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How Startups Are Changing Marketing As We Know It
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How Startups Are Changing Marketing As We Know It


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My talk for the HPX Digital 2013 conference: how the future of marketing is happening at startups.

My talk for the HPX Digital 2013 conference: how the future of marketing is happening at startups.

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  • 1. How startups are changing marketing as we know it Amrita Chandra @amritachandra
  • 2. When I graduated from university in the early 90s, the best jobs for marketers were in big companies. I was one of the lucky ones, managing to get hired by one. Life was good. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/dnguy3n  
  • 3. In order to rise through the ranks I did what every ambitious bigcompany person did at the time – I went back to school to get my MBA. I was drawn to a place known for fostering entrepreneurs.
  • 4. Even though I was tempted to start my own company, I chose the safe route, continuing to work for big companies. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/Dave  Catchpole  
  • 5. At the time, working in a startup or small company seemed like the cheap imitation of the real thing. Doing great marketing required great budgets, which startups didn’t have. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/ll_bly_ca  
  • 6. In the late 90s, things started to change.
  • 7. My first tech startup job Source:  Wikipedia  
  • 8. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/Filiola   But even back then, you needed money to make noise.
  • 9. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/Filiola   Ads Buying lists Direct mail Custom creative PR agency Trade shows
  • 10. Eventually, the dot-com boom turned into the dot-com bust. It was a terrible time to be a startup marketer. It was tough to find work and budgets were tight. Sucked to be a startup marketer Source:  Wikipedia  
  • 11. A noticeable shift started happening around 2007. That set the stage for how marketing is being done today. A few market changes lay the foundation for startups to excel at marketing. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/t  Theatre  
  • 12. Shift #1: The social web created affordable channels of communication
  • 13. Shift 2: SaaS + cloud = affordable marketing technology
  • 14. Shift 3: Our expectations around work changed
  • 15. Prestige Corner office Security Stability Impact Remote work Possibility Flexibility Resources Resourcefulness
  • 16. 5 areas where startups are transforming marketing as we know it
  • 17. #1:" Customer insights
  • 18. Pressly is a startup that makes a platform that allows marketers to turn various streams of content into an interactive experience ideal for mobile devices.
  • 19. When you sign up for an account, you get this message from Pressly’s CEO. Try replying. It’s really him on the other end. He wants you to have the best experience possible using Pressly.
  • 20. The CEO of TripLingo blogged about the importance of CEOs doing front-line customer support. He said he mans their live chat account so I thought I’d see if he was telling the truth… J
  • 21. As Asigra’s head of marketing I made a point to talk to customers every single day. In fact, everyone on my team did. We got customer insights beyond anything traditional market research provided.
  • 22. # 2: Marketing operations
  • 23. Planning in short sprints Image  credit:  FlickrCC/l  Robertson  
  • 24. Daily standup meetings Image  credit:  FlickrCC/il  Crosby  
  • 25. (iDoneThis built their company around this)
  • 26. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/_mdanys   Teaming up marketers with their design and developer counterparts.
  • 27. Startup Zapier has a distributed team, with marketing sitting in a different state than the folks he works with every day.
  • 28. Startup marketers can now access tools that allow them to collaborate in ways they couldn’t in the past.
  • 29. # 3: Hiring
  • 30. Getting a marketing job used to require: 1.  2.  Degree* Upward progression through traditional marketing tracks Demonstration of “stability” 3.  *bonus if from a good school
  • 31. Startup marketing job description
  • 32. In other words: 1.  Know how to get shit done 2.  Have a great attitude
  • 34. #4: Measurement
  • 35. In the old days we were measured by how many leads we generated, how many press mentions we got, and how much budget we secured. Image  credit:  FlickrCC/M  Taylor  
  • 36. Today, this is a typical dashboard for a startup marketer.
  • 37. Startup marketers are fluent in data analysis in ways marketers weren’t in the past. Here’s a blog post from startup Uberflip
  • 38. Tools like Woopra, MixPanel and Kissmetrics give startup marketers real-time visibility into marketing results. In the past this was unaffordable or unavailable.
  • 39. That’s not to say that we no longer need storytellers, content creators, creativity… Image  credit:  FlickrCC/fireflythegreat  
  • 40. But even those folks use data to help them make decisions… Image  credit:  FlickrCC/fireflythegreat  
  • 41. The availability and affordability of SaaS marketing technology leads to frequent experimentation Image  source:  
  • 42. #5: Re-imagining Marketing
  • 43. Customer Service Marketing is now the sum of all experiences someone has with your company Employee Experience Social Media Interaction User Experience Image  credit:  FlickrCC/GabPRR   Vendor Experience
  • 44. Buyers are communicating with other buyers in ways marketers can’t control.
  • 45. “In the absence of communication among your customers, advertising rules. But when customers talk to each other, it’s the way customer experience works for each one that counts.” @Martha_Rogers Founder, Peppers & Rogers Group Author, Extreme Trust
  • 46. This is marketing
  • 47. This is marketing
  • 48. Asigra took something as “boring” as backup and fostered a community of customers who felt like Backup Heroes. They asked for capes, we delivered! This is marketing
  • 49. This is marketing
  • 50. Maptia moved their team to Morocco …This is marketing Image  credit:  FlickrCC/heatheronhertravels  
  • 51. This is marketing 37signals promote remote working and give their audience a glimpse inside their employees’ work spaces.
  • 52. Sugru tapped into the passion of DIYers and created a cult following around their product.
  • 53. Trying to out-spend your way to your customer is an arms race that’s hard to win. Instead, startups are perfectly positioned to: Out-know Out-teach Out-inspire Out-hack Out-solve Out-love their way into the hearts and minds of people. Just ask Johnny Cupcakes…
  • 54. Thank you, HPX! @amritachandra
  • 55. p.s. If you liked this presentation, I would love it if you’d share it.