In Conversation With: Dan Armstrong, Founder of Beanfield Metroconnect
Beanfield Metroconnect is a growing telecommunications provider. They offer residential and commercial internet, TV and phone services. We’ve worked on some great projects together, from t-shirts for the Pride festival to their beloved neighbourhood totes.
As the owner and operator of an independent fibre network in Toronto, Beanfield faces unique marketing challenges that the larger corporations do not. Our founder Mark Graham chatted with Beanfield’s founder and CEO, Dan Armstrong, to find out about more about their initiatives.
Dan founded the company 30 years ago while he was in high school. At a time when the Internet as we know it did not exist yet, Dan started out by building custom computers and connecting them together on different networks. Large corporations had access to mainframes at the time, but smaller companies were otherwise ignored. Tapping into this marketing helped put Beanfield at the forefront of the small business market.
"Nobody in their right mind would start up a competitive phone company"
Beanfield constructs their entire fibre network themselves, so it does take longer to expand. This means they are limited to certain geographical areas that they can sell to. Traditional marketing mediums such as TV or print aren’t useful to them, as they might not be able to supply services to the entire audience. Instead, they have to seek alternatives.
“We’ve had to search high and low for highly localized marketing strategies”
Where do Products Fit in?
Since Beanfield uses many non-traditional methods of marketing, promotional products have been an effective medium for them. them. One initiative they use is to send their events team to a specific neighbourhood, announcing on social that they are handing out prizes, and drive over gift packs to those people that comment on their posts. Dan notes that these posts tend to get far more engagement than any other, and people tend to share their earned swag online.
"It blows me away how much a free coffee mug seems to generate more interest than anything"
The Tote Bag
The tote bags that we give out have been wildly popular. So we made a neighbourhood version for each area we serve. We give those out at the farmer's markets, people are at the market and they are buying things, and they need a bag. They see their neighbourhood on there and they go “oh my god that’s amazing”.We’ve just started to give them out with every install and people can’t get enough of them. They even call us up and go “well my husband and I are fighting over this bag, can you bring us another one?" and we say “yeah no problem.”