Nabo was a private social media platform for neighbours and neighbourhoods, in a similar way to the global platform called Nextdoor.
Nabo let local neighbours connect online (sharing local info, events, recommendations, etc) on a private platform that was closed to those not in your immediate suburb or location.
- CMO for Hire
- Marketing Strategy
- User Engagement
- Google Ads
- Content Strategy and creation
While growing at a solid pace, growth & engagement needed to be kickstarted to enable it to maximise its remaining funding runway as well as provide metrics that would bring further investment.
Passionberry provided the Head of Marketing to both build the strategy, mentor a young team, and use its network of experts and contacts to help drive the growth needed to outshine the competition.
Nabo is all about community which means focusing on the benefits you get from the content you find on the platform. The challenge is that Nabo is relatively walled off from other communities as you can see what's in your suburbs, but not in suburbs further away. The social proof of the impact Nabo was having needed to be harnessed.
Our active members had deeply bought into the idea of local neighbourhoods and community, even though they felt we hadn’t lived up to that mission yet. But they believed in the mission so we needed to find a way to use this to help better connect members.
Scaling: Making sure one thing, does three things.
The answer to all the issues facing Nabo was to use the strength of the community and better enable it to deliver on the mission. This required doing a number of things, some of which are outlined below.
After a full assessment of the current metrics and using the excellent data and analytics setup by the executive team, we were able to identify that we were behind the averages you’d expect from any high performing community. This enables Passionberry to get key stakeholder engagement for a significant shift in both strategy and tactics.
The Marketing team set the strategy, keeping the content plan in place but looking for community members to support it. We focused on internal communications with suburb leads to get them involved in the process so that over time, when they saw the results, they would become stronger advocates.
One of our early tactics was to build out a large survey for all members to take. Traditionally this may get low interest but given the community (and some monetary incentives) we were able to get thousands of responses which enabled us to find out more about their expectations, what they wanted from the platform and suggested improvements. We were also then able to use this for PR as well as sending the information back to all members so they could see the size of the Nabo community nationally, rather than just what they saw in their local suburb (social proof).
This data also enabled us to build out 3 key types of members that we wanted to attract, as they would not only become members, they would likely engage and in some instances create content (which would feed engagement and acquisition). It was clear a busy and engaged community grew faster than any other so we created the environment for that to happen.
These audiences then became what all paid advertising was focused on getting. Our metrics focused not just on CAC, but on the cost of acquiring an engaged member 3 months after joining. By doing this, along with other engagement tactics, we drove a 140% increase in retention after 3 months, and doubled the % of users creating content. Both of these metrics placed Nabo in the top tier of global measures for community based metrics
Other elements we addressed with urgency:
- Reviewed all automated and marketing emails (including onboarding) to ensure the copy was useful and drove people to the platform.
- Developed reactivation campaigns for past members who lived in engaged suburbs.
- Marketing Emails were developed to go out 2-3 times per week for specific audiences (Local Events, Nabo Monthly Update).
- Regular support for suburb leads, while also adding 1-2 extra leads to support that group.
- Active education about content that was being shared in other groups was shared with suburb leads, and eventually shared nationally as inspiration for members to create themselves.
- Supported and sometimes sponsored in-person events lead by local members.
When building a revenue model out of a free platform, Passionberry focused on Nabo using the core premise of Nabo (local community content and connecting) to provide revenue, greater engagement and potential member acquisition.
The team focused on advertisers who could provide that content in a way that adds value to the platform and that users would like. This focused on local specific campaigns from big corporates who needed a local presence and tailored message. These drove above average results during the time we could run these campaigns prior to the Nextdoor acquisition.
By the time we were acquired 9 months after the start of our engagement, we were able to compare our growth and engagement numbers to the global #1, Nextdoor.
When comparing our metrics at the end of year 3 for each startup, Nabo was 6 months behind Nextdoor in member numbers and key engagement metrics. After 3 years and 9 months, Nabo was 6 months AHEAD of where Nextdoor had been at the same time. This led to Geoff presenting on Nabo’s behalf to the Global marketing team for Nextdoor.
Drove 18 months of growth in 9 months
Created a sales model delivering $20k/month
20% over delivery on expected member numbers
3x Engagement on Platform
4.5x improvement in cost per active members
Geoff is an exceptional leader with high energy and a grounded approach, possessing extensive expertise in marketing and scale-up operations. He immediately brought his skills to bear on our Marketing Strategy, identifying early wins and helping to organize our efforts for greater impact. Geoff blends a strategic perspective with a hands-on, get-things-done approach, working collaboratively with me and our Executive team.
Geoff is a straight shooter, always constructive in his feedback and suggestions. He quickly became a trusted member of our team, thanks to his proven ability to deliver results. He developed a strong acquisition and retention strategy, which showed significant improvements in key metrics within just a few weeks.
I wholeheartedly recommend Geoff to startups or established businesses looking to grow and scale. With his unique skill set and collaborative approach, Geoff is an ideal partner for achieving your business goals.