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Marketing for Startup Incubator - January 2012

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This is an updated, shortened & interactive version of a lecture I presented one year earlier. The audience was startup company founders participating in TheHive@Gvahim, an incubator in Tel Aviv, Israel. The companies' marketing targets are a very broad range, including B2B enterprise, B2C, SaaS and social enterprises. The lecture included mini-assignments for participants to do for a few minutes between lecture segments.

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Marketing for Startup Incubator - January 2012

  1. 1. Marketing for Early Stage Start-ups Rebecca Steinberg Herson Presented to: TheHive@Gvahim Startup Incubator January 3, 20121 Copyright © 2012 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  2. 2. A bit about me http://re.vu/rebeccaherson2
  3. 3. So this is marketing…3
  4. 4. What we’ll discuss today  Getting to know your customers  Segmenting your market  Increasing your influence  Calls to action  Promotion  Identifying what’s working (calculating ROI)4
  5. 5. Your Solutions Solves A PAIN. Who Suffers from this pain? Getting to Know your (potential) Customers5
  6. 6. Your Customer is Not You6
  7. 7. How to get to know your customer  Old days  Focus Groups  Phone surveys  Analyst Reports  Trade Shows  Today7
  8. 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)8
  9. 9. Learning @ LinkedIn9
  10. 10. 10 Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  11. 11. 11 Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  12. 12. Jump in to Social Media12
  13. 13. 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 help13 Become part of the conversation
  14. 14. Trade Shows – a concentrated learning tool  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 lobby14
  15. 15. Identify 3 ways you can learn more about your customers15
  16. 16. Segmenting Target Markets16
  17. 17. 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?17
  18. 18. 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 segment18
  19. 19. Think of three ways you could potentially segment your target market19
  20. 20. Increasing Your Influence20
  21. 21. 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 say21
  22. 22. 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 posts22
  23. 23. Think of 5 ideas you can blog/vlog/tweet about23
  24. 24. The Call to Action24
  25. 25. 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  ……25  BUY!!!
  26. 26. 26 Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  27. 27. 27 Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  28. 28. 28 “If you share our vision, let’s work together”
  29. 29. Amazing, rich content. Where is the CTA? Where is the elevator pitch?29 Copyright (c) 2010 Rebecca Steinberg Herson
  30. 30. What are 5 different calls to action you can use to market your solution?30
  31. 31. Marketing Promotion31
  32. 32. Promotion Social Networking32 MIT Sloane School Marketing Management Course Lecture
  33. 33. 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 consistency33
  34. 34. Elevator Pitch Template From: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/30/startups-give-us-your-best-one-sentence-pitch/34
  35. 35. 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 achieve35
  36. 36. 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 bring them to your booth36
  37. 37. Qualifying Show Visitors  Majority of visitors will be tire-kickers  Come up with 3 questions that immediately lets you know if the visitor is qualified  Track the answers with the visitor’s business card (badge scanner or staple the card to a lead sheet with the 3 questions pre-printed)  Send a follow up email to everyone who attended, highlighting your key positioning statements37
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. How to Know What’s Working (ROI)39
  40. 40. 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-extended for 1 year paid Closed Won Closed Lost Stalled/Postponed40
  41. 41. Sample Pipeline by Lead Source 14 12 Trade Show London 10 Twitter 8 6 Google Ads 4 Webinar on 2 Security 0 Articles Stage Stage Stage Stage Sold 6 7 8 941
  42. 42. Interim Results, Prior to Sales For each lead source calculate: adjusted revenue = ∑ (Expected deal size x % likelihood to close) Temporary ROI (until deal closes)= [(adj. revenue - cost)/cost]*100  For cost, include your time – if you spend 3 days at a trade show this adds to the cost of the show  Likelihood to close is (typically) based on sales stage – stage 6 = 60%; stage 7 = 70%, etc.  In in long sales cycles, a lead doesn’t even become an “opportunity” until it hits stage 4  You can start by tracking in a spreadsheet; eventually you’ll need a CRM system / lead nurturing system  Enterprise sales: each account will have multiple contacts, further complicating your record keeping42
  43. 43. 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 WOM43
  44. 44. 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 funnel44
  45. 45. What conversion rates are meaningful for my business?45
  46. 46. 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 are46
  47. 47. Useful Marketing Resources http://bit.ly/marketing-resources Highly recommended reading:47
  48. 48. Thank You! Rebecca Steinberg Herson rherson@gmail.com 054-444-2372 http://il.linkedin.com/in/rebeccaherson48

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