1. Your Product Offering Is Bad
58% of ICO’s fail because their product offering is not needed as well as the fact that no major audience can connect with the product. Make sure you conduct intensive market research to make sure that there actually is a need for the initial coin offering concept you are trying to create. Make sure you try and create a real functional token economy that makes sense and has a reason for existing. We see many initial coin offerings out there that exist just for the sake to make money. These ICO’s are mostly scams and will fail. The real hardcore blockchain community want to see projects succeed that can actually decentralize and change the world for the better by cutting out the middle men and putting the control back with the user where it belongs. For example, AirBnB allows landlords to rent their property to tenants directly from them or Uber linking drivers to users that need a taxi here and now. Please do not rush to build your product offering and structure your White Paper correctly because this really could make or break your project. Remember that the better your product is, the less you will need to invest in marketing.
2. Poor Brand Identity
People make subliminal decisions in seconds when exposed to your brand. The way your brand looks and functions in respect to your Logo, Fonts, Colors, Visuals and Language all say something about your ICO. For example, if your logo does not look like it was designed by a professional creative team and you are asking for $100 Million dollars, people will subliminally block your ICO and think it is a scam. If you cannot afford to invest $10,000 to get a proper Brand Identity suite then it is probably best you do not enter the ICO market because the chances of you raising enough capital to fund your project will be slim. Please understand that your Brand is the face of your offering and the more time you take to create a good brand identity, the better the rest of your marketing communications will be.
3. Bad Marketing Communications
We see a lot of bad marketing communication practices so let’s break it down segment by segment:
We see poorly designed websites that do not have the key elements needed to providerelevant information to the token investor. Websites should include all of the below segments, ideally on the homepage:
– VIDEO EXPLAINER
– OVERALL CONCEPT
– SUBSCRIBE (Before Pre ICO) & CONTRIBUTE (During, Pre ICO/ICO)
We see many poorly done video explainers with hand drawn white boards that look cheap and tacky. In our opinion it is better to not have a video done at all as opposed to a poor video that will give your offering a negative image.
Videos can cost $5,000 – $10,000 for motion graphic explainer videos and over $10,000 for live footage videos. However, the payoff can be huge if done right.
People respond extremely well to Video and it is highly suggested to get this done right.
There are two main formats of banners. Static Image banners which are a must as a backup and are great to keep the message short and punchy, call to action and show the logo in the frame. The second is dynamic HTML-5 banners which are great in terms of creating nice dynamic animations that can be viewed in all browsers nowadays. It is best to create these banners in the top 20 sizes as per below so you can get full coverage of all devices such as Mobile, Tablet and Desktop.
We see plenty of bad visual direction when it comes to social posting and this is not good. It is important to always go back to your brand and token identity to ensure that wherever your ICO is exposed to the user, an immediate connection will be made to your brand. This will keep the hype momentum and build a constant connection in the minds of your users..
4. Unrealistic Budget & Objectives
Many people ask us how much investment is needed in order to reach the hard cap raise amount. According to our experience, this has to be a percentage range of 5%-10% from what you are trying to raise. Meaning that if you would like to raise $50 Million, you will need $2.5 – $5 Million to be invested on building the hype to achieve relevant awareness, consideration and engagement to get enough contributors to your project.
Make sure you have a proper business plan that includes a full breakdown of the channels that you will be utilizing in order to achieve the results you are aiming for.
5. Lack of Reporting & Measurement
We see many projects where the ICO is the first real business they have ever done and they do not understand the importance of reporting and analytics until it is too late. Make sure you conduct the relevant research and at least a Google Analytics setup with the necessary conversion goals. That will be an indicator for the major items of Pre-Subscriber and User when you actually launch the ICO, so at a minimum you will know the amount of subscribers and users each channel is generating.
Keep in mind that marketing is a multi-touch point game so you may see many people coming directly, via email or retargeting, however it is the collective marketing strategy that has attributed towards this.
There are some better analytics solutions that cost more however they can give weight to the multiple touch points instead of just using the last click conversion approach.