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How To Plan and Execute Great Startup Marketing Programs with April Dunford - MaRS Best Practices


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This session is aimed at entrepreneurs who want to create more effective marketing programs to grow their business. It describes how to build a marketing plan that takes into account your prospects, their buying process and the market space you play in. It offers examples of how to execute, measure and improve those programs to maximize revenue and profit.

Published in: Business

How To Plan and Execute Great Startup Marketing Programs with April Dunford - MaRS Best Practices

  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/beer drinker
  3. 3. How do I market my startup?
  4. 4. How do I buy shoes I love?
  5. 5. Advice is Always Based on AssumptionsHow much you want to spendWhere you like to shopWhat style of shoes you normally wearWhy you need new shoes now
  6. 6. Startup Marketing Advice is the SameWho are your customersWhat motivates them to purchaseWhat they love about your offeringHow they make purchase decisions
  7. 7. Marketing is BigBrandingLead genAdvertisingSocial MediaContentMessagingSales SupportEvents
  8. 8. Marketing Questions Google can Answerhow to increase blog traffic, get emailsignups, improve your SEO, run adwordscampaigns, get more Twitter followers/Facebook fans, create better content,improve your sales effectiveness,shorten sales cycles, convert free trialsto paid and on and on and on and on.
  9. 9. Marketing Questions Google Can’t Answer:What tactics should you focus on?How should you tailor them for yourbusiness?
  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.  Shifting assumptions2.  All tactics presumed OK until tested3.  No relationship or consistency between the tactics
  12. 12. You need to start with a marketing model
  13. 13. Inputs3 aspects of customer knowledge Who they are How they view solutions How they buy stuff
  14. 14. CustomerCompany Characteristics (B2B): –  Geography, size, industry –  Stuff they do, type of customer they serve, how they sell, their ecosystem, budgets, risk tolerance, power structure, etc.Decision Maker 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
  15. 15. Offering•  What do we do?•  What market are we in?•  Competitive Alternatives: –  Examples: Do nothing, manual effort, Word/ Excel, competitive product•  Key Differentiated Points of Value –  When compared to the alternatives above the specific value you bring that the others don’t.•  Proof –  Customer references, 3rd party reviews, statistics, metrics, expert endorsements,
  16. 16. 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 my service, there wasgood Risks too how to mind Bad user no needenough high evaluate Too much $ experience Move to Great but Not using other not for me solutionFriction points
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. No Need, NeedWhat: Problem-focused Content/Programs –  Articles and blog posts –  Infographics/Industry data/trend reports –  Videos (problem focused) –  Curated Content –  Newsletters –  SEO, Website, landing pages, content optimized around the problemWhere: Where the prospects already are –  Forums, Social networks, newsgroups, industry events, associations, media, blogs, etc.Purpose: Entertain, Educate, EngageDesired Action: Permission to regularly provide information –  Social Media: Likes, follows –  Email: Newsletter/blog signups
  19. 19. Eval/BuyWhat: Solution Focused Content/Programs –  Articles and blog posts –  Demo Videos/interactive Demos –  Webinars –  In-person events –  Analyst reports –  Case studies –  Feature guides/whitepapers –  ROI/pricing calculators –  Advertising, Sponsorships –  SEO, Website, landing pages, content optimized around the solutionWhere: Where the prospects are and Increasingly on Your Turf –  Forums, Social networks, newsgroups, industry events, media, blogs, etc. –  Your branded sites (website, Facebook page, etc.)Purpose: Educate, Differentiate, Move to Evaluation and/or SaleDesired Action: Permission to “sell” –  Contact information for sales (through content, events, etc.) –  Free Trial sign up –  Purchase
  20. 20. Enjoy, Refer, Renew•  What: Activation/Engagement-oriented content/programs –  Customer Support Content –  Demo Videos/interactive Demos –  How-to, Best Practice guides –  User forums/User Groups –  ROI/pricing calculators –  Customer newsletters•  Where: Mainly on Your Turf but also where they are –  Your branded sites (website, Facebook page, etc.) –  Customer Support portal/forum, –  User group forums, events, etc. –  Forums, Social networks, newsgroups, associations, media, blogs, etc.•  Purpose: Get customers to experience the value, Create raving fans,•  Desired Action: Referrals, Renewals –  Act as a reference –  Refer business –  Renewal
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. MetricsHow prospects are flowing through the buying process
  23. 23. AnalysisWhat conclusions can you draw?How do these impact the inputs?
  24. 24. The Circle of Marketing Awesome Project plans Tactical Execution Customer Offering Inputs Outputs MetricsBuying Process Analysis Conclusions
  25. 25. Thanks! @aprildunford