Gadget Flow Podcast Episode 6 – Roy Morejon from Enventys Partners Talks About Crowdfunding, Performance Marketing, and Entrepreneurship
On this podcast, we sat down with Roy Morejon from Enventys Partners and talked about the future of crowdfunding, performance marketing, and Facebook ads as well as the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
- Enventys Partners help in developing new products and also serve as a marketing agency that assists in new consumer product crowdfunding.
- Learn more about the art of crowdfunding from experts on Roy’s personal blog – artofthekickstart.com
- For more information on Roy Morejon, check out his LinkedIn profile.
Could you give us a quick snapshot of who you are and what you do?
Roy: I’m classified now as a serial entrepreneur, a thought leader in digital marketing. I’ve been doing this for over 25 years now. I consulted for big companies like AOL and Microsoft in my teens. I’ve been helping out startups and entrepreneurs basically with a one-stop solution for their go-to-market product launch needs. For the last seven, going on eight years now, I’ve run a crowdfunding marketing agency. Last year we merged with a product development firm to form the industry’s only vertically integrated product development company that also specializes in crowdfunding and launching products out there. We can basically take the idea on a napkin, do the initial prototyping or product development for it, run the crowdfunding campaign, raise them millions of dollars, and then take that product and actually manufacture it for them, ship and deliver and then hand them potentially off to retailers or whatever they want to do long-term in terms of their marketing.
What do you think are a few of the best practices for marketing products in crowdfunding?
Roy: The beauty of crowdfunding now is that there is a ton of data out there. Being a data junky myself and analytics guy, you can look at all of the previous campaigns and products and everything else that’s run and do your research on them. Before, when we first started, seven or eight years ago there were no campaigns to be run. There were barely a million people that had backed a campaign and data was sparse and sporadic and we had to kind of had to pave the way for it. The biggest thing that I tell any entrepreneur is “do your research.” Realize that this is something that is actually for you. Whether entrepreneurship is something that’s in your blood or something that’s a passion project for you or maybe just a hobby. Outside of doing your research, actually, make sure that your product is an idea that people really do have a problem that you’re solving. Make sure that that market is potentially big enough. I’ve seen all too many time where a lot of people come to us every day. We get hundreds of inventions every single day submitted through our website and just a lot of them aren’t necessarily fleshed out or good ideas or maybe somebody’s already brought something to market like that and they just haven’t done their research. Really trying to find out if there is a true need outside of your friends and family who are always going to tell you “yeah, it’s the greatest thing. I’ll totally buy one.” But they may be the only people that are going to purchase your product and continue at your side. Crowdfunding is the truest litmus test of whether a product is truly needed in the market. That why we love it, it’s where you can fail fast and fail upwards if you will. It’s where you throw your product out there and get feedback and the crowd will tell you whether or not it’s something they want if the price works if the design is something that is aesthetically pleasing to them. Those are a couple of things that we always try to tell entrepreneurs. Go down the path, do your research, and find out if it’s something that truly is needed in the market.
Can you give an example of a product or campaign launch that had a huge impact?
Roy: We’ve been fortunate to work with about 20 eight million dollar campaigns now. Out of those, there are always really unique stories that kind of unfold within them or paths that campaigns take. One of our most recent multimillion-dollar campaigns was for a product called Antonia Saint New York. What was unique about this product was that it was a high heel shoe that fit like a running shoe basically. And you’re like “Roy, you crowdfunded some high heel shoes? That must have been tough.” Yeah, it was extremely tough. We kind of see the demographics of Kickstarter, for instance, being more of a male laden platform in terms of the amount of backers that come through it. But we’re able to raise, just in Kickstarter alone, over $1.8 million for a pair of high heel shoes. What was unique about this campaign was not only the targeting that we did but also working with our agency partners at Facebook directly in terms of finding different groups to target within our campaign. Certainly, we’re hitting all of the work that we had done previously, all of the other female fashion products that we’ve done over the last seven or eight years. We have a good idea of where the women are hanging out and talking about fashion and looking to back products like these. Given this is the most funded female product or fashion product ever, there’s a lot of different places we had to find out. And come to find out, through our targeting, we were able to actually target the transgender community as this shoe met their passion or their need to have a shoe in a larger size that fit them. That completely opened up doors that we had no idea were even available to be open or put a key in and kind of see what was on the other side. That really blew up the campaign. That grouping alone brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign that we never would have known without our dedicated Facebook ad experts and our team at Facebook to help us and guide us through the campaign to make sure it was an ultimate success for our client and for us on the end. Just recently we got that campaign published as a case study on Facebook’s success story pages.
What is working right now when it comes to social channels in marketing products?
Roy: There’s a lot of stuff going on in Facebook right now, unfortunately. A lot of our dedicated paid media spend is solely dedicated towards Facebook Ads spend. It’s a mix right now, I’d probably say that 75% of our total millions and millions of dollars of budget that we spend every month goes towards Facebook and the rest typically towards Google, the Google network, display network, YouTube, etc. And then remarketing through both of those channels. We’ve tested Twitter, we’ve tested Pinterest, and we’ve tested Tabula and Outbrain and all of these other places. Nothing really converts as well as those two platforms: Google and Facebook alone. That’s why we continue to pump more dedicated resources into them. Just the targeting simply is phenomenal for us as advertisers nowadays to really pinpoint and focus in on our true demographic and what they look like.
What has it been like to start the company and get it to where it is today? What have been some of the greatest challenges and successes of getting to where you are now?
Roy: Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. It is not a straight path to success. It’s more of a rollercoaster that you can never get off of unless you really want to jump off in the middle of the apex potentially. It really isn’t for everyone. There is no work-life balance when you’re an entrepreneur, unfortunately. It’s great that I have a wife who understands that but it’s taken a few years, unfortunately. It’s been a struggle. I originally started my second agency before selling my first agency and it was just truly a digital marketing agency, a run of the mill with smart and talented people there but there was a lot of competition. We were very fortunate that we ranked on the first page of Google for startup marketing and a company hit us up and filled out our contact form saying “Hey, we’ve got this cool product on Kickstarter but we need some PR help. Can you assist us?” And we were like “what’s Kickstarter?” So we dove into it and fortunately, we were like “yeah, let’s help you out,” and we did a PR campaign for them. They only had two weeks left in their campaign but we ended up doubling their funding. I think we raised another $50,000 for them in two weeks and we were like “this is awesome. We can move the needle really quickly for startups,” and that’s where we got started, basically. We dove in, we started looking at other cool tech products that were on Kickstarter at the time and reaching out to them and helping one or two products a week now. At this point, we’ve helped out over six hundred campaigns now from start to finish. We’ve raised over 150 million dollars for our clients just through Kickstarter and Indiegogo alone over the past six, seven, plus years. It’s been really interesting, the transition, from a pure digital marketing agency to a full service, crowdfunding marketing agency that now also does product development and turnkey product launch for people’s ideas and innovations.
In all of that, what does your day to day role look like?
Roy: My passion is marketing. So, that’s where I do my day-to-day. Really, it’s marketing for Enventys Partners. Figuring out where we need to be one year, three years, five, ten years down the road and strategic partnerships like with Gadget Flow and other partnerships that we have. Like, with our platform providers. Top agencies for both Kickstarter and Indiegogo. We’re an expert on Kickstarter experts like Gadget Flow and really solidifying partnerships where we can be and where we can continue to grow. We’re still one of the fastest growing companies in Charlotte for multiple years now. That’s just been all on the marketing side in terms of the fastest growing. I think, right now, our Facebook team tells us that we have the largest Facebook advertising group out of anyone in the southeast. I’ve got ten dedicated people solely running Facebook ads every single day for our clients. That’s really where I spend all of my time with my management staff on the marketing side and then doing more of the processes and partnership side with our agency.
What’s some advice you could give to people out there who are looking to start or launch something?
Roy: Go and find a mentor or someone that’s done it before in the industry that you’re passionate about. I think, nowadays, people have the best opportunity to do something they’re passionate about and not go and work for corporate America and just sit in a cubicle all day and collect a check and be bored out of your mind and not have any passion in your life with what you’re doing. Nowadays, you can create the job. We’re actually creating new job titles every single week because our agency’s just continuing to grow and take different paths with crowdfunding as the pinnacle of what we’re doing. These job roles don’t exist so we’re hiring people. We have ten to twenty applicants a day coming to us saying “yeah, I want to do that job,” and the job has never existed before. You don’t even know what you’re signing up for, which is fun and exciting to see. They’re just like “yeah, I want to be a part of that startup. I want to be a part of what you guys are doing because it’s so fun and you guys are so passionate about helping entrepreneurs bring products to life.” These are people’s babies. These are their beautiful babies that they have all the passion in the world for and they want to share it with everyone else in the world. We’re fortunate enough that we get to sit on the sidelines and really help bring that product to fruition and help them with their marketing and their messaging and their video and advertising and finding their audience and letting them have conversations with their customers. It’s really fun when we’re doing this, forty or fifty campaigns a month; helping all of these entrepreneurs out and bringing these products to life. So, back to your original question, find a mentor or someone else that’s done it before in that industry and just work for them for free. You have an opportunity to learn from them. Don’t think about collecting a paycheck because the education that you will get from them will be ten or a hundredfold in the future of just sitting there and listening to them on phone calls or seeing how they work in business meetings. Those kinds of things, you’re not going to learn in college. Unfortunately, in this day and age of college and what it is. Whether it’s an apprenticeship, I kind of keep going back to where I think. You really need to have a specialized skill in this workforce because a lot of it is going to be replaced whether it be blockchain or AI or a combination of the two. With robotics, a lot of jobs are going to be replaced by robots. So, having a specialized skill is going to be certainly important in the future where you can’t be replaced.
Have you had a mentor in the past?
Roy: I’ve got a couple. There’s one in particular here in Charlotte that’s kind of been down the startup path multiple times, started companies, and sold companies multiple times so I kind of lean on him when I have questions because he’s done it before and has been down that path. Obviously no one as specific with crowdfunding. There are a few people like in the digital agency realm that own other agencies that I ask questions about or how’s it going. Those kinds of things where we have quarterly check-ins if you will. And then, I’m part of a mastermind group of just the top performing entrepreneurs in the world and that’s really where I have a chance to kind of sit and debrief and ask those kinds of questions and listen to other entrepreneurs and what their pain points are and that’s been extremely helpful in the past few years. Nobody wrote our book. We have to write it. Every single day it’s a new page. You never know what’s going to happen or what cool innovation is going to come through your inbox and that’s what’s really exciting about our job and all the employees that I have.
What are you most excited about moving into the future?
Roy: I truly love helping entrepreneurs and startups bring their babies, bring their best ideas to life. Because a lot of them are tinkerers or makers. They’re really good at hardware or product or fashion or textiles or whatever it may be and they just don’t know how to do the marketing and the messaging and the creative and all of that. We get to do that every single day and really pinpoint what it is they’re trying to make and who their potential customer is. I’m so fortunate to have such an expert team on my side and really handle all of that and walk clients through that all the way through from ideation to marketing and messaging to actually finding the customers and bringing them into a campaign and building their base of brand evangelists that they can always tap into for new product ideas or innovation or feedback. That’s what I’m really excited about. Crowdfunding itself is so young. We’re only I few years in. I don’t even think it’s ten years old yet and Kickstarter has only had 15 million backers in all. That’s really the universe we’re playing in. It’s so small and there are so few people that have actually backed something. We’ve had so many million dollar campaigns that it’s hard to slow it down if you will. Crowdfunding continues to double in size every single year and I don’t see that stopping. I don’t think innovation is going to stop. I think more and more enterprise-type companies are entering crowdfunding as a means to test products before they spend millions on product development. So, we’re fortunate now that we’re working with some really big companies like General Electric and the NFL that have these product ideas that they want to test before they actually spend tens of millions on development and see if it’s something that actually consumers don’t even want.
I’m excited to see these projects live.
Roy: Absolutely. They’ll be on Gadget Flow so don’t worry.
Where can people find you online?
Roy: Personally, you can just find me anywhere I think I’ve got my handle secured on everything. It’s just Roy Morejon. My company is enventyspartners.com. You can find us anywhere there. Other than that, I have my own podcast that I have every week and Gadget Flow is, fortunately, a sponsor of that at artofthekickstart.com. Any of those places, you can find us or what we’re doing and all of the case studies of the cool products that we’re working with.