In our previous posts, we covered a lot of industry topics; from smart contract development, consensus algorithms, to key ICO questions and many more. Today, we’re going to spend some time talking about a non-technical component of building a blockchain startup - marketing. To learn the top 3 things overlooked in blockchain marketing keep reading!
Top 3 Things Overlooked in Blockhain Marketing
Despite the bears gaining hold in the cryptocurrency market this year, funding activities still grew significantly. In fact, according to the CoinDesk ICO Tracker, the total accumulated ICO amount has increased from US$5 billion to US$14 billion, with the average raise almost doubling from US$16 million to US$31 million. And with a quarter left in 2018, we’re already seeing a 34% increase in projects undergoing ICOs.
All this point to an increasingly crowded market, which is why marketing communications is important in helping companies break through the clutter. Beyond the typical tactics that see projects carpet-bombing social media channels, forums, and crypto news sites, here are some of the top areas where blockchain teams and marketers need to rethink in the years ahead.
1. TARGET SEGMENTATION
Determining the target market for your company is the pivotal first step in understanding the reality that your product is NOT for everyone. Start with the universal TAM-SAM-SOM research model and begin sharpening the focus of your project. Once you zoom in on the most obtainable market to compete in, dive deeper to determine the target audience. Outline an archetype of this potential customer to understand their current behaviours and pain points among other things. With this process, marketers on your team should not only understand the field of competition (which often includes companies both in and out of the blockchain space), but also ensures your communication addresses areas your customers care about, not just what you want to advertise.
2. PROBLEM, SOLUTION, MOMENTUM
For any kind of startup, time and money is always scarce. It is no different for blockchain companies trying to gain traction while bootstrapping on limited funds. Under this restraint, it is easy to simply do as many things as possible at the same time, whether it’s newsletters, blogs, videos or BitcoinTalk threads. While these are all important types of content to consider, it is crucial to keep in mind the structure of your marketing campaign. Of course you need to be nimble and react promptly to industry news or trending topics to stoke the fire, but overall you should make sure your content covers these areas;
2.1 The Problem
To be fair, selling the problem is already something that is understood very well by marketers in the blockchain industry. The challenge here is highlighting a problem that’s specifically related to your blockchain business. By this point, it is pretty clear that blockchain technology is structurally ideal when solving problems encountered by multiple middlemen entities exchanging data on behalf of users, so be clear and more specific. If you’re company is in healthcare, then give a precise example of the specific problem in the whole mess, don’t just say we’re using blockchain to make healthcare better, say which part of healthcare are you focusing on and why. If you find yourself struggling to answer this question, then it’s time to do some serious soul-searching.
2.2 The Solution
Only when your target audience resonates with the problems you’re tackling, will they be motivated to seek out information and learn about your product. At which point, blockchain marketers need to prioritize value propositions over features. In other words, rather than explaining what your product is (i.e. dApp ABC uses blockchain to facilitate health record exchanges more efficiently and securely), focus more on how it benefits the end-users (i.e. patients can walk into any hospital knowing their records are securely accessible with dApp ABC).
From roadmaps to the incessant “when moon?” banter on telegrams, it is obvious that once your blockchain companies start external communication, the burden to constantly project progress is high. To that end, it is important to map out the roadmap sensibly, putting down obtainable milestones for the team to achieve, so that the marketers can constantly be ready to amplify those achievements. Of course, every startup path is filled with uncertainty, so the challenge here is making sure, through communication, that your audience understands momentum comes from more than one place. For example, in addition to product development announcements, incorporate key partnership status updates, major conference appearance, and even influencer partnerships as a continuous movement toward success.
3. SUCCESS MEASUREMENT
Unlike the process spent on identifying an attainable funding goal, defining the indicators of marketing success has been sacrificed under the constant time crunch for marketers in blockchain startups. At the same time, the industry, in its infancy, still heavily values a lot of vanity indicators that lacks substance. For instance, the size of your telegram community is often seen as a indicator of project vitality, yet there is little emphasis being placed on the quality of conversations that goes on in those channels, especially since it’s been accepted as common practice for companies to buy bots or give away tokens to anyone to join the channel. What you have as a result is a collection of mega telegram ghost towns with nothing but followers inquiring for the one millionth time why the project hasn’t helped them buy that elusive lambo.
To sustain your project in the long run, marketers need to think about balancing quality and quantity. In addition to followers, likes, shares, retweets and claps, sift through the comments being posted, organic chatter among followers, and other micro indicators to gauge the sentiment of your audience.
Startups inherently face an uphill battle, add that to the constantly changing blockchain space, and you have more unknowns than certainties to turn blockchain marketing into something challenging that’s far from an exact science. What we covered in this article is a some of the top things we see missing from this practice, but if you feel different or have anything to add, be sure to reach out and let us know your thoughts.