Hire advertiser or relaunch campaign?

We spent three years building our product and finally launched it on Kickstarter. We went into the campaign underprepared: no advertising budget, not enough initial followers, some media coverage but not enough traffic. I then spent some time learning facebook and twitter ads, tested various combinations, paid PR services, posted on forums, but none have positive ROI.

I may have been doing the ads completely wrong (I am still learning). This can be fixed by hiring advertising expert. We are getting quite a few backers regularly through Kickstarter but very few external traffic.

On the other hand, there may not be enough demand or the product still has not fit the market. I am worried since we did spend too much time with development and not enough time with potential customer. Our backers have given us good feedback so far, but it was difficult to find them. This could mean abandoning the campaign, redesign the product and relaunch in the future.

What’s a good way to find out?

      • youtube this ” eric ries mvp ”

        In one of those videos he talks about doing the same thing you’ve done.

        I’m no expert, but i’d assume it happens a lot. You just have to learn from

        it and move forward.

  • Why not bring in a freelance junior PR/Marketer to take a look at your current efforts and write a plan with concrete KPIs for you?

    It sounds to me like your real issue is pinning down what you want out of your PR/ads/Marketing. Is it sales leads? Understanding your market for product development? Raising awareness? A good PR would help you make a plan with specific tactics that answer those… and that you can measure.

    From my experience, lots of junior/young PRs are desperate to build up an ownable portfolio of work – and you might get better rates that way? A plan is a nice one-off you can take away and implement, which reduces hours of a freelancer/new hire

  • It’s a common mistake to not produce an MVP and dive in the deep end with a product that you think people will like. 3 years is a long time to produce an MVP but you can’t change the past. My advice would be to:

    Gather at least 100 beta testers by creating a high-conversion splash page and directing traffic through http://betalist.com/ and other such websites
    Nurture your leads by emailing them regularly prior to your beta launch
    Launch your product to your beta community and make sure to integrate analytics tools like Crazy Egg to provide you with useful feedback
    Email your community with a feedback form taking guidance from “The Mom Test”
    Gather your feedback
    Iterate on your product based on what you receive

    Repeat processes 4-6 until your beta community are willing to pay for your product. That’s when you know you’ll be ready to launch. Your community will be strong advocates of your brand by this stage and will do a lot of the marketing for you.

    Bare in mind that this is only one suggestion, I’m sure there are a ton of other ways out there too, but this is what I tend to do for my projects.

    Based on what you’ve said, I’d also suggest you read “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin – marketing isn’t the same as it used to be. Your product should do the marketing for you.

    Hope that helps!



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