June 2023#Cases#Mining

How to double the efficiency of ago-to-market strategy for a complex mining product

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Authors

Irina Spiridonova

Director, Strategy&Marketing

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8 min

Intro

The marketing strategy of most Web3 projects is based on paid traffic, blogger campaigns, and media publications. The founders aim to get the first results as quickly as possible, often not fully realizing the effectiveness benchmark and abandoning the research stage in hopes of saving time and money. This approach sometimes works for projects with a massive audience, but this is a dangerous path for a niche business because the price per client often ends up being much higher than the target one. The cost of mistakes in narrow segments and with unique products is very high.

The key marketing task at any launch is to quickly achieve a positive unit economy that can be further scaled. To make that happen, the start needs to be backed up with real data from the market: details on the target audience and competitors. In addition, it is necessary to determine the main regions and promotion channels.

This case is about how preliminary market research can improve marketing efficiency and save your budget.

Challenge

The main request of our client, a distributor of unique mining equipment and software, was to quickly enter the USA market and build product awareness. The project team wanted to launch as soon as possible, worrying that competitors would take over. At the same time, the partner made a bet on high-profile media launches, expecting immediate orders and business growth.

How we did it

After receiving vital input and recommendations, our team identified several issues that required analysis.

First, we were not sure about the choice of regions for our promo campaign.

Secondly, we saw that the launch required a clearer portrait of users in need of the new product.

Thirdly, the fundamental objective of increasing leads is what drives the ultimate desire to increase awareness. We added converting channels, like contextual advertising, to the tool funnel as a result.

And finally, we lacked data on key USPs, competitors, and barriers to ensure that product packaging and creative materials were as responsive to user needs as possible.

After discussing it with the partner’s team, we decided to combine a quick start and a detailed analysis, breaking the sprint into two logical stages:

  1.  Marketing strategy with hypotheses resulting in trial distributions.
  2.  Testing hypotheses with the help of a target CustDev, updating, and optimizing distribution channels.

Adjustments made:

  1. The distribution geography was expanded thanks to the primary analytics of the target audience and test launches; we found new markets with higher conversions than the United States.
  2. We updated creative promos, formed a hybrid strategy for paid channels and organics, developed recommendations for maximum synergy, and implemented them in stages while scaling.
  3. We also distributed budgets and channels evenly, making it possible to optimize and adjust channels.

When the research-first approach is a necessity

Based on our experience in similar cases, we identified several factors in favor of the study.

  • A narrow target audience with specific media consumption.
  • Having a unique product that finds its niche and gains credibility. In this case, in-depth interviews help identify USPs and stop factors, determine positioning, and understand how to work with the potential customer's fears.
  • Conditions of fierce competition or the established market, where it is very important to understand what your rivals are doing.
  • The need to clarify the geography of demand and legal aspects of work.

The current project was a perfect example of a platform requiring preliminary research.

To create such a strategy, we conducted custom interviews with the owners of large mining farms, researched the market, and studied competitors.

Planned directions

We have identified several focus areas after drawing up the research program:

  1. New product: how the target audience perceives it, what problems it can solve, what existing solutions it can replace, and what can stop the audience from buying it.
  2. Competition: in such a narrow B2B market, it is vital to get to know your competitors’ moves and ensure we stand out.
  3. Communication channels where a specific audience can easily come across our ads.
  4. Launch in areas where demand is higher and there are no legal restrictions on activities.

Highlights of the research and campaign optimization

The research pointed out several things that required an immediate strategy revision.

  1. We have identified the most pressing issues facing the product and users, such as lack of trust in overclocking software, low brand awareness, lack of catchy newsbreaks in the industry, lack of a transparent affiliate program, and poor development of the B2B direction.
  2. Unveiled new priority geos, as well as built a user path and a communication funnel. We adjusted the USP and creatives and published a separate product landing page.
  3. We abandoned the idea of media publications and bloggers’ content in favor of working with audience fears. Thus, we launched a bounty campaign that allowed users to test the product and provide feedback. As a result, the mining community supported the initiative, and the product received honest reviews.

Marketing strategy update

The received data helped us redirect the campaign towards prioritizing organic traffic from blogger referral programs, working with user fears, as well as SEO and SERM promotion with PR and Paid support. 

The initial tools asked for large media and influencer content budgets but did not guarantee a lasting effect, unlike the organic strategy.

The final plan included the following steps:

  1. Launch affiliate campaigns with bloggers and develop an ambassador program.
  2. Introduce a bug bounty to increase user loyalty and brand awareness.
  3. Present a customer loyalty program and share honest feedback while demonstrating that the product responds to it and fixes the flaws.

Paid traffic channels evolution

  • According to the first-stage results, after changing the USP and creatives, detailing queries, related analytics of paid campaigns, and organic traffic audits, the number of installations and inquiries increased three times. Moreover, we managed to reduce the cost of the target action (downloading the firmware) from $20 to $14.8.
  • We continue scaling in new geos, building end-to-end analytics to calculate ROMI, and improving synergy between organic and paid traffic.
  • The landing page is being tested, and we are working on reducing the cost of installations and target actions.
  • We created a dashboard with account integration and goals to offer the most transparent and convenient reporting system available 24/7.

Change of the article format

In addition to traditional company updates, we announced a reward program for finding bugs in the product. Expertise, transparency, and openness have become key approaches in communication instead of the fairly classic approach of describing the company and its products.

According to the first stage results, we managed to exceed the volume of reposts in the media: received more than 500 reposts, ensuring an increase in interest and engagement by 1.5 times.

Work with target channels and budget redistribution

Standard paid videos have been replaced with bartered product reviews on a reduced budget. Bloggers have become brand ambassadors, showcasing real reviews and explaining the intricacies of the current market. We actively offered users the opportunity to test the product and leave honest feedback, noting that helpful recommendations would be rewarded by the brand.

We have revised the resources and communication format with the media in the direction of expertise and user interaction with the product.

The balance of funds was redistributed, prioritizing the conversion channels and the development of a bounty campaign.

This helped to significantly increase media coverage: instead of the planned 600K, we received 1.4KK, as well as an increase in interest and engagement in the complex segment of the mining audience by three times.

Formation of a channel funnel, user journey, improvements, tasks, and step-by-step KPIs

We identified fair business expectations and also formed a funnel of channels from awareness to lead generation, which allowed us to maximize the result. All channels were distributed by task and packed into a Miro scheme.

Moreover, a convenient automated reporting system and a library of all documents, studies, and strategies have been introduced.

Also, we have created a user journey and made improvements to increase conversion.

Summing up, both teams did a great job of multiplying the effectiveness of marketing promotion.

What could have been done better?

Start with research. This strategy would allow us to get a complete picture from the very beginning, adjust the approach, and save money on testing.

Honestly state the tasks and goals of the business from the start. During the campaign, we realized that the customer was confident in the effectiveness of PR and believed that it would get them leads. However, one should never forget that each channel solves different problems.

Appoint one person responsible for marketing decision-making. A long coordination chain and changing strategies on the go lead to lower efficiency and delays.

Prioritize sensible requests from potential customers. It makes no sense to focus on high technologies if the audience speaks the language of numbers and efficiency. Otherwise, it's worth admitting that such materials are released to satisfy the team’s ambitions.

Choose channels and strengthen the team based on the channel’s priority instead of an easy launch. Marketing is the joint work of not only an external but also an internal team. If the market demands participation in conferences and the development of an affiliate program, you cannot expect the same efficiency from “convenient and cheaper” SEO.
Conduct end-to-end business analytics. This is the necessary pulse of company management, not the risk of losing corporate data while observing security rules.

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