Main Street Hub and Mass Relevance. It hopes to target about 10 companies


The company – in Bigcommerce President Steven Power's words – helps people set up a store online and sell things. With about 50,000 clients in over 100 countries using its e-commerce platform, Bigcommerce is not a stranger to such recruiting tactics. Previously, the company gave away free poached egg sandwiches as part of its "Poached Campaign" in San Francisco


The company, founded in Australia more than four years ago, has collected about $75 million in venture capital till date and is planning to open more offices soon. Small to medium-sized businesses make up about 20 to 25 percent of Bigcommerce's client base. Some of the bigger clients using the Bigcommerce platform include: Josie Maran Cosmetics; Austin music icon Willie Nelson; Chapul, an energy bar made with crickets; and Lock Laces, a company that manufactures patented no-tie shoe lace locks



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