Marketing should not be fiction

Good startup marketing is understanding the things that make a startup unique, then bringing them to the world. This is not different for blockchain marketing.

Whether that is really getting into the details of a product, understanding the story why things evolved like they did – it cannot be faked with a flashy website, and it cannot be produced in a presentation only. It has to be real.

The marketing phases in (most) blockchain startups

In a blockchain startup, we usually distinguish two major aspects of the marketing strategy: ICO/ fundraising and product marketing. The groups you want to target for both are usually different. In ICO/ fundraising, you are looking for early adopters of your product. Those are passionate long-term followers, and angel investors (if that is part of your fundraising strategy). In short, everyone that is interested in your startup before you created all aspects of your product or service.

Product marketing

For product marketing, the main goals of marketing are product awareness and product adoption. While the ICO usually enables you to build or improve your product, this step already has a working product or service in place. We want to make it known, used, and generate revenue.

Product marketing is the part that is most comparable to traditional marketing as done in other product/ service centric organizations.

Marketing the ICO

ICO marketing is focused on getting investors onboard. It is something that heavily evolved over the last year. There are some common methods and features that emerged. This also includes a lot of talk on what an ICO absolutely “has to” have available in order to be credible. Funnily enough, many of the most stated “have to” items are not good indications for successful ICOs at all. It is quite easy to stage success simply through buying followers, buying reviews, etc.

The most prominent wrong ICO success indicators are:

  • Bought or randomly added followers to Telegram and other channels; bounty users
  • Paid advertising where the payment is not disclosed:
    • Youtube and other reviews
    • paid PR placements on prominent sites
    • paid advisors that do not really advise, but just get paid for using their name

This is absolutely not to say that all reviewers, advisors or PR publications are necessarily paid like that. It also does not say that paid advertising is categorically bad. However, these practices have made it much harder to build trust in the blockchain community, and therefore one of the key marketing drivers for any ICO campaign should be exactly that: building trust.

Know your channels

Blockchain marketing and specifically ICO marketing has its unique challenges and considerations. It is quite obvious that the blockchain community is communicating and engaging through channels that are not covered in a traditional multichannel strategy. Providers also continue to introduce limitations when it comes to blockchain ads and communication, so it is very important to keep up to date with these developments.

Our Marketing philosophy

There is no golden thread to just follow for a perfect marketing campaign. If you follow all recommendations about what your ICO and blockchain marketing should contain, you will likely either not work on anything else or spend the largest portion of your funds before even raising them. Instead of just giving you best practice guidelines, we want to work on identifying your strengths and your key targets. We will use these as the core of your campaign.

Be selective

No, you do not need to have your whitepaper ready in about every language of the world before you even start. You do not need to support every channel there is, and you do not need to overwhelm yourself and your team with trying to tie up too many loose ends. Start with the basics, go from there, and work with experts that can help you identify what makes most sense.