Startup Marketing: A Systems Approach


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Many startups approach marketing in a very tactics-oriented way by selecting how they will market and then tuning that based on prospect responses. In this presentation I make a case for a more systematic approach that starts and ends with customer knowledge. This presentation was given at The International Startup Festival in Montreal on July 12, 2012

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Startup Marketing: A Systems Approach

  1. 1. A Systems Approach to Startup Marketing A solution to random acts of marketing April Dunford @aprildunford
  2. 2. April DunfordAs a marketing exec: 6 startups: 4 launches, $1B revenue, $2B acquisitions 3 big companies: 2 product line launches, $3B revenue, 8 acquisitions (buy side)As a Marketing Bon Vivant/Gallivanter: project-based marketing work, advisor, instructor, investor, coffee/be er drinker
  3. 3. How does an engineerbecome a career marketer?
  4. 4. Step 1: Get friend to give you a marketing jobStep 2: Don’t get fired(Pro tip: Step 2 is way harder than Step 1)
  5. 5. What I learned reading 100’smarketing books plus taking a ton of marketing courses:
  6. 6. Marketing theory is useless(until after you know what you’re doing)
  7. 7. The 5th P of Marketing: Pissed off!
  8. 8. Meanwhile:“Hack me some $$, Growth Hacker!!”
  9. 9. So I started doing“marketing” stuff.
  10. 10. The Cycle of Marketing Meh Marketing Fashion Assessment* Select Improve tactics Measure Execute* Where you look at what everyone else is doing
  11. 11. 1. No relationship or consistency between the tactics2. Assumptions were always a problem3. I couldn’t always answer “stupid” questions
  12. 12. But sometimes I could
  13. 13. Can greatstartup marketing be modeled?
  14. 14. Inputs3 aspects of customer knowledge Who they are How they view solutions How they buy stuff
  15. 15. Customer WorksheetSegment 1, 2, 3Company Characteristics:Geography, size, industryStuff they do, type of customer they serve, how they sell, theirecosystem, budgets, risk tolerance, power structure, etc.Consumer/Decision Maker 1, 2, 3:Characteristics: demographics, education, skills, interests, motivations, goalsPain: list of things that drives this group crazyWhere they hang out: Social networks, communities, associations/groups, eventsWhere they find out about stuff: Search engines, word of mouth, peers, media outlets, blogs, experts, influencers/famous people
  16. 16. Offering Worksheet (Customer Perspective)What do we do?What market are we in?Competitive Alternatives:Examples: Do nothing, manual effort, Word/Excel,competitive productKey Differentiated Points of ValueWhen compared to the alternatives above the specificvalue you bring that the others don’t.ProofCustomer references, 3rd partyreviews, statistics, metrics, expert endorsements,
  17. 17. Sales Process Consider-Awareness Purchase Renewal ation
  18. 18. Buying ProcessAcceleratorsKnowing Knowing Knowing Why Using and Knowing Ithe cost of the Value the value purchase enjoy the can’t donot solving of solving of your now? offering without thethe the solution offeringproblem problem No Re- Need Eval Buy Enjoy Need newCurrent Value not Not I might Bad Decidedsolution compelling knowing change service, there wasgood Risks too how to my mind Bad user no needenough high evaluate Too much experience Move to Great but $ Not using other not for me solutionFriction points
  19. 19. TacticsSelected based on: Who you need to reach Where you can reach them Stages where the friction is What you need to do to move them to the next stage
  20. 20. OperationsPlans based on selected tactics Email marketing plan/process/calendar Paid traffic plan/process Content plan/calendar Social media plan/calendar Media/Influencer relations plan/calendar …
  21. 21. MetricsHow prospects are flowing through the buying process
  22. 22. AnalysisWhat conclusions can you draw?How do these impact the inputs?
  23. 23. The Circle of Marketing Awesome Project plans Tactical Execution Customer Offering Inputs Outputs MetricsBuying Process Analysis Conclusions
  24. 24. Thanks!
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