August 20, 2019

Marketing Madness

Can a blockchain project effectively market itself, using in-house resources, startup grit, and a healthy can-do, bootstrapping attitude?No. Not at all — or at least, not if they want to succeed.

Can a blockchain project effectively market itself, using in-house resources, startup grit, and a healthy can-do, bootstrapping attitude?

No. Not at all — or at least, not if they want to succeed.

Why not should be obvious, but many will try. We’ve seen it time and time again. Projects with expert founders, a strong dev team, and solid business support just don’t have any marketing support. They may have an intern doing social or an office manager with graphic design skills, but no plan or expertise in-house. The rationale of “focus on the product” has its place, but having a better product is no guarantee of success — just ask Betamax.

However, it is understandable that founders don’t want to spend more than they have to on headcount. After all, the devs and PMs work full time, as does the accountant and the HR manager. But is a marketing strategist, content specialist, brand designer or channel manager worth the hire if they only work 20%? What about hiring all of them for 20%? It’s difficult.

Some go for hiring a single marketing specialist, which may or may not work. The field is broad, and so are the skill requirements — finding a specialist who is equally adept at data-driven growth hacking and content marketing is hard, to say the least. Sure, some smaller businesses can do enough to move the needle, but for a major project like a blockchain startup? Not a chance. Not for lack of good intentions, but purely for lack of specialisation, diversity, and an extra 24 hours in each day.

That’s why projects come to us. To make marketing sing, we need to wrangle a lot of players. Creatives, strategists, channel managers, analysts and more — everyone has their part to play. So how do we make it work?

Creating harmony from dissonance

First of all, we start early.

When a project comes to us, there are no assumptions that can be safely made, no clear market segments to address. To make each project we work on relevant, we need to understand that relevance from the start, and work towards it as rigorously as with the technical roadmap.

This starts with the brand, but the brand isn’t everything. It is not the foundation of the marketing strategy — though many projects make the mistake of assuming it is. The brand is an expression of the marketing strategy, not the other way around. In fact, every aspect of the presentation of the project must be an expression of the marketing strategy — or else it runs the risk of going to market with a great product that is totally irrelevant to buyers.

Once the strategy has been determined and the brand built, it’s time to plan. Starting with the personae, voices, and storytelling strategies, the planning cascades from the strategic to the operational — and at this point, we’re ideally still months from potential sale and golive.

From there, there’s a raft of operational considerations — trademarks, channel registrations and activations, content development and event planning. Journalists and investors need to be courted, partnerships explored, and a community built. It is during this process that the foundation for a successful launch is built. All this preparation ensures that when the product is built, there is a market waiting, a community ready to use it, and media waiting for news.

Launching a product without preparation is like throwing a party without sending out invitations. It might be the most amazing event ever, but nobody is likely to notice. If doing all that work seems like a big time commitment that requires expertise — it is.

It’s also indispensable for maximising the chances of success.

It takes an orchestra

So how to pull it together, make it sing? Sure, a one-man band can draw and audience, get some attention — but you’re far more likely to get a sad trombone sound than a rousing overture. On the other hand, a full orchestra commands respect. Each player is a specialist, knows their part, and plays it well. All under the instruction of veteran, strategically-aware leadership. There’s a reason that at THE RELEVANCE HOUSE, we have a Chief Orchestra Officer.

Our team doesn’t just provide service to our clients — we act like a bolt-on extension to their own teams, providing guidance, expertise, and all of those specialised services when needed — without having to increase headcount. Since THE RELEVANCE HOUSE specialises in blockchain marketing, we can help take a project from concept to completion, from the initial strategy workshop to the final launch press conference.

Most importantly, we can make your project relevant. Because in the end, only relevance has impact.

Photo credits:

Photo 1 by on Freepik
Photo 2 by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

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