Traditionally , the commercial construction and design industry has used expensive, traditional marketing efforts to showcase their services and lines of products, and relied on old relationships to generate new business.
It’s been difficult for individuals in need of commercial-grade products or services to find inspiration, and individuals and companies to work with, without spending a lot of time and money.
The construction industry has lagged other sectors in adoption of digital technologies, leading to inefficiencies in sourcing and project management. But that is changing as innovative suppliers recognize opportunities to improve commercial building processes.
Here’s the story of what happened when Steve Pulley and two other relationship-driven individuals approached an industry that was lacking in the tools needed to efficiently explore, engage, and connect to make commercial construction and design dreams a reality, and decided to take on the challenge.
Mortarr streamlines how architects, designers, builders, and an entire industry find inspiration and make connections in commercial construction and design. No other platform, company, or association is bringing the commercial industry together in this manner. Within a few clicks, users can find the inspiration they need, products they want and find people they’d like to work with.
It’s an online platform that lets builders, suppliers, and service providers create a company profile to get found by people searching for inspiration and partners for commercial construction projects.
Mortarr is the single online source for inspiration, products, and pros in the commercial construction and design industry.
Year founded: 2017. Mortarr started as The Marketing Plant in 2013, a boutique branding and design agency. Through design work, co-founders Abby Murray and Amy Petersen identified the need for a platform like Mortarr, and the idea was born. In 2017, The Marketing Plant pivoted into Mortarr.
Funding rounds: Self-Funded and Friends & Family Round. Series A Round planned this year.
- Over 800 company subscribers
- Over 4,000 individual subscribers
- Over 28,000 photos from our company subscribers showcased on the site
Webbiquity: What inspired you to work on a solution to this particular problem?
Steve Pulley: Our personal experience. As I mentioned, my partners, Abby and Amy, owned a boutique branding and design agency and were continually coming up against roadblocks when looking for inspiration for their clients’ projects, professionals to work with, and the ability to identify commercial-grade products.
They spent countless hours on rabbit-hole internet searches and pulling information from magazines, websites, trade pubs, Google image searches, etc. And there were expensive sourcing trips, sourcing and lugging heavy samples to and from only to find the samples were not quite right. They wanted a better way to work for their clients—and together we knew we could create one.
Webbiquity: What were the most effective channels or methods for you to get the word out to prospective customers when you first launched your product?
SP: Social media and other inbound marketing efforts were critical in introducing our brand and messaging to the market. We also tapped into relationships we had built in the industry, through previous careers and personal relationships.
And we attended a lot of industry trade shows—we still do! We wanted to go where the industry was, introduce people to Mortarr, and physically show them how we can solve a lot of their daily, professional pain points.
Webbiquity: Finish this sentence: “Knowing what I know now, if I were starting over today, what I would do differently is…”
SP: I do wish we had skipped the soft-launch phase, and just hit the market hard with an MVP. We made a very conscious decision to do a soft launch of Mortarr. We were extremely careful to make sure the site was beautiful and functional in V 1.0.
We were so focused on the tech at that point—we felt we had to be—but I wish we had spent more time and money on sales and marketing.
Webbiquity: What’s the most important advice you could offer to an entrepreneur starting out today?
SP: Know that everything is going to be twice as hard, take twice as long, and be twice as expensive as you think it will be. Just recognize that as part of the process, come to terms with it, and move on. Also, grit is highly underrated.