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Startup Marketing at Hatch Conference by Missy Schmidt


Published on Supports Innovation: From blueprints to buildouts, xTuple helps foster startups in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic technology corridor between Research Triangle, North Carolina and Washington D.C. As a committed, passionate member of the Greater Norfolk tech community, xTuple is a financial sponsor as well as mentor at Hatch Norfolk, an intense accelerator program, and other events where entrepreneurs showcase their ideas.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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Startup Marketing at Hatch Conference by Missy Schmidt

  1. 1. Hatch Norfolk From Blueprints to Buildouts Mentor-based startup accelerator for technology and design entrepreneurs ready to build a product & launch a company. Startup Marketing (or how to market your venture with little to no money) Missy Schmidt @xTuple #Marketing missy@xTuple.comHatchConf 25Sep12
  2. 2. What isMarketing?
  3. 3. Your business – and the marketing of it – will take over your life … every aspect of it.
  4. 4. This isn‟t Mad Men 101  Do tell your story to the people who care  Dont obsess about always being "on message"  Dont starve just to spend money (on advertising)  Dont beg media to write about you (they dont care)  Do make it easy for other people to share your content
  5. 5. So what can Marketing do for you?Marketing is your competitive edgeMarketing is meeting customers wants, not needsMarketing is one part Sales (not the whole thing)Marketing is far more than tactics.Marketing is a team sport – every one, every day is marketingMarketing is executed aggressively by competitiveorganizationsMarketing is always analyzed, sound strategy based onanalysisMarketing is about understanding your own organization,your abilities and your weaknesses
  6. 6. Market like a nonprofit (you are) You must be a good steward of your resources (time and money) Have a Plan. Plan the Work. Work the Plan.
  7. 7. “Youve got to find what you love…. [T]he only way to do great workis to love what you do. If you havent found it yet, keep looking, anddont settle.” Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement Speech, June 2005 Do what you love, but …“All too often, entrepreneurs are in lovewith their idea and that itwill be the next Big Thing. They go to greatlengths – and expense – to design, developand sell a product for which there is no
  8. 8. Are you solving a problem we should?
  9. 9. The Marketing Mix: 4PsPlaceProductPriceAnd – for startups –I’d replace Promotion with …People (people buy from people, notcompanies) Make sure YOU are part of the Mix
  10. 10. “Startup Marketing” Mistake #1 Communicate poorly
  11. 11. “Startup Marketing” Mistake #2 Believe in magic … (hope is not a strategy) Do NOT believe in the value of Word-of-Mouth You dont have a budget. So what? The founders of Google and Amazon relied exclusively on word of mouth to get their companies off the ground.
  12. 12. Other “Startup Marketing” Mistakes Think a great logo and clever tagline are enough Forget to cultivate referrals and cross-sell Ignore prospects (always let them know where you are when theyneed you) Not discover what a market wants (can’t fix what you don’t know isbroken) Not expect criticism Not listen Not respond Stop marketing, EVER
  13. 13. STEP #1: The Marketing Evaluation1. Where have you been?2. Where are you now?3. Where (or what) do you want to be?4. What are Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats?5. How will you get where you want to go?Your market position is a cold-hearted, no-nonsense statement of how you are perceived in the minds of your prospects.
  14. 14. STEP #2: The Positioning Statement Have One Before You Start CommunicatingCut through the clutter; a positioning statement is your coremessage: Be passionate Be authentic Be engagingAnswer these questions: 1. Who are you? 2. What business are you in? 3. For whom/what people do you serve? 4. Whats needed by the market you serve? 5. Whom do you compete against? 6. Whats different about your business? 7. What unique benefit is derived from your product or services?
  15. 15. STEP #3: Use Word-of-Mouth ToolsFind people interested in what you‟re doing – learn theiropinionsMake yourself link-friendly – inbound links as well asoutboundBuild a website for little or nothing using an online websitebuilder such as, or BaseKit.comMaintain a blog using – it‟s your onlineeditorialUse free social media –,,Twitter.comShare the human face of your organizationTake pictures and post online at
  16. 16. Social Media Explained
  17. 17. Your Old Toolbox Still Works Don’t presume to know – Research!Local Chambers of CommerceState Commerce AgencyTrade Associations Opportunities, such as alumni groups andprofessional organizationsVendors and suppliersBusiness Advisory GroupsEconomic Development organizationsTraining, Training, TrainingWeb, e.g.,
  18. 18. Your New Toolbox Gets Better & Better Some of my favorite FREE resources
  19. 19. “Tell Your Story” Marketing
  20. 20. “Create Your Own Meme” Marketing
  21. 21. It’s a numbers game requiring investment of resources –time and/or money – in many places, just like Venture Capitalists: Print Advertising Email Marketing Trade Shows Marketing Analytics Direct Mail Website Analytics Public Relations Marketing Automation Blog Social Media Monitoring Facebook Social Media Publishing Website Lead Management Twitter Lead Generation LinkedIn Page Lead Tracking YouTube Channel Search Engine Optimization
  22. 22. “Customer Service” MarketingIf you focus on your targetmarkets…If you solve your customers‟problems…If you differentiate yourselffrom the competition…If you attend to wants, notwhat they need…You will have more effectivemarketing… and success.
  23. 23. Common Sense MarketingAlways ask permission to use a customer‟s name as areference.Always follow up with a “Thank You.”Never assume that a customer is happy.Don‟t wait for a customer to complain; Only 10% do, and The 90% that don‟t, tell 10-20 other people that you stink.Make it right, right now.Make communication and purchasing easy, online. Have customer information, ordering, order checking? Have PayPal or other payment capabilities?What information would customers and prospects like to accessat your website? Ask them!Work it: Get found, Convert „em to leads, Analyze performance.Repeat.
  24. 24. Marketing Strategy Development Tactical Decision TreeWhats it all about?Why would someone want it?Why would someone NOT want or NOT use?Why are we doing this (tactic)?Who are our prospects?Whos out there & how do we find them?Whats the deal were offering?Whos in our backyard (the competition)?What are the logistics?When is this happening?Who is involved with making it happen & how?Whats our creative (message, art, tone)?What have we done in the past (did it work & why/why not?