Offleash Research Reveals Marketing Musts for a Pre-IPO Company

Posted on September 27, 2018

By Thea Roberti

Offleash is no stranger to helping clients navigate their IPO journey. We have walked through this journey with companies such as Apigee most recently, Aerohive, and many others. And we are currently seeing an IPO path for more of our clients and the market overall.

Given the coming uptick in IPOs, and to ensure that our strategies and tactics are always cutting-edge, our research practice recently performed an in-depth study to validate and fine-tune our IPO marketing methodology.

We examined two recent, successful IPOs – MongoDB and Zscaler. We chose them based on similarity of size and industry segment compared to our client base. Starting 12 months out from their IPO, we looked at every aspect of their marketing and communications efforts. We analyzed announcements, media results, interviews, speeches, bylines, award submissions, event participation, product releases and more, noting changes in their approach and storylines as they moved closer to valuation.

Zscaler’s path could be described as more concentrated and narrowly focused compared to MongoDB’s, which was a larger, full-blown campaign effort with multiple components. That said, there were definite similarities between the two that indicated a clear recipe for success or “IPO Marketing Blueprint.”

Based on what we learned, here are a few key considerations and questions to ask yourself as you start down the road to IPO:

  • Examine your message. Is it highly technical, buried in the product weeds, or too focused on your vertical markets? As you draw closer to IPO, you will need to garner the attention of the business press more than ever, and this might require you to uplevel your story. You may need to pivot to messaging that appeals to a business audience.
  • How will you tell your growth story? Investors will want to see both demonstrated and continued growth. What vehicles will you use to highlight growth – e.g., partners, customers, or products that expand into new market categories?
  • Consider a stage for major announcements – not just figuratively, but literally. There will likely be one major lightning strike in the last three to four months leading up to IPO. They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, so don’t miss the opportunity to go big. Think about a major conference, with all eyes upon you, as a venue for your news.

If you would like access to our full study, please feel free to reach me here.

Thea Roberti is Offleash’s chief research analyst, providing competitive analysis, industry research, media analysis, social media research, marketing channel analysis, and influencer intelligence. Contact Thea at thea@offleashpr.com