Antiviral: The Tula Software Marketing Strategy of Investing in the Community we Serve and Expanding our Own Platform

A few years ago, as we watched the cost of pay-per-click campaigns begin to soar on sites like Google, Capterra and other “pay for placement” services, and as we read more and more stories about the news industry being wrecked by Facebook’s expansion and control of the Newsfeed, Tula Software began a deliberate marketing strategy to differently allocate our capital. This strategy would, we believed, allow us to allocate capital within the yoga community, while also allowing us to promote our software more effectively.

Our worldview is that doing anything extraordinarily well takes a significant amount of time, attention, effort and care. We began to see clearly the very real costs - in employee time, mental bandwidth, creativity, and financial - of creating a world class social media presence.

To truly be a different sort of software company, we needed to do things differently on the marketing front as well. First, our product needed to be excellent. We’ve always been a product company first, and so investing in our product for the benefit of our customers has always been our top priority. But as we’ve grown and have been able to allocate more money towards marketing and advertising, we’ve made very real and deliberate trade-offs to invest less of our money on advertising platforms, and more money directly into the yoga community.

Instead of buying Google ads, we’d sponsor yoga conferences. Instead of spending time curating the perfect Facebook page, we’d do things like help Living Beyond Breast Cancer and others with fundraisers. Instead of spending our time posting pictures on Instagram, we’d make ourselves available for one on one phone calls with our customers and those thinking of joining the Tula Family. This strategy of investing more in the community we serve and less with Google, Facebook, Twitter and Capterra, culminated in our acquisition of the Minneapolis Yoga Conference in 2016, a conference owned by two local Yoga Instructors and Entrepreneurs.

Over the past three years, this strategy has resulted in us investing well over $150,000, and thousands of hours of labor, directly into the yoga and overall wellness community, along with other countless small businesses. We’re proud of this, even if it has led to a subpar Facebook and Instagram page.

There are people we speak with sometimes who mean well, but misunderstand our deliberate tradeoffs, who think we should allocate more of our company’s resources to platforms controlled by Marc Zuckerberg. The problem is, they misunderstand that this would require us to do this INSTEAD OF platforms controlled by us, which we believe will ultimately be to the greater benefit of us individually, as well as at least some portion of the yoga community.

Certainly an argument can be made that maybe we’ve overcorrected, but I’d offer than any amount of time or money we allocate to our social media presence right now takes away from either our product, or our conference. There are always trade-offs.

We can’t do it all and we can’t do it all well. What we can do well is make the best software in the world for independent yoga studios, and we can produce the most comprehensive yoga conference in the nation.

We hope that’s enough, even in the absence of the perfect social media presence!

And speaking of our conference, have you seen we launched our full presenter lineup and schedule of events for the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference? Check it out!