Chapter 3: You could have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it…


Demos Demetriou

Chapter 3: You could have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it…

You’ve heard it all before, but I will repeat it again. I got more than 13 likes on my first ever post! Seriously, in the grand scheme of things that is pretty poor but I guess not many readers know about this blog and it is unlikely to get much interest, YET. The only way you can get some initial interest is by great marketing. That brings me onto our next challenge and focus of this week’s post: Marketing and a small update on fundraising.

The Plan

As part of our pitch deck, we had to come up with a marketing plan. Something that can show investors we know exactly how we are going to tell the world about the Marlin App, and make it a huge success. It turns out that having a great App just isn’t enough. This has been a really interesting process and this week I will be writing about how we are dealing with our marketing challenges.

Although we had an initial marketing plan about how we were going to publicise the App, we needed to add more detail. Like many things in the start-up world once you look into something, lots of other things start to appear and more ideas start to flow. Our first port of call was our current marketing agency SCS Marketing and PR. They have helped us since the beginning of this project, they have done some great PR work for us and we have been featured in a few publications as a result (11 to be precise, but I am not counting, honest!).

We are hugely grateful for their work so far, especially Steve Skerry one of the Directors. The publicity we have received gives more credibility to our App and hopefully gives users a better understanding or what we are trying to achieve.

At the end of the day this is about them, the Job Seekers and the Employers. We are just here to make it happen.

So as part of this process, my colleague Nargis has also approached a handful of other agencies to get some more ideas on building our user base through social media and other channels. We had to provide a comparison for investors, as I have said before they like to see details. As usual her work has been exceptional, well done Nargis. She has highlighted the challenges we have in marketing the App and is working hard trying as many things as we can organically before we land our investment.

The interesting part of the information she has compiled, is that everybody has a different idea. I did expect that, but not one agency had a similar strategy. Some say LinkedIn, some say Twitter, some Facebook and others say Google. In fact they are all so different I am surprised no one has suggested getting our message out by carrier pigeon!

We had hoped that by telling them what we were trying to achieve, we were going to get a recipe that spells out the exact strategy to market the Marlin App on a huge scale, but no. It turns out it’s not as easy as that. It does seem that you have to spend money, and lots of it, just to find out what method and platform could work. It is clear we need another plan until investors are queuing at the door and we have a larger marketing budget.

Before I continue, I wanted to tell you about some changes from this week. I plan to mention each week at least one key meeting I have had. I think it will give you even more insight into this journey and hopefully a bit of publicity for the contacts I mention here. I may not have millions of followers YET, but with more than 13 likes on my first ever post I expect their social media accounts to go into meltdown after they are mentioned here, NOT!

The Meeting

So, as part of our plan, last week I had a great meeting with Kate Zatland from Forme Partners. Kate was introduced to me by a serial entrepreneur contact (who we will call Mr. A) that I really hope will be mentioned more here in the future. His advice so far has been invaluable and I am very grateful for that. He is of the opinion that you really need somebody with serious marketing experience to tell the world about the App inside your organisation working alongside an agency to deliver your marketing strategy.

Mr. A used Kate to headhunt some senior marketing staff for his own business and she came very highly recommended. If you are looking for any senior marketing staff, she’s your starting point. She is very well connected, knowledgable and she owns a very stylish pair of glasses! If you have the pleasure of meeting her you will see what I mean.

This was an excellent meeting, and Kate has introduced some great candidates who will be able to help us in marketing the Marlin App. She also contributed some good ideas which I really did appreciate. For the record, she also liked the App! Thanks 🙂!

These candidates have some great experience and really saw the appeal of the Marlin App. With their help we can definitely (you should know how optimistic I am by now) tell the world about the App and make it a huge success with the outside help of an agency too. In the coming weeks I hope to be able to mention who will be joining us on this journey and maybe some key ideas we are exploring that you may find useful for your own start-ups.

Fundraising Progress

Nothing significant to report here yet I’m afraid. What I can tell you, is that over the last 2–3 weeks we have approached 380 potential investors. The majority have not responded and a handful have said no. They have said the amount we require is too small or the market opportunity is not large enough. Now, that is either a really nice way of saying your idea is *#!* or they have a genuine reason. As I said in my first post, we want the Marlin App to revolutionise the recruitment industry and we want to do this globally, if that isn’t a large enough market I am not sure what is! In any case the investor pitches will continue until we find success.

Nearly There

So we are almost done for this week. As you know I am always happy to hear from other founders currently building start-ups. Recently I was sent a proposal from a founder who is currently fundraising for his own App. Although I cannot help with the investment, I did take a look at his proposal and gave him some recommendations and honest feedback. He really, really appreciated it, in fact he was surprised I even responded.

I know we are all really busy but if we can help just ONE person a week imagine the impact that could have for all start-up founders. I hope I can respond to as many founders as possible and provide them with advice that I have received on my own journey.

One last thing. Tell me how I am doing so far with these posts. Is there anything you want to hear more about? Is there something you don’t like about these posts? I would be happy to hear any feedback.

Until next time…