Marketing Your ICO in 18 Days: The Incomplete Guide
SovereignWallet is run by truly brilliant engineers, who have created a first-of-its-kind messenger-style cryptocurrency wallet with banking grade security. Like many of the engineering-focused companies we work with, marketing came into consideration late in the process.
When we signed a contract to support them with marketing, their messaging, website, social media channels, explainer videos and online community were all incomplete.
That was just 18 days ago. Tomorrow we’re hosting their token sale launch at the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore. And they’re ready. How did they make so much progress so quickly?
“Marketing doesn’t happen on its own or over night, even if your solution really is a game changer,” said my co-founder and G3 Partners’ CEO, Nathan Millard.
“There’s definitely a correlation between planning and the overall success of a campaign.”
Eighteen days is less-than-ideal to do all of the marketing leading up to a token sale. “It’s never too late to come to us for marketing support,” Nathan said. “But if you come to us early there’s a lot more that we can do.”
Planning is Paramount
SovereignWallet account manager Mariana Peralta recommends that companies plan their formal marketing campaigns to start at least two months in advance of the token sale launch, but three months is even better. “Building your community on forums like reddit and BitcoinTalk is extremely important and it takes at least a month of effort to build up your karma or status level. It literally can’t be done in a day, no matter how smart you are or how hard you work or how much you pay,” she said.
If you are faced with a time crunch, however, there are some steps you can take to make your efforts more efficient.
“One key to getting things done quickly is to cut out layers in the communication. Make sure you’re talking directly to the decision maker,” Mariana said. “Working very quickly isn’t ideal, but we proved with previous clients like Aston that we could do it and create a good result.”
She also mentioned the importance of identifying things that need client approval to move forward, and those that can be executed without client approval. “Some things like opening social media channels using existing images, can be done without client approval and can start making an impact immediately,” she said.
G3’s finance manager, Soo Kang, who is helping to organize SovereignWallet’s Singapore launch event recommends finding good vendors to help compress your timeline and act as your “hands and feet on the ground”.
“We were considering two venues for the launch event and ended up going for the one with a more active and positive event manager, who was always willing to take my calls and creative enough to make things happen,” Soo said.
Get Close to the Action
Kevin spent a full week working directly from the client’s Seoul office, sitting right next to the developer who implemented his website design. “I’ve never had this kind of opportunity to sit directly with the web developer. It made things so smooth. When I worked in London the web developers were all in Poland and our closest interaction was through video chat.”
By embedding himself in the client’s team, Kevin was able to meet the highly ambitious five-day deadline for the website. But Kevin cautions against trying to save time by working from a premade template from a site like ThemeForest.
“We started with a template, but ended up changing everything so that the website reflected the client’s brand identity. We found out it may have been faster to toss out the template and start from scratch,” he said. “Starting from scratch has another advantage too. So many blockchain companies say their technology is unique or revolutionary, but their websites are all built on the same three templates with the same flow and cliche images. They look anything but unique, so you should dare to be different.”
Derek took his efforts to achieve “closeness to the client” a step further, flying to Singapore and spending a full week filming with the executive team as they took the final legal and regulatory steps before their token sale launch.
Producing two videos — one live action and one motion graphics explainer — in two weeks was a challenge. I had to find last minute ways to source equipment, scout locations and change the script on the fly. Working with no margin for error stretched our skills and forced everyone involved to be more focused.
With limited time flexibility is key, but it’s important not to be tempted to compromise quality by rushing things. “When I arrived at the client’s office in Singapore it was raining and the lighting was awful. I convinced the CEO to use the first day to rehearse and we crossed our fingers that the sunny weather forecast for the next day would be accurate. Thankfully it was. The shots looked great and the rehearsal on the previous day meant filming went much more smoothly,” Derek said.
Bring in Extra Help
If you’ve left marketing to the last minute our best recommendation is often to delay your launch. “Most launch dates are arbitrary and internal. Clients often tell us they don’t want to let people down, like investors, but a strong launch is more important,” said Nathan.
If your launch date isn’t flexible, the best shortcut you can take is working with people who have already done what you’re trying to do.
By this point, G3 has a good sense of what needs to happen to make a token sale successful. We’ve worked on 12 token sales and we know how to to get things done. Most token sale projects involve three G3 team members and oversight from one G3 executive. We put a total of seven people on this project and involved both Nathan and Erik in the strategy. That’s what it takes to move fast, - said Mariana.
In the end, the true measure of marketing success is achieving an actual business goal. The first 18 days of work takes us in the right direction, but we’ll continue to support the team throughout the SovereignWallet token sale. You’re welcome to follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Medium.