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What I Learned About Software Marketing and Growth After 2 Years in Venture Capital

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This deck is being used for a presentation at High Alpha's Marketing Forum in Indianapolis on 1/2/17. I've spent the past two years working at OpenView, a venture capital firm based in Boston.

The lessons I learned watching the partners, my colleagues, portfolio CEOs, countless pitch meetings and hundreds of conversations between leadership teams was invaluable.

Here are a few.

Published in: Software
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What I Learned About Software Marketing and Growth After 2 Years in Venture Capital

  1. What I Learned After 2 Years in Venture Capital Kyle Lacy / @kyleplacy
  2. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY LINKS Get the deck > http://bit.ly/HighAlpha17 Get the content > http://labs.openviewpartners.com
  3. My job…
  4. I learned that there are 4 Ps to building sustainable growth in any software company…
  5. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY PROGRAMS PEOPLE PROCESS PERFORMANCE
  6. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Do you have the right people? Hire for aptitude, attitude and agility. PEOPLE
  7. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Is your team organized to win in the digital environment?
  8. Acquisition Conversion Brand The Modern Marketing Org
  9. Acquisition Conversion Brand The Modern Marketing Org Public Relations Brand Enablement Creative Events Advertising Marketing Ops Field Managers Content / Search Automation Sales Enablement Customer Success Product Marketing Customer Retention
  10. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY The marketing team of the future…
  11. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY …controls every aspect of the customer experience.
  12. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY How does your team operate and optimize for the customer journey? PROCESS
  13. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Obsess over your personas and experiences PROCESS TIP #1
  14. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Quantitative Qualitative+
  15. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Quantitative Qualitative+ • Churn Analysis • Sales & Marketing KPIs • Win/Loss Reviews • Customer Surveys • Product Usage
  16. @KYLEPLACY Marketing Persona Development Name Job Title • Age • Gender • Salary • Location Goals & Challenges Values & Fears Demographics • How do you help achieve their goals? • How do you help solve their problems? • Why wouldn’t they buy? • How do you help alleviate their fears? • How do you support their values? • Education • Family
  17. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Experiences first. Tactics second. We have the tendency to start with channels and tactics. It’s the wrong way.
  18. 1. Pick your most important target persona first. Experiences first.
  19. 1. Pick your most important target persona first. 2. Build your target persona journey stages. Experiences first. AWARENESS CONSIDERATION PURCHASE USAGE REPURCHASE
  20. 1. Pick your most important target persona first. 2. Build your target persona journey stages. 3. List all experiences within each stage. Experiences first. The CEO gains social proof by being referred to ABC’s content or website by someone they trust.
  21. 1. Pick your most important target persona first. 2. Build your target persona journey stages. 3. List all experiences within each stage. 4. Pick the top 3-4 experiences for each stage. Experiences first.
  22. 1. Pick your most important target persona first. 2. Build your target persona journey stages. 3. List all experiences within each stage. 4. Pick the top 3-4 experiences for each stage. 5. Apply tactics to each of the experiences. 6. Apply KPIs to each of the tactics. Experiences first.
  23. STAGE EXPERIENCE TACTIC KPIs Awareness Gains social proof – is referred to content or website by someone they trust Influencer Marketing X times featured on influencer blog X times features in top SaaS resource Reads and finds value from tactical content Website X new users X conversion rate X net new leads Experiences first.
  24. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY PROGRAMS How do you create leverage that uncovers new sources of revenue growth and increases marketing production efficiency at scale?
  25. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY It’s not content marketing It’s thought leadership PROGRAMS TIP #1
  26. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Thought leadership is not about you. It starts and ends with your customer.
  27. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Great thought leadership content should contribute to over 50% of your company’s press mentions.
  28. • Your content should be “pitchable” to journalists. • Most of your press mentions should be attributable to content campaigns. • Every sales deck should incorporate some aspect of your content (a stat or quote for example). • Your content should support a 60 minute keynote and presentation deck. • Your content should be relevant at every stage of the funnel, not just the top. • Your content should be directly tied to closed ACV or another metric that points to closed business. Great Content Characteristics
  29. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY There are four content strategies that appeal to each and every potential buyer.
  30. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY EXPERIENTIAL CONSUMER RESEARCH PEER RESEARCH PRODUCT USAGE
  31. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Experiential thought leadership is about understanding your customer’s customer journey.
  32. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Shopped in 100 retail stores Tracked 80 different marketing touch points over 90 days Delivered tailored report cards and competitive analysis Experiential
  33. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Consumer Research is about understanding and discovering trends in your customer’s customer behavior.
  34. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Consumer Research Surveying consumers on mobile, social and email consumption patterns. Used for geo launches and TOFU demand generation
  35. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Peer thought leadership is about understanding your customer and helping them understand their peers.
  36. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Peer Research
  37. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Peer Research
  38. PEER THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
  39. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY http://www.typeform.com
  40. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Peer Research Interview the top influencers in the field. • Create a target list of top influencers • Skype / Call Recorder / Voice Recorder • Speechpad.com for transcription • Publish interviews over the year • Roll up into fun end of year deliverable
  41. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY
  42. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Product usage is about collecting, analyzing and publishing internal data.
  43. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Your data is your only differentiator.
  44. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Product Usage
  45. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Thought leadership is not about the sales pitch.
  46. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Thought leadership is not about the sales pitch. It should supplement the sale.
  47. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Don’t forget internal activation of content PROGRAMS TIP #2
  48. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Meet baby Kyle.
  49. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Why is our conversion rate so low?
  50. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Shared Vocabulary Shared Voice Shared Mission
  51. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT ENABLEMENT
  52. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Who owns enablement?
  53. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Leadership first.
  54. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Content Enablement Kit • PowerPoint deck of relevant data points • Call script for BDR team • Product data sheets corresponding to content • PDF of content • Single page snapshot of top learnings
  55. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY PERFORMANCE Do you have the systems in place to track and evolve?
  56. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY “We must move from numbers keeping score to numbers that drive better actions.” David Walmsley
  57. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Continuous and rapid improvement
  58. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Better goal tracking leads to better results PERFORMANCE TIP #1
  59. @KYLEPLACY Data / Automation CRM My Primary Stack Goal / Project Management
  60. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Data health is more important than any trend PERFORMANCE TIP #2
  61. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY First… a Rorschach test
  62. EXAMPLE OF AN IMPACT SLIDE TEXT Example of supporting information or sourcing information goes here
  63. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY How do you feel?
  64. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY One more…
  65. EXAMPLE OF AN IMPACT SLIDE TEXT Example of supporting information or sourcing information goes here
  66. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY And now?
  67. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Source: Forrester Research 70% of technology implementations fail because of bad data.
  68. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY How does marketing efficiently manage data? • Sales & product alignment is critical • Database cleansing should be top priority • Do you have someone focused on data management? • Get your team off spreadsheets • One system of record for the entire company • Get your team off spreadsheets • Get your team off spreadsheets
  69. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Engagement metrics are secondary to growth metrics PERFORMANCE TIP #3
  70. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY You should understand the unit economics of the business better than the CEO or CFO.
  71. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY LTV the lifetime value of a typical customer CAC the cost to acquire a typical customer & months to recover CAC Churn existing customers that cancelled their subscription
  72. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Final Thoughts
  73. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY PROGRAMS PEOPLE PROCESS PERFORMANCE
  74. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY Your PEOPLE should develop and re-develop your PROCESSES and PROGRAMS to improve PERFORMANCE.
  75. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY The creation and management of the customer experience is the only thing that makes you relevant.
  76. @KYLEPLACY@KYLEPLACY THANK YOU! Get the deck > http://bit.ly/HighAlpha17 Get the content > http://labs.openviewpartners.com

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