Ad-free growth: This business grew to $1m without spending on ads

There is no shortage of ways a small business can choose to splash cash on advertising, but some growing companies say they’re barely spending a cent.

“What we do is continually evolving, but from the very beginning the thing that has worked best for us is word-of-mouth,” says chief executive of edtech startup Mappen, Danny Ritterman.

Mappen, which Ritterman runs with three co-founders including his mother Karen Green and brother Mark, is targeted at teachers to help them plan lessons.

Educational providers can use the system to build lesson structures and make sure their work is up-to-date with the current curriculum and best practice.

The business now turns over more than $1 million but the most the startup has ever spent on advertising is $1,000 on Facebook. The approach was quickly ditched because it ended up costing $30 or $40 to reach each end user.

Resisting temptation

Ritterman says paid ads are always tempting for a new startup like Mappen, but the team has come to the conclusion there are much better ways of building a community around a product.

“It [advertising] feels like an easy fix when you’ve got a product and the product is good. Read more

Emma Koehn – Brisbane Times – 30 Dec 2018