What I’ve learned: my top five insights to market a successful $30 million ICO

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Havven is a Sydney-based decentralized payment network and stablecoin. On 28 February 2018, Havven completed its token sale, having reached its USD $30 million hard cap (AUD $38.6 million) in under 90 minutes. The company launched its first phase on the stablecoin platform in March 2018.

As Head of Marketing at Havven, I created the marketing strategy and oversaw its execution in the three-month period from January to March this year. A baptism by fire into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency, I was able to grow the Telegram group from a mere 60 members to more than 127,000 members to become one of the largest crypto groups in the world. This is what I did.

Insight one: an easily understood message is key

Before I could take any action, I needed to understand how to communicate to the audience. This meant working out the audience profile and ensuring that all messaging was set up and aligned to drive all content and communication. The messaging also needed to be compelling and fit into various audience persona profiles.

The first step was working with the founder to replace their old tagline of ‘distributed monetary system’ based on a gold commodity analogy, with the more contemporary ‘decentralised payment network’. This terminology was consumer-friendly, more easily understood, and drew from real life financial services examples such as American Express, a place where I used to work. Messaging is key when communicating to your audience and also in setting the right tone for your brand.

Insight two: find out where your audience is and be present

Once I knew who my audiences were and how to communicate to them, I needed to make sure we could be found where they were looking to invest. This meant formulating a strong marketing plan of attack and ensuring that Havven was present in all various marketing channels (ie. social media, events, sponsorship, rating sites, publications, events etc). We also focused on specific audience groups and targeted those who we knew were interested in our industry (stablecoins) and looking to expand their portfolio. It was important to be present where the audience is located and to build trust with them.

Insight three: test, validate, learn, refer

One thing I discovered during the process was that the airdrop model worked. It is a great mechanism to get tokens into the public and generate interest. At Havven, we advertised and promoted a referral program in which referrers were incentivised for referring their friends.

Another tip I can highly recommend from experience is to start small. Small campaigns allowed us to test, evaluate, validate results and learn from our experience prior to investing larger sums of money into larger campaigns. This also allowed me to have tighter control over my marketing budget and ensured all activities were accounted for.

Insight four: be open and flexible in the midst of constant change

If one thing is certain in the world of crypto, it’s that it never stops! It is hectic and time becomes compressed. Each day feels like a week, each week feels like a month, each month feels like a year. Lots of activities and complex situations are happening all the time, and it can become difficult to stay on top of it all. You will need to adjust your mindset and be flexible, expect constant change and be willing to adapt to new circumstances.

Insight five: listen to your community of advocates

When you have a strong message, your marketing plan is cutting through the noise and you have a solid product, you will watch your community numbers grow. From here, make sure you listen to the feedback from, and expectations of, your community. They are your supporters and allies throughout the ICO process. At Havven, we were constantly engaged and active in Telegram groups, Reddit and other social media channels, to provide our community with brand new information, blogs, videos and other content to constantly generate excitement and passion about the project. Get your community as excited about your project as you are!

About Forestlyn

Havven was a client of Forestlyn. Forestlyn is a technology and blockchain marketing consultancy delivering business strategy, communication and digital solutions. We work in partnership with founders and organisations to better understand your business and provide guidance, strategic planning, and execution of all marketing services and requirements. Forestlyn is a trusted and collaborative marketing partner driving your business forward.For more information: www.forestlyn.com