ICO Marketing 101
ICO Marketing 101: What you need to know
September 23, 2017
ico promotion image courtesy of pixabay
ICO Promotion: Strategies for successful token sale
July 30, 2018
ico lifecycle image courtesy of pixabay

ico lifecycle image courtesy of pixabay

ICO Lifecycle

  1. Idea Formulation

The idea of an ICO can be hatched by one or more individuals. Often, however, one person comes up with the idea and then goes on to share the idea with potential partners. It is important to point out that formulating the idea is probably the simplest part. This is because idea formulation does not necessarily demand any resources and in addition, it does not entail any form of scrutiny.

  1. Define the Blockchain-based solution and its integration

Ordinarily, ICOs are largely associated with blockchain-based startups. Hence, the ICO must be focused on solving a particular problem surrounding blockchain or to fill a business niche on the blockchain technologies. Having this in mind, there must be a clear outline of exactly how ICO is aligned with blockchain and the benefits it will bring. If the ICO is not blockchain based and lacks clear outline of integration, the high chances are that the ICO will not take off.

  1. Foundation of the organisation

Following the idea formulation and defining its relevance to the blockchain, establishing the foundation of the company can ensue. Essentially, the one who comes up with the idea can select two or more individuals bearing the same interest and pitch them the idea. Following a consensus on the idea, each of the individuals can be assigned strategic roles to commence the development journey.

  1. Company Setup

Setting up the company would require undertaking a number of tasks. The first would be the registration of the company name. Notably, the company name must be unique and must not be similar to an existing company. Additionally, the name must reflect the company’s objective without being too detailed. The second task that ought to be undertaken for a company set up is seeking patents for the idea and the company logo. Ideas on ICOs like any other idea is considered intellectual property. To ensure that that idea remains in the ownership of the original owner, patenting is paramount. Finally, the founders would need to acquire necessary legal licenses to ensure the smooth running of operations.

  1. Develop the blockchain platform (preferably on Ethereum blockchain)

It is probably safe to say that the real work starts when the development of the platform begins. It is important to decide on whether the ICO will run on a completely independent blockchain or will run on an existing blockchain. Currently, Ethereum and bitcoin blockchains are the most robust and versatile. Hence, developing a platform on either of this blockchain can be favourable for the ICO.

  1. Beta Testing (Authentication, Smart Contract Features)

The development of the platform should be followed by a series of beta tests. Notably, one of the determinants of the traction that the ICO will gain following its launch is the nature and functionality of features. Therefore, the beta testing stage will involve authentication of the platform and checking that the features embedded therein are working correctly. Smart contracts are becoming a very common concept and is widely appreciated for its functionality. Hence, it would be advisable to ensure that this feature is embedded. Additionally, user security on the platform should be addressed at this point.

  1. Team Expansion- marketers, administrative personnel and advisors

The development of the platform means that the ICO is one step closer to being birthed. Therefore, more people ought to be added to the team to ensure that the process is not derailed by a shortage of personnel. Additional members of the team may include administrators and marketers. The rationale behind this is that after the platform is established, it is only strategic that the potential users get wind of it. The administrators and the marketers would be mandated with informing the public of the upcoming product. On the other hand the advisors, preferably persons who are savvy in matters blockchain and crypto would help streamline the rough edges of the platform.

  1. Finish Beta Testing

Having a complete team and advisors overseeing the developments, the final beta testing can be done. Finishing beta testing requires more keenness and thorough review. This is for the reason that after finishing beta testing, the platform will be deemed ready for interaction with the end user. Therefore, every aspect of the platform, from the user interface to the background execution of the processes. Additionally, the it should be ensured that the platform feature IOS, Android and E-wallets to enable compatibility.

  1. Website development

After ensuring that everything on the platform is operational, the next steps should be creating a website. This would then be ensued by the integration of the blockchain platform on the website for user accessibility. Importantly, it is through this website that potential users would get access to company information and important documents such as the whitepaper.

  1. White Paper development

A whitepaper is a document detailed the business model and all aspects pertaining to the ICO. After the testing of the platform is complete, the next logical step is publication. In a way, the whitepaper can be compared to a manifesto that gives detailed information on philosophy, the problem at hand and how the business model will help solve the problem. Moreover, considering that financing will be done through ICO crowdfunding, the whitepaper should give details to this regard. This should include the existence of a cap on the token supply, allocation of the tokens, initial offer price, date of issue and the allocation of funds collected.

  1. Expanding the team

At this point, it is expected that the company will have grown further following the increase in activity. Therefore, getting more people on the team would be important. Some of the new team members that can be added included accountants, financial advisors and more IT personnel. The key focus and the rationale behind expanding the team would be getting ready for the ICO launch and the challenges that that is likely to come with.

  1. Solve a Lingering that is employee rewards system

Considering the company is still young, being creative in regards to employee reward is paramount. Hence, one of the ways in which the company can reward the employees is by giving them free ICO tokens. For instance, the company can impress that only 80% of the tokens will be issued to the public while the remaining 20% will be allocated to the developers and employees.

  1. Release White Paper

Having taken care of all technical aspects and the issue of employee reward, the whitepaper can release. Notably, the most optimal site to publish the whitepaper is on the company website. However, that does not mean that the only way to learn about the white paper is through the website. To the contrary. Instead, the marketing team can give highlights on the ICO and include a hyperlink that redirects the users to the company website.

  1. Launch pre-ico

A pre-ico is basically a presale that happens before the actual launch of the ICO. Pre-ico plays two major roles. First, the pre-ico markets the ICO hence increasing the chances to raise enough funds during the actual launch. Secondly, the fund raised through the pre-ico are used to fund various key activities focused on making the ico launch a success.

  1. Marketing and launching the ICO

Notably, most of the funds collected during the pre-ico should be allocated to marketing the ico. The rationale behind this is that having everything in place, the major task remains to be creating traction for the ICO. This is best done through marketing. Finally, once the date to launch the ICO falls due, all efforts should be focused on ensuring that the transactions process is seamless and secure. The ICO sale often runs over a period of time say one week or so. In the course of this time, the accountants should be engaged thoroughly to ensure all funds are accounted for.

  1. Fully Launch the platform and begin signing up users

After gathering the funds anticipated, any remaining developments on the platform can be done. This will then allow for the fully launching of the platform for end-user access. Moreover, following the launch of the platform, the process to sign up users can commence. The signing up process would be used as an opportunity to address any concerns that the potential users could have regarding the ICO and the platform.

  1. List tokens on exchanges and further marketing

To ensure that the tokens remain relevant is advisable that it be listed on the exchanges following its launch. This will allow the trading of the token. Notably, trading the token on the exchange does not ultimately guarantee a continued increase in value. However, the value can increase generically over time depending on its functionality. Finally, more marketing should be conducted this time focusing on creating awareness more awareness regarding the benefits of the token.


If you need consultancy for your ICO project at any stage be it idea formulation, smart contract development, white paper creation and review or just advice feel free to contact me

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