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Out-Of-The-Box Marketing
NodaFi Turns Conference Obstacle Into Golden Opportunity
By Ciera Rupp

odaFi is a modern computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) “that empowers businesses to confidently and easily manage thousands of assets across numerous facilities at maximum efficiency, reducing costs and improving safety,” according to their company’s website. They provide a modern, cloud-based platform that makes facility management feasible. When keeping track of maintenance, it’s easy to lose sight of menial, trivial tasks that may seem insignificant on an individual level but can cause a larger impact if left to build over time. NodaFi has created a system that tracks miniscule maintenance tasks, necessary reparations, etc., henceforth, upkeeping a sustainable budget that mitigates necessity for large-scale repairs in the long run.

As NodaFi makes their way into the facility management circle, they naturally wanted to attend the ISS World Expo in Las Vegas. Trade shows provide the opportunity to advertise and promote one’s company through booths and sponsorships. When NodaFi arrived at the conclusion and could not secure a booth at the trade show, they began to devise a creative approach to get to the conference, make themselves as visible as possible, and reach potential clients and partners. Jacob Pandl, NodaFi’s founder and CEO, mentions they wanted “to get out there and have a successful conference.”

After some deliberation, they decided to take a different approach to advertise their company. Rather than resigning themselves to a low-key presence, they transformed an obstacle into an opportunity by offering a unique service for the conference: They provided transportation, shuttling attendees to the venue while advertising their company through the complimentary rides.

The mode of transportation chosen was a Tesla cybertruck. While cybertrucks are a polarizing topic as of late, renting one for this purpose provided a great means of transportation that was also extremely attention-grabbing. Their first move was to put the NodaFi logo on the vehicle, hoping to convey their company prominently. They then quickly realized that people attending the conference would inevitably require transportation; this led to them posting an enrollment form on LinkedIn. Seizing this opportunity immediately proved to be a fruitful effort, as there were about 40 takers. Initially, the intended outcome of this shuttling proposal, as Pandl puts it, was to “meet new people and have conversations,” which is exactly what happened. This differentiated them from other vendors, as they were the only company bold enough to take such an innovative approach.

Many third-party management companies and operators within the storage industry chatted with NodaFi about their work and what it entails. Pandl described NodaFi’s goal as not only raising brand awareness but also as establishing relationships within the industry. By providing transportation, the company could engage in meaningful exchanges, learning about other businesses’ needs while showcasing their own services. This pure and utter moment of networking provided an opportunity to advertise their business while forging new, genuine connections within the industry. This whole operation not only filled a logistical need but also ensured maximum visibility for NodaFi.

During their rides, they made sure to keep the conversations casual, as they did not want to come off as overbearing with personal sales. According to Pandl, during their transportation of individuals to the conference, there were, “tons of people talking about facility operations and preventative maintenance scheduling,” which is exactly what NodaFi specializes in. By transporting attendees, NodaFi created a mobile networking platform, fostering a relaxed atmosphere conducive to discussions about facility operations and other relevant topics. Pandl says, “We were there to meet people, provide a memorable experience, and see where it led.”

Their casual, yet hopeful, approach is reflective of their mission as a company. NodaFi’s goal is to subtly make facility maintenance an easier and smoother process. Pandl describes their company as, “picking up where other PMS [payment management systems] leave off and managing and putting together solid facility operations; we’re implementing and executing that.” He further implores that the online platform provides facilities with the ability to “track the little things that you may not remember to keep track of all the time,” providing tailored solutions for facility operations and management.

The entirety of the interactions in the cybertruck generated business and notoriety for NodaFi, leading them to continue in their growth as a company. Pandl says their projected goal was to “make a big splash and get our name out there. We’re somewhat new to the space.” Networking is an extremely constructive method to expand one’s connections and clientele, which is exactly what NodaFi achieved in this case. They took a structured networking event, expanded upon it, and used it to their utmost advantage. This cutting-edge motion of theirs has, perhaps, paved a new way for companies to approach marketing, as it’s to their benefit to stand out the way they did.

Making Waves
NodaFi’s success at the trade show had a ripple effect. The innovative advertising approach generated buzz and increased interest in their services. As a result, Pandl’s participation in Scott Meyers’ Self Storage Investing podcast highlighted NodaFi’s approach to facility management and its modern, technology-driven solutions. This further solidified the company’s growing reputation as an industry leader. By leveraging their unique marketing strategy, NodaFi captured the attention of a broader audience, leading to increased business and recognition within the self-storage sector. In fact, they have doubled their number of self-storage facility partners.

NodaFi’s recent successes have put the company on a trajectory toward greater industry prominence, and they are eagerly anticipating future opportunities to continue building their brand. The company’s creative and unconventional approach to marketing at the trade show demonstrated their knack for innovation, and this momentum will be key as they look toward upcoming conferences and industry events. NodaFi recognizes that the self-storage and facility management industries are evolving, with technology playing an increasingly vital role. By staying attuned to these trends, they can tailor their marketing efforts to resonate with industry stakeholders.

The key takeaway from NodaFi’s experience is the value of creative problem-solving in marketing and networking. Instead of relying on traditional trade show tactics, they transformed a transportation service into a brand-building opportunity, leading to successful outcomes. Their forward-thinking provides a promising future for them and other companies to follow. By thinking outside the box, they not only gained attention but also established lasting connections, demonstrating that sometimes the best way to stand out is to find an unconventional path.

Ciera Rupp is a New York-based freelance writer with a passion for crafting engaging content across various niches. She specializes in captivating storytelling and delivering informative, impactful narratives that resonate with audiences.