This is a quick-and-dirty summary for those of you looking to wade into the murky waters of PropTech marketing. Good luck!
1. Don't burn your runway
You don't have 18 months to fritter away time and money hoping that a few ad-hoc blog posts and a decent website will be enough to take you to the next level. If you want to get past Seed and Series 1, you need scalable growth strategies that investors can bank on. These take time to develop, they don't happen overnight. You will need to invest time, money, and energy now to prevent failure later. Scalable solutions, once implemented, create an environment where growth is inevitable. Create that environment today, and you will have no trouble building investor confidence. Put it off, and you will be scrambling to pull together a convincing case at the last minute, putting your entire organisation at risk. Take your time, build strong foundations, test your ideas, and ensure you have a strong pipeline of inbound leads.
2. Do invest in strategy FIRST!
I know, I know, I bang on about this all the time... but it's true. The wise man built his house upon the rock, the foolish man built his house upon the sand. A well-thought-out marketing strategy is your strongest foundation for commercial success, and without it, efforts to market yourself will fall flat and cost you and your investors dearly.
3. Don't silo marketing away from sales
Salespeople are the most valuable resource when it comes to marketing. Even if you don't have a sales team - who is talking to your customers? That's your equivalent. That person understands the needs, the day-to-day challenges, and the successes of your customer. That knowledge forms the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
4. Don't hire mid-tier talent without a development plan
I get it, you don't have a six-figure hiring budget for marketing. But with your five-figure hire, you're going to need support. That's where practical strategic advice from an advisor or contractor (yes, I'm plugging myself here) is your most valuable resource. That support could come once a week or even once a month, but it will ensure your marketing hire has the right priorities and the right tools in order to be successful at their job. I cannot tell you how many founders I have heard complain about their marketing manager. "We hired them to do SEO on our website and they came back asking us what terms we're trying to rank for. How would I know that? That's why I hired them!" Sorry, but this one's on you! They're not qualified to figure that out for you, they're qualified to execute on a strategy. If you haven't given them the strategic support they need, they'll do their best but it will inevitably fall flat.
5. Do test before you invest
"Spray and pray" marketing techniques are a great way to lose money fast. Test your campaign ideas on a small scale first, and apply that same logic to your channels, too. You might believe a particular idea is gold, but when you test it against another, you may be surprised at the results!
6. Don't spam your audience
Your email sender reputation is SO important! I know you feel as though your idea for an email campaign is gold, and you want to get it out there in front of as many people as possible, but there is a good chance that it will fall flat and do irreparable damage to your sender reputation if the proper precautions and processes are not in place. I've worked with companies who had so badly damaged their sender reputation that the best solution was to do a full rebrand, change the company domain, and start over. Don't put yourself in that position - get professional advice first.
7. Don't strive for perfection
You'll never get there, and it will slow you down. Strive for excellence, test ideas, and don't worry if something doesn't work out quite right the first time. Don't fall for the sunk cost fallacy: just because you invested in something, doesn't mean you should double-down trying to make it work. I say this about my own services - the great thing about a contractor is that you can immediately get rid of them if they're not adding value!
8. Don't overestimate "networking"
Events, dinners, handshakes... they can all be useful (particularly when you're just starting out) but more often than not, they don't deliver ROI, and more importantly, they are not scalable. Your CEO's black book may get you through the first 6 or even 12 months, but pretty soon that resource will be exhausted and you'll need to employ scalable marketing strategies in order to keep growing.
9. Do hire salespeople who know the market
Conduct interviews that ensure you aren't being won over by a fast-talker. Does this person really know what they're talking about? Do they have a good reputation in the industry? Are they smart, capable, and caring? If so, this is the salesperson who will build the sort of relationships that will drive your marketing strategy forward, grow your customer base, and ensure your success.
10. Do ask for help
People love to help, and that includes your customers, industry bodies, and other PropTech startups. Don't be afraid to get advice, ask what marketing techniques worked for other companies similar to yours, and ask your customers for recommendations and case studies... the chances are, they'll jump at the opportunity to help you out. Asking for help is a great way to build good professional relationships. (It will help restore your faith in humanity, too.)
Did you find this post useful? Would you like some support in making it all happen? Book a call with me today - I'd love to chat with you!