How do you successfully market to individuals in 2021? There are numerous types of communication at our fingertips always, and therein lies the issue, as advertisements and gross sales pitches threat changing into a lot noise amidst the deluge we expertise on the web and social media. In transferring ahead, maybe entrepreneurs have to step again to one of many extra comparatively primary capabilities of our cellular gadgets: textual content messages.
I lately interviewed Matt Baglia, CEO and founding father of SlickText, a textual content advertising agency out of Jamestown, New York and Nashville, Tennessee, about this specific advertising problem, in addition to the same challenge he and each different founder faces: differentiating your self in a crowded and noisy market.
Mary Juetten: When did you begin?
Matt Baglia: I began SlickText from my Jamestown residence in 2012 as a latest school grad. I enlisted the assistance of fellow developer, Ryan Kinal, to assist write the primary traces of code, dreaming of what this could possibly be. We continued to work out of my residence by way of SlickText’s evolution from idea to firm, hiring our first gross sales consultant in 2014. We began as a aspect hustle on a server in my residence and have grown to the corporate we’re immediately, proudly serving greater than 177,000 clients.
Juetten: What downside are you fixing?
Baglia: SlickText solves the challenges of different communication strategies, particularly in an period the place individuals are overwhelmed by their electronic mail inboxes and are deafened by the noise of their newsfeeds. Textual content messaging caught my eye due to the power to ship a message from a tool and immediately attain 98% of your audience is unparalleled. Nonetheless, 9 years in the past, no person did textual content message advertising nicely. They both had a very good course of however a foul interface that lacked options or vice versa. We realized there was a chance to offer a textual content message advertising resolution constructed on a strong interface with excellent out of the field options and versatile martech integrations.
Juetten: Who’re your clients and the way do you discover them?
Baglia: We work with organizations throughout all industries— from small enterprise to giant enterprises, from chain places to main non income.
To start with, discovering purchasers was a matter of chilly calling and showcasing our product— we knew if potential clients may get an opportunity to see our product and expertise the outcomes from textual content message communications, they’d be hooked. Though we’ve grown exponentially bigger since our humble beginnings in my residence, our method to discovering clients has remained the identical. We’re a product-lead firm and consistently innovating our platform based mostly on buyer suggestions, and we really feel this units us aside from a lot of our business opponents. As soon as potential clients see how simple our platform is to make use of (and the way a lot we really care about their success) they’re enthusiastic to strive us out, and turn out to be a few of our best supporters, in flip referring different clients.
Juetten: How did previous tasks and/or expertise assist with this new venture?
Baglia: After I was researching non-traditional advertising channels I used to be fast to appreciate how inflexible and subpar my choices have been available in the market. The applied sciences out there to me have been missing the efficiency I anticipated for the return on my funding. I used to be fast to appreciate the potential energy of textual content message advertising and the truth that I may pioneer a strategy to professionalize it, taking it from a fringe advertising channel to a powerhouse tactic.
Juetten: Did you elevate cash?
Baglia: SlickText began as a bootstrapped start-up and obtained product-market match rapidly and with out exterior financing. In 2018 the corporate was recapitalized by an funding group led by Iron Creek Companions, LLC that included Predominant Road Capital Company together with the SlickText administration crew. This offered SlickText with extra capital to gasoline product innovation, thought management and a secure basis for continued success. Because of vibrant progress over the previous 24 months, we’re worthwhile with a powerful monetary place and are centered on accelerating progress and delivering lasting worth for our clients, workers and stakeholders.
Juetten: Startups are an journey — what’s your favourite startup story?
Baglia: I determine strongly with tales of different founders who’ve grown their startups by bootstrapping earlier than recognizing large success. I lately realized that Beneath Armour started within the founder’s basement when he was simply 23 years outdated. He had a easy thought— create higher clothes for athletes. That resonates deeply with me, not simply due to the plain parallels (we have been each younger and dwelling in less-than-posh environment) however as a result of, like SlickText, Beneath Armour had a transparent focus: enhance efficiency for his or her clients. I fully determine with the single-minded pursuit of bettering your product to profit your clients. Beneath Armour has created an ideal case research to observe, and I hope at some point a younger founder can say the identical about SlickText.
Juetten: How do you measure success and what’s your favourite success story?
Baglia: Private success may be measured by happiness. Main an organization I began, with a product I developed, makes me very glad. However the fact is, nothing makes me happier than understanding I play a job within the success our clients expertise each day. On the finish of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Figuring out I get to be a part of the success of so many alternative organizations is extremely rewarding.
It jogs my memory of the story of Victor Kiam, who favored his Remington razor a lot he purchased the corporate in 1979. On the time, Remington had misplaced nearly $30 million in simply 5 years. He rapidly turned it round and into the success that it’s immediately by specializing in creating one thing his clients would love. Since he used the product himself, he knew precisely tips on how to create worth. Serving to your clients discover success— whether or not it’s a fantastic shave or serving to them seamlessly talk with their viewers— is tips on how to be really profitable.
Juetten: Any suggestions so as to add for early-stage founders or CEOs in progress mode?
Baglia: Whenever you determine a chance to resolve an issue within the market, it’s best to go for it full steam, even when it means squeezing in your aspect hustle round your full-time job and household life. However, when you’re doing that, bear in mind to maintain your ego on the ground. Even if you’re the perfect at one thing, don’t get too comfy as a result of that’s when complacency units in. Whenever you’re in progress mode, changing into complacent is lethal to your momentum. Staying near your buyer will all the time show you how to discover the trail to success.
Juetten: And naturally, any IP challenges or horror tales to share? They are often nameless.
Baglia: One of many funniest examples of somebody utilizing our IP is once we discovered a competitor was advertising their product with my customized photos of pattern textual content messages that I built-in into the design of our web site. Nonetheless, they didn’t even go take the time to obtain the photographs and add them to their very own server earlier than placing them on their web site, they have been simply utilizing them straight from our servers. After I came upon, I changed the photographs with graphics that have been completely irrelevant to textual content advertising and our competitor ended up with fully nonsensical photos on their web site.
Juetten: What is the long-term imaginative and prescient on your firm?
Baglia: Our long-term mission is to guide the business with regards to innovating cellular messaging. We imagine that we’ve solely seen the start of how cellular can rework advertising and communications for organizations of all sizes. We’re centered on offering leading edge automation instruments that proceed to assist our clients adapt to the best way communication and advertising is altering.
Because of Matt for his time and perception – it’s value repeating that maintaining your ego on the ground is paramount. Additionally, his factors about dedication to your organization’s purpose and the drive to maintain bettering in direction of that finish are good recommendation for any entrepreneur. #onwards.