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5 Key Startup Marketing Questions


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Marketing do's and don'ts for early stage startups, as presented to the Collide Village accelerator in Dec 2014

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5 Key Startup Marketing Questions

  1. 1. Marketing Do’s and Don’ts For Early Stage Startups By Aassia Haq Presented to Collide Village Accelerator Addison, Texas Dec 12, 2014
  2. 2. 5 Key Startup Marketing Questions • Why do I exist? (Startup, not YOU!) • Who is the customer I need to speak to? (if only I had the money, skills, connections?) • Do I have a clear brand story? (Positioning and brand architecture) • Is my market space competitive (or am I first-mover?) Trick question • If my product/service went away who would care most? (other than me/my cofounders?)
  3. 3. 1. Why Do I Exist? (Startup, Not YOU!) IIInInnnfffofooorrrrmmmmaaaattttiioioioonnnn AAAAwwwwaaaarrrreeeennnneeeessssssss AAAAggggrrrreeeeeeeemmmmeeeennnntttt CCCChhhhaaaannnnggggeeee • Don’t underestimate the cost of changing behavior (marketing continuum) • Do start with functional benefits; persistently work to build awareness • Don’t think customer feels the urgency you do for your product/service • Do use video, testimonials, ratings and other trust tools that emulate face to face conversation to create agreement and behavior change • Do personally evangelize & story-tell in social channels - CEO is best salesperson and can best answer - why does this exist?
  4. 4. 2. Who is the Customer I Need to Speak to (If Only I had Money, Skills, Connections?) MMMMVVVVCCCC • Do find your most valuable customer - and spend more time on them • Don’t try to attack multiple segments at once, each requires equal effort • Don’t think or say your product is for everyone. (80/20 rule) • Don’t forget to focus on partners/channels that touch your MVC - build a partner marketing plan and ensure partners can easily outreach to you • Do personally evangelize & story-tell in social channels - CEO is best salesperson and can best answer - why does this exist?
  5. 5. 3. Do I have a Clear Brand Story? (Positioning, Architecture, Communication) Template for a Positioning Statement For (target audience), (brand name) is the (frame of reference) that delivers (benefit/point of difference) because only (brand name) is reason to believe). Read: OR (Listerine) • Do team to create positioning statement, vision/mission (include MVC and VC/Angel in process) • Don’t reinvent your message - be disciplined & consistent (esp you CEO!) • Don’t be verbose - be straightforward + let MVC show & tell story of your brand • Don’t forget UX/UI - your Web site/product embodies your brand, it’s not an afterthought and designers should be briefed on brand architecture
  6. 6. 4. Is My Market Space Competitive? (Or Am I First Mover) - Trick question FFiirrsstt MMoovveerr BBuurrddeenn FFiirrsstt MMoovveerr BBuurrddeenn == == CCaatteeggoorryy ++ PPrroodduucctt CCaatteeggoorryy ++ PPrroodduucctt IInnvveessttmmeenntt IInnvveessttmmeenntt • Don’t underestimate the cost & time needed to build awareness for a new segment (take bigger $ to quickly amp awareness if product ready for it) • Don’t talk to your customer about being a first mover - they don’t care • Do focus on positive (product benefit) not negative (how you are better than/different than XYZ competitor, since they trust that entity more) • Don’t assume customers want to solve the pain point - the chaos in their life and prioritization is your biggest competitor
  7. 7. 5. If My Product/Service Disappeared, Who Would Care Most? (Other Than Me/CoFounders)? BBBBaaaacccckkkk t tttoooo M MMMVVVVCCCC • Do build a deep, trusted relationship with early adopters - listen hard • Do reward MVCs, with recognition, prizes, conferences, Google hangouts • Don’t be afraid to ask for money; everything in life ain’t free - price for profit or you won’t know if your product is sustainable • Do wake up thinking about the first question “Why Do I Exist” • Don’t forget to take care of your most important brand asset - YOU
  8. 8. As Seen On The Wall Leaving @TreeHouseTX @CollideVillage Startups - It’s All About This: