Marketing 101 from @getmetacos
If you want some framing and language and context and understanding to enhance your nuts and bolts and excel spreadsheets, read on. Because theory + practice = rainbows and unicorns!
Everything is marketing.
Marketing is not a 4-letter word. Everything you do is marketing: your name, your brand, your words, how you present yourself, your Twitter handle, your tone, your product, your customer support, everything. In the end, the culmination of how people perceive your company can be affected by any of those pieces (for better or for worse).
Marketing is about understanding how people see you, and how they hear you.
The 4 P’s
The 4 P’s are something you learn in school when you’re starting off as levers you can adjust. You end up internalizing them, and then no one ever explicitly talks about them in meetings.
- Product: Creating value means understanding your product market fit and making sure you fit within a niche where your product and values align with your customers’. Just talk to people, and find out what their needs are. (Ahem, design research.) So much of typical marketing = broadcast. Don’t settle for that. Find the right people, and position it for them.
- Price: Projecting your value and aligning it with other’s perceived value.
- Place: How are people going to find you? How are they going to find out that you’re good? Where are they when that happens? Use customer journey maps and temporal zooms to understand those touchpoints.
- Promotion: Quotes from your customers speak volumes. Transfer of trust is very real. Find a way to have a connection to the person/industry. Craft specific messages for specific audiences. “No one wears a sign on their head saying ‘I want your stuff.'”
The most important P
is of course patience. Do it right. You only get one shot with some customers. Listen to them.
Marketing vs. Sales
- Marketing = demand generation: who you are, where you are, how do people get to you. Go to where the people already at (fish where the people are already at.) Don’t create new behaviors; discover existing behaviors. Make it so simple to work your product/service into their normal patterns, they can’t not use this next great thing.
- Sales = conversion: how do you get them to do this action or to transact? Awareness is well and good, but to be sustainable, you need to generate revenue, so you can get a return on your investment.
Great posts, for example this one on Lean Marketing Basics that take cues from Lean Start-Up values. Basically, be smart about your marketing: don’t just throw money at old broadcast mediums when you could be creating more personalized messages.
- Minimize waste via sophisticated metrics (Understand where your $ is going with stuff like google analytics, measure it, understand whether it’s good or bad, adjust as needed, so you’re not throwing money away.)
- Understand your customer’s values. (empathy)
- Optimize the funnel (typical funnel 1% transacting = good But if you find the right people to market to, you can make the funnel more of a cylinder. Don’t waste your money bringing in non-qualified leads at the top. No reason to market at people who aren’t your customer.)
Set marketing/sales goals, and make sure you achieve them. When things aren’t working, good marketers turn the magnifying glass back onto themselves; bad ones just throw more money at it.
Be consistent in all of your messaging. If you’re consistent, your message will get across. Nuances may get seen by outside as something different. (e.g. if you’re selling your product to three different groups, you may be tempted to talk about it in a different way to each, but it’s still the same product; don’t confuse people)
Makes it easier for others to be able to describe it to other people, makes it easier for others to evangelize for you.
Someone else is probably already doing it; look at what they’re doing for free research. What’s working, what’s not?
Don’t forget the basics
- Find out people’s intents and motivations
- Get to where they’re at and other people like them
- Visualize the experience. Think through every detail of your business as if it’s successful. Work through details such as: in an ideal world, how would they find you? what’s their first experience with you? when would they realize they’ve found something great? what would you be doing when they found that out? why would the user think it’s great or important?
- What would make you do this again?
- What would make you want to tell someone else about this?
- How do you make your customer kick-ass? How do you make them awesome?
- Startup-marketing.com Blog
- Mint’s original marketing plan (via @saranyan)
- Hashable’s SXSW 2011 Marketing Strategy (via @justinpetro)
- Lessons from SXSW 2011: 21 Entrepreneurs at ‘work’
- Bootstrapped, Profitable, and Proud: 37 Signal’s interview series with companies that have over one million dollars in revenues, didn’t take VC, and are profitable.