Liam McFadden is CEO and founder of Clann.com.au - a tech start-up behind a new childcare platform set to relieve pressure on the industry by up-skilling in-home childminders and creating an online marketplace for their services to busy parents.
The get the right go-to-market strategy for a marketplace and platform is maybe the most difficult for any founder in this sector. Usually, there is always the chicken-egg problem. This is very well explained by James Currier from NFX. He says "Get the hardest side first. When the harder side (supply or demand) reaches its boiling point of activity, network effects kick in and value will be created organically for the easier side." And this is what also Liam mentions: "Our first challenge is to market to prospective childminders and their influencers. Once we have enough childminder profiles in a postcode area we then market them to families in that area. Clann earns a % commission on all bookings made between parents and childminders."
The parents of children aged 1-12 needing more flexible occasional and recurring childcare are the main audience of the Clann marketplace. "In particular, the parents of the 1.0m children in Australia left behind by regulated care in informal care", mentions Liam.
The marketing strategies that mostly help are the print media (local newspapers, magazines, social media, events, and radio (the most successful campaign). Her experience by marketing the platform through events is "that is very hard to get people to confirm attendance on Eventbrite and similar platforms and on a number of events we have had nil attendees despite a large number expressing their 'interest'." This is happening usually when free events/meetups are offered. At startup meetups, we noticed an increasing number of participants at free meetups a great catering solution but as we all know likes, FB friends, and "interested" FB attendees are not really the KPIs we have to rely on. And Liam´s ROI "is determined by the number of people who register a free profile on our Clann Platform after each event, radio or other campaigns."
And as there is no startup without struggles, also Liam has her story "Still struggling to find the right approach. We have redefined our target avatars for Melbourne and Sydney and have a lot more detail on who they are and where they live. Working on the best way of engaging with them currently to complete our marketing and PR plans."
The best advice is usually from founder-to-founder and Liam´s advice is:
- Don't underestimate the depth of market research you need to do;
- PR is an essential element of a marketing strategy;
- Boots on the ground business development can often be more effective than 'advertising'.
Images credits: Liam McFadden / Clann
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