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Lean Marketing for Early Stage Startups - DreamIt Accelerator - April 2012
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Lean Marketing for Early Stage Startups - DreamIt Accelerator - April 2012

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An interactive workshop led for the startup entrepreneurs selected to participate in the DreamIt Israel Accelerator. …

An interactive workshop led for the startup entrepreneurs selected to participate in the DreamIt Israel Accelerator.

Published in Business , Economy & Finance
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  • 1. Lean Marketing for Early Phase Start-ups Rebecca Steinberg Herson Presented to: DreamIt Tel Aviv Accelerator April 23, 2012 www.theleanmarketer.com Copyright © 2012 Rebecca Steinberg Herson 1
  • 2. A bit about me• Led global marketing for over a decade in tech companies & non-profits• 3 high-growth Deloitte Fast 50 companies• Primarily B2B, some B2C• Today: principal at The Lean Marketer, providing outsourced CMO services• Fan of the Boston Red Sox & Celtics www.theleanmarketer.com 2
  • 3. So this is marketing… www.theleanmarketer.com 3
  • 4. Our ambitious agenda• Getting to know your customers• Getting to know your industry ecosystem• Lean product management• Segmenting your market• Defining your message• Increasing your influence• Calls to action• Promotion• Identifying what’s working (calculating ROI) www.theleanmarketer.com 4
  • 5. Getting to Know your (potential) CustomersYOUR SOLUTION SOLVES A PAIN.WHO SUFFERS FROM THIS PAIN? www.theleanmarketer.com 5
  • 6. Your Customer is Not You www.theleanmarketer.com 6
  • 7. How to get to know your customer • Old days – Focus Groups – Phone surveys – Analyst Reports – Trade Shows  Today www.theleanmarketer.com 7
  • 8. Market Surveys • Use surveys to – test product ideas – confirm your instincts – refine your message – discover new potential customers • Google docs - its completely free – Can be edited collaboratively (whoever you allow) – Lots of available designs, or embed in your own web page or blog • LinkedIn Polls – Survey your own network for free – Survey specific demographics for a fee (~$1/response) www.theleanmarketer.com 8
  • 9. How to get people to fill out the surveys• Post on groups, update your status, tweet, repeat• Beg your friends and beg them to beg their friends• Incentivize them – free ipod/amazon gift certificate/ coffee with the founders… – early access to your beta• Reach out personally – you can send a message to anyone LinkedIn member in the same group as you – Inmail also works but has to be very enticing www.theleanmarketer.com 9
  • 10. Paid Survey Audience Solutions• B2B: – http://www.thinkspeed.com/ $3 - 5K/ survey depending on the audience• B2C: – SurveyMonkey Audience http://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/audience/ – $3.00 per finished response for standard demographics (gender, age, income, education, employment, location. Requires professional plan (~$20/month) www.theleanmarketer.com 10
  • 11. Jump in to Social Media www.theleanmarketer.com 11
  • 12. Identify key people in your industry• Search Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook for relevant people, groups, comments, companies• Follow, read their tweets, check their blogs• Retweet relevant content – people appreciate it and it builds your credibility• Tweet your own thoughts – be authentic• Join relevant groups on LinkedIn, Facebook• “Lurk” for a while before you jump in – think cocktail party• Then, start discussions (LinkedIn)• Correspond with people who enter the discussion• DM influencers (Twitter)• Reach out to people – they are people, and most want to help Become part of the conversation www.theleanmarketer.com 12
  • 13. Trade Shows – a concentrated learningtool• If you attend, do your homework• Check on twitter what people are saying about the event, tweetups planned• Review all the exhibitors and speakers – who do you want to talk to? Do you want to meet the exhibitors or the attendees?• Most of the people in the booths are sales reps – is that who will be most useful for you? Some companies also send executives, but they don’t hang around waiting for visitors; you need to book an appointment• The Press are also there. Don’t bother with them unless you already have a customer they can talk to• Look up the people you want to meet on LinkedIn and memorize what they look like – you just might run into them in a hotel lobby www.theleanmarketer.com 13
  • 14. IDENTIFY 3 WAYS YOU CAN LEARN MOREABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS www.theleanmarketer.com 14
  • 15. Don’t forget, polar bears can be sneakyEXPLORE YOUR ENVIRONMENT www.theleanmarketer.com 15
  • 16. Your Environment• Narrow it down to the relevant: – Competitors – Potential Partners TechCrunch Disrupt is not – Sales Prospects the relevant launchpad for – Journalists/bloggers every startup – Industry analysts  – Marketing channels – Industry events – Etc. www.theleanmarketer.com www.theleanmarketer.com 16
  • 17. Free tools for Web research• Identify industry events, active companies, potential partners, competitors http://www.google.com • Identify market trends over time, estimate potential volume and geographies http://www.google.com/insights/search/• Estimate traffic volume, cost of acquisition, find related keywords https://adwords.google.co.il/o/KeywordTool• Identify your competitors keywords: http://www.keywordspy.com/• Get your questions answered: http://www.quora.com/ www.theleanmarketer.com 17
  • 18. Don’t Know? Post a Q on Quora• http://www.quora.com/ www.theleanmarketer.com www.theleanmarketer.com 18
  • 19. Learning @ LinkedIn www.theleanmarketer.com 19
  • 20. Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg www.theleanmarketer.com 20 Herson
  • 21. IDENTIFY 3 QUERIES THAT WILL HELP YOULEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR ENVIRONMENT(COMPETITORS, CHANNELS, ETC.) www.theleanmarketer.com 21
  • 22. LEAN PRODUCT MANAGEMENT www.theleanmarketer.com 22
  • 23. Test Early and OftenThere is no substitute for watching real people try (and fail) to use your product www.theleanmarketer.com 23
  • 24. Testing Tools• Your brain• All the survey & social networking tools mentioned earlier• http://pickfu.com - $10 for 50 opinions – Use for A/B testing – Gauge popular opinion – Determine consumer preference – Predict consumer behavior www.theleanmarketer.com www.theleanmarketer.com 24
  • 25. WHAT ARE 3 LEAN TESTS YOU CAN RUNBEFORE YOU RELEASE BETA? www.theleanmarketer.com 25
  • 26. SEGMENTING TARGET MARKETS www.theleanmarketer.com 26
  • 27. Identify your ideal customer(s)Build marketing personas• Customer company size / end-user demographic• Vertical industry – finance, medical, retail, automotive, etc.• Geographic location• Who is my potential buyer? What is his/her job title?• Who are my influencers? What are their job titles?• What is the total addressable market?• Who competes in this market already? www.theleanmarketer.com 27
  • 28. Segmenting the market• Different segments will require different marketing strategies• May require slightly different product features• Try to limit yourself to the quickest acting segment at first – for first customers• Later, focus on the most profitable segment www.theleanmarketer.com 28
  • 29. WHO SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST TARGETSEGMENT? WHAT CHARACTERIZES THEM? www.theleanmarketer.com 29
  • 30. DEFINING YOUR MESSAGE www.theleanmarketer.com 30
  • 31. Value Proposition, Elevator Pitch• The unique value you offer to your customers• Boil it down into a very short, medium and long statement• Literally try saying it in the elevator – it’s hard• Test it out on others, especially outside your company• Polish this before you start officially promoting, to maintain consistency www.theleanmarketer.com 31
  • 32. Elevator Pitch TemplateFrom: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/30/startups-give-us-your-best-one-sentence-pitch/ www.theleanmarketer.com 32
  • 33. WHO IS YOUR (INITIAL) TARGET AUDIENCE?WHAT PROBLEM DO YOU HELP THEM SOLVE? www.theleanmarketer.com 33
  • 34. INCREASING YOUR INFLUENCE www.theleanmarketer.com 34
  • 35. Why you need a blog (or FB Page, or Vlog,or Tumblr, or Twitter feed, or…)• It’s the second thing people will look at when they want to understand you and your company• (the first is your LinkedIn profile)• Great for SEO• It becomes your own media channel - who needs ComputerWorld anymore?• Gives you more credibility with the mainstream media – you can become a source for them• Gives you something to tweet, for people to retweet, and for them to comment on – gets you into the conversation• Of course, you need to have something to say www.theleanmarketer.com 35
  • 36. Start your blog (or X…)• Blog can be your own personal blog, that is, if you have enough to say on your own• If you open a company blog, you will have more options for contributors• Facebook pages have lots of blog-ish options; main drawback: not searchable• Be authentic• Talk about issues in the industry• Comment on newsworthy items• Offer advice• Blog at least 2 months before you want to publicize it – This ensures you know what you’re getting into and can maintain it – You will have archived content from day 1• If you’re vlogging, include keyword-heavy descriptions for each video• Include CALLS TO ACTION in your blog or near your posts• Don’t know what to write about? http://blog.kissmetrics.com/topic-generation-machine/ www.theleanmarketer.com 36
  • 37. THINK OF 5 IDEAS YOU CANBLOG/VLOG/TWEET ABOUT www.theleanmarketer.com 37
  • 38. THE CALL TO ACTION www.theleanmarketer.com 38
  • 39. Calls To Action• Sign up for our newsletter• Visit our web site• Download this white paper• Enter this contest• Meet us at this event• What do you think about X? Tell us in the comments• Register for our free version• View this webinar• Answer our survey• Call our hotline… operators standing by• BUY!!! www.theleanmarketer.com 39
  • 40. Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg www.theleanmarketer.com 40 Herson
  • 41. www.theleanmarketer.com 41
  • 42. www.theleanmarketer.comwww.theleanmarketer.com 42
  • 43. www.theleanmarketer.com 43
  • 44. WHAT ARE 5 DIFFERENT CALLS TO ACTION YOUCAN USE TO MARKET YOUR SOLUTION? www.theleanmarketer.com 44
  • 45. MARKETING PROMOTION www.theleanmarketer.com 45
  • 46. Promotion Social Networking MIT Sloane School Marketing Management Course Lecture www.theleanmarketer.com 46
  • 47. Public Relations• Keep track of articles that cover your industry – these are most likely the journalists you will want to contact when the time comes• Journalists look for newsworthy stories: – Timely – Conflict – Unexpected – Meaningful• Craft your “pitch” based on what you’ve learned about the journalist – what kinds of stories does s/he write?• Try for the less obvious publications – you may find coverage easier to achieve www.theleanmarketer.com 47
  • 48. Trade Shows/ Conferences • You don’t necessarily have to exhibit (expensive!!) – try visiting the first time, and making appointments – great research tool • Apply for speaking engagements even if you don’t exhibit • Check with the organizers if they have any matching-type services to bring relevant people to you • Request the press list in advance and reach out to relevant journalists before you get there • Tweet that you’re going; update your LinkedIn profile; Facebook • Don’t expect the relevant leads to show up just because you are there. You need to make the meeting happen. www.theleanmarketer.com 48
  • 49. HOW TO KNOW WHAT’S WORKING (ROI) www.theleanmarketer.com 49
  • 50. How to Measure What’s Working?• SALES (of course)• What if you’re not selling? Divide your pipeline into specific stages, and track opportunities as they progress Traditional Enterprise Product: Social/ SaaS: 1-Qualified suspect – meets our 1-free trial registrant criteria 2-spent time on site/app 2-Initiated contact 3-populated personal profile 3-Interest expressed – potential 4-asked support question opportunity identified … … 8-signed up for 1 month paid 9-Verbal commitment to purchase 9-Renewed for 1 year paid Closed Won Closed Lost Stalled/Postponed www.theleanmarketer.com 50
  • 51. Sample Pipeline by Lead Source 14 12 Trade Show London 10 Twitter 8 6 Google Ads 4 Webinar on 2 Security Articles 0 Stage Stage Stage Stage Sold 6 7 8 9 www.theleanmarketer.com 51
  • 52. Measuring Conversion Rate 4700 Email blast sent 1175 Invitations Opened 25% open rate 94 Unique page views 2% of invited 41 Respondents 44% page conversion 58 Attendees Attendees > respondents indicates WOM www.theleanmarketer.com 52
  • 53. Iterate, Iterate and Iterate Again• Build in feedback models – A-B testing – Track opens, clicks, event attendance, registrations, etc.• Do it better the next time• Adjust your message• Adjust your demo• Adjust your home page• Adjust your marketing channel• Try to improve the # of leads coming into the funnel• Track and improve your conversion rate at every step in the funnel www.theleanmarketer.com 53
  • 54. WHAT SALES STAGES ARE MEANINGFULFOR MY BUSINESS? www.theleanmarketer.com 54
  • 55. That first (second or third) customer• Revenue is important, but in the early stage these are even more important:• Feedback that can help improve the product• Testimonial - a customer approves a quote for your web site or other marketing materials – “This product is great because it solves such & such problem…”• Case study – customer goes on the record with before/ after data and quotes• Reference – customer agrees to talk to other potential customers, journalists or analysts about how great you are www.theleanmarketer.com 55
  • 56. Useful Marketing Resourceshttp://theleanmarketer.commarketing resource list in right column, scroll downHighly recommended reading: www.theleanmarketer.com 56
  • 57. Thank You! Rebecca Steinberg Herson rebecca@theleanmarketer.com +972-54-444-2372http://il.linkedin.com/in/rebeccaherson www.theleanmarketer.com 57