Case Study: Serial Entrepreneur Needs Brand Marketing to Increase Sales in a Two-Sided Marketplace


Our client was a highly successful serial entrepreneur with a solid track record of starting new businesses, building them up, and selling them off after 4-5 years. The secret to her success was her ability to develop a product to fit a targeted niche, make initial sales, and then create a scalable, repeatable sales model. 

While growing a company handling expenses for business convention providers, she spotted a new opportunity. So she did what she always did: Launch a new product, and sell, sell, sell. Only this time it wasn’t working, and she couldn’t figure out why. She brought in Omicle to help her crack the code.

The founder knew from her existing clients that receiving continuing education credits was a big draw for conference attendees. She had also heard time and again that conference providers struggled to find accredited speakers and trainers to deliver these professional education programs. She had speakers and trainers in her business network and she also had convention providers. She had a lightbulb moment: There was a business opportunity in connecting the conferences with accredited speakers. Speakers could even create online, evergreen courses that she could help sell many times over.

She quickly set up a subsidiary of her current company to go after this new market opportunity. She gave it a new name by shortening the name of the parent company to a three-letter acronym and kept the same logo, which featured a plane taking off. That way she could get away with just making minor modifications to her existing collateral. She figured this would be an easy sale since she could leverage her existing relationships. But six months of her usual sales efforts had only netted a handful of one-off customers--nothing she could scale.

That’s when she called us.

We saw that her problem was twofold. Although she was selling to the same industry, she wasn’t selling to the same titles. The connection between the two offerings, which was crystal clear to her from her journey to arrive at her vision, wasn’t at all clear to her new prospects. She struggled to get meetings, and when she did, she struggled to explain the value proposition.

The other problem was that unlike other companies, where she had sold directly to the end consumer, this business was a two-sided marketplace with the subsidiary company sitting in the middle as a matchmaker.

She needed to get conference providers to book speakers through her. That was the demand side, which would be easier to tackle through existing relationships. But she also needed to develop the supply side by getting subject matter experts to do business with her. For that, they needed to be accredited, so she needed to work with accrediting bodies to give her speakers their stamp of approval. Nothing about her company--the name, the logo, or her sales pitch, was resonating with the supply side. She was getting a lot of doors slammed in her face.

We knew that the founder wouldn’t be able to build a scalable, repeatable sales process for this business with just shoe leather and grit as she had done many times before. Better branding and marketing would actually help her get more meetings and close deals faster on both sides of the market. We just had to convince her, which we did using her own sales playbook and showing her that she was actually creating a new industry category instead of a different version of an existing category. This was pivotal in making her company scalable and successful.

Omicle then helped her create new positioning for the subsidiary, including a new name, logo, messaging, and strategy for getting in front of the right prospects and making it easy for them to see the value and say, YES.

Once we did the organization rebranding with the new name she landed five accrediting organizations within the first two weeks.

We then helped her create a strategic plan for working with the subject matter experts to get their courses accredited and then to market themselves through her company. With this plan in hand, she was able to hire a full-time person to develop the supply side of the marketplace. That freed her up to work her sales magic on the demand side, with her branded marketing materials in hand.

Omicle delivers brand clarity, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency to prepare leaders to scale their business. If you are ready to scale your business, contact us today to get started.

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