Startup Marketing Workshop

I’m an advisor to a startup in Toronto called HackerYou that provides hands-on project based learning for folks in the startup community. They asked me if I wanted to run a Startup Marketing workshop and I happily jumped at the opportunity. It’s happening in Toronto on Saturday and there are still spots available. The cost is basically free (OK, it’s $50 but we do have costs to cover and for 6 hours of crunchy marketing goodness it doesn’t get cheaper than that). Here’s what I’m planning on covering in the workshop: How to get started in building the basic structure of a marketing plan and why planning is important How to asses your who your best target customers are and what you need to know about them to effectively market to them How to develop a value proposition and messaging around your offering How to assess your customer’s buying process in order to optimize it How to choose a starting set of marketing tactics to build and fill your marketing funnel How to measure the results of your marketing activities so you can analyze and improve your programs I’m going to use a set of templates that we will work through together so come prepared to work on your plan for your business. This is going to be a highly interactive session so I also expect you to bring your thorniest marketing problems and we will set aside time for group discussion and working through specific examples.  I’m NOT planning on doing a deep dive on how to blog/do content marketing/market on Facebook/run advertising/do web events or any other...

Growth Hacking and B2B Startups

The first time I heard the term “Growth Hacker” I got a little excited. I have often said we need a new term for marketing – one that separates the good metrics-driven marketers from the bad “spray and pray” ones.  So suddenly there’s a new term that describes me perfectly: a person that has a technology background (me: Systems Design Engineer, check), a person that deeply believes in testing, iteration, and data as the basis for good marketing (see point about being an engineer, yup), and sees marketing as something that reaches from product to marketing to sales (you might call that product marketing and hey, that’s me too). For a while it looked like I could be a growth hacker. But then I kept reading and it became clear that growth hackers weren’t worrying about the same things I was worrying about. Discussion around the premise for first creating the term is what first started to make me question it. Growth hackers keep saying that they are differnt from “traditional marketers”, where “tradition” means – “measures nothing.” The TechCrunch series on growth hacking for example describes traditional marketers as being allergic to data and overly focused on PR/promotions without closing the loop back to growth. I’ve seen marketers like that for sure, but I wouldn’t say they were “traditional”, just lousy at their jobs. Certainly there’s no “tradition” of startup marketers that look like that – at least not at any of the startups I’ve been with. We tended to get rid of those folks pretty quickly. I could get into my opinions about how marketing operates at...

A Startup Customer Worksheet

I’ve been blogging a bit about how to build a startup marketing plan, including some thoughts about an overall approach to marketing planning and execution, modelling the customer buying process and creating value propositions. The first step however in developing a great marketing plan is understanding the customers you are targeting. This might seem obvious but in my experience this is often a difficult process. In every startup where I’ve been the head of marketing, getting a crisp definition of our targeted buyers was a process of discovery, testing and revision. I realized that it was very important to capture what we knew and what we assumed about our target buyers so that we could have a working record to guide our marketing efforts. Below is a generic version of the customer worksheet I’ve used for years. What This Template is Not This is NOT a buyer persona exercise which some companies do as part of their product management process. I believe in marketing doing a deep dive on personas in some cases, (where you sell to complex buying teams or you have a large marketing team that doesn’t have deep customer knowledge). If you want to learn more about personas I highly recommend you check out Adele Revella’s Buyer Persona Institute where she has a ton of resources available and knows more about that stuff than you, me and everyone we know piled together. A Worksheet for Startups to Document Assumptions and Focus Their Marketing Efforts The context here is to think about buyers purely in terms of what you need to understand in order to build a...