There is a growing trend among millennials towards self-employment. The popularity of enterprises like the 4-hour workweek and freelancing websites like Upwork are testament to the changing winds of the workplace – start-ups are here to stay.
The start-up boom following the internet bubble of the 1990’s has gained staggering momentum in today’s world. In every sphere from the Internet of Things (IoT) to digital products to providing remote services, the start-up ecosystem is littered with great as well as mediocre entrepreneurial ideas but one simple fact remains – not every start-up makes it big – or even make it past their first anniversary.
A study by CBI insights showed that 9 out of 10 startups fail and very often, the reason is often poor market research before launching their product or service. Infancy, 42% of startups were found to fail due to poor customer demand. Others failed due to poor management. Suffice to say, anyone looking to establish a startup would do well to conduct thorough market research.
The Statistics Brain Research Institute compiled statistics on startup failure by industry, and information companies were at the bottom. Only 37% of information companies have completed 4 years of their operation whereas businesses of real estate, finance and insurance do not struggle as much.
Eliza Talbot, a startup founder with a SaaS concept in the real-estate listing niche came to Gainbuzz with the need for a full-fledged plan to establish her startup as the prime software offering to real-estate firms looking to share real-time market listings with property buyers.
Goals and Challenges
Eliza wanted to build a business where realtors and realty firms could easily list properties around town and update them with real-time, accurate pricing, on-the-go through a simple app on their smartphone. Coming from a real-estate background herself, Eliza was aware that property prices vary a lot based on a multitude of subjective reasons such as consumer purchasing power, location, selling price of similar properties in the neighbourhood; even the desperation of the seller to make a sale! When Eliza sat down with the Gainbuzz team, her goal was deceptively simple:
Make her SaaS application succeed in the market.
However, the execution of this goal, as you can guess, was far from simple. A complex proposition such as Eliza’s SaaS-based real-estate listing application for mobile devices would require everything including business strategy, design, development, prototyping, validation, product management, end-to-end marketing as well as testing and maintenance. Eliza already had a technical co-founder onboard. Gain buzz would be providing the marketing, strategy and design perspective.
Solutions and outcome
In order to validate her idea, Eliza and the Gainbuzz team collaborated to run her SaaS offering by mid-sized group of realtor associates from Eliza’s real-estate days. Gain buzz helped Eliza to ‘sell’ the USP of transparency in real estate business in order to attract customers to the platform and adopt a two-fold marketing approach. Not only would we be marketing Eliza’s SaaS service to realtors who would download the app and use the platform, we would also provide incentives for buyers to download the application to check property prices in real-time. Since our business model proposed a symbiotic approach with realtors, Eliza was able to pitch a win-win situation – a wider base of buying prospects, in exchange for transparent, real-time price listings. No other app was available on the market at that time offering a similar service so Eliza already had the competitive edge.
In order to give Eliza insight into buyer behavior, Gainbuzz estimated a sample budget, property preferences and instances of successful sale for a population of mid-range property buyers from the data collected through the SaaS application. Such evidence-based, analytics-backed strategy lead to a deeper understanding of which channels and target markets would yield the best return on interest for Eliza’s marketing strategy. Through data analysis and focus-group discussions with Eliza’s real-estate colleagues, the entire collaborative team decided to focus heavily on digital strategies, influencer marketing, referrals and word-of-mouth marketing to promote the Eliza’s application.
Gainbuzz also helped Eliza create an interactive website and set-up real-time chat support for customer queries both on the website and within the app. Eliza trained an agent to provide the chat support and offer guidance on loan and financial assistance, current tax rules and regulations to help users make better decisions.
Although Eliza’s problem was complex, together Eliza’s team and the Gainbuzz team collaborated together using analytical and subjective research to provide Eliza with an evidence-based marketing strategy. While Eliza’s technical partners took care of the app development, frameworks, IT testing and maintenance, the Gainbuzz team took care of the strategy, validation, design, marketing and product management aspect of Eliza’s start-up.
‘I am so grateful to Gainbuzz for their dedication from start to finish. They treated my project as their own, helping me interpret what all that data meant and suggesting the right course of action. Most importantly, they acted with utmost professionalism, always helping me find ways to stretch my marketing budget. Due to their guidance, I was able to launch my startup with a clear plan in mind. I’ve heard so many startup horror stories of businesses floundering due to a lack of market research. I needed to grow a sustainable business slowly and steadily. Gain buzz understood this and ran with it. Now, we’re in talks with multiple investors and all I can say is, we will be working with Gainbuzz for a long time!’
Eliza Greene – EG Abodes, Founder, Owner