Bowery Capital > Portfolio  > #BCsummit: How Namely made a name for itself

#BCsummit: How Namely made a name for itself

If you’re based in New York like us, you probably first heard of Namely from hailing a cab, taking the subway or simply walking by a bus stop kiosk. Namely – the HR & payroll technology – kicked off the trend of digitally savvy startups reverting back to traditional advertising methods, such as 2-D public transport ads.

namely logo

That’s right. Before Q3 of this year, Namely had spent zero dollars on marketing, and relied solely on inside sales leads.

And when they finally proactively marketed themselves, they opted for traditional, geo-targeted channels instead of paid search or targeted ads.

Asking ‘How do you create as much awareness possible without driving up CAC costs?’ CEO and founder Matt Straz and his team deployed 20 bus station kiosk ads in Flatiron and Union Square, as well as ads atop taxis and in subway cars.

“The best time to get to HR people is on their commute to and from work,” Straz explained. So that’s what they did. “I had been taking the Metro North train for 10 years, and I was so sick of seeing bad ads, but I also knew that we had key customers riding that train.”

On the branding front, Namely made a point to engage with simplicity. Other than great cases like SAP, according to Straz, B2B companies tend to “try to get too complicated with the messaging,” suggesting that companies streamline messages and get it down to the absolute minimum in order to break through the clutter in the marketing market. Namely, for instance, simply has its company name, blue background, and a listing of the company features on its recognizable and engaging ads.

30% of HR people can be reached through the trade audience. The other 70% are the nextgen of HR – those hyper-growth company HR professionals whose schedules do not lend themselves to trade shows and traditional events.

The results? A massive halo effect. The ads not only increased site visits and engaged top engineering talent, but also caught the attention of its Series B investors, preemptively in fact. What’s more, Namely saw a 3X increase of inbound sales leads.

Namely kicked off October by replicating the program in Boston and San Francisco, and have already seen comparable results…increasing sales, namely.

Nic Poulos
Nic Poulos
Nic is a former Partner at Bowery Capital. He is currently a Partner at Fifth Wall Ventures based in Los Angeles. Prior to forming Bowery Capital, Nic was an Associate at AOL Ventures where he helped drive investment in and support of over 20 companies, primarily in the enterprise software space. Before AOL Ventures, he served as a Manager at, leading various business development initiatives focused around ad tech and sales. Earlier, Nic worked as a technology investment banking analyst at GCA Savvian Advisors in the firm’s Internet group. While there, he participated in the acquisitions of Broadband Enterprises and, as well as various early- and mid-stage private financings. Nic holds an A.B. in History from Princeton University.