Hello, everyone. Today. We are going to talk about marketing strategy and execution for startups. All right. Okay. So when you talk about marketing strategy and execution, there’s a lot that goes into it and I’m going to break it down as far as I can.
I always say “sometimes you need a juggernaut and sometimes you just need a Koka”. Sometimes you need the entire machine to get built. It’s going to be self-perpetuating with a flywheel and sometimes you just need somebody to come in and work on a very few tactical things nurture tracks, email flows onboarding with things like a chatbots. Maybe it’s your social strategy or something else.
Now, I believe that marketing is an art and a science that when businesses can go become predictable. They can drive sustainable growth from that activity and marketing’s role first and foremost it be to drive Revenue. I’m not much of a brand marketer. I understand that there are companies that have brand markers as roles but in a startup space in a small midsize company space you really shouldn’t be focusing on brand marketing unless your user growth is off the charts..
If you’re trying to acquire new customers, you have to have a marketing system in place. That’s actually delivering user acquisition and has a predictable model. That is always the best.
Now when you’re building out your marketing machine, there’s many different pieces of this and depending on your business and where you are focusing your energy where your customers and audience are. I’ve broken it up into many different facets.
So first we have lead generation, and that’s kind of my specialty.
You should be building your website presence so that Google knows all the things that you do and they can push the right people based on search results to your website
Lead generation is done through newsletters, your programs, the campaigns, paid ads, things that actually drive users onto your site or to download a piece of content.
Then you have PR which is:
- media event outreach
- contributing articles on other websites
- press releases.
The most important part of your marketing and your strategy and execution needs to be on your website. And this is where I find a lot of Founders at startups and smaller businesses are lacking. They’re trying to build out all the other pieces of the machine. But the one thing that matters most is your website.
So how are you getting these updates done? What are the designs? Is it engaging enough on your site. Are you creating enough pages that you need to rank in Google for all the things that you do?
I work with some companies that have maybe 15 to 20 pages on their website. They have their homepage. They have three or four different product pages About Us section and some other basic stuff, you know on the foundational side, but the reality is that those aren’t going to get found as much on Google as you would want because all these pages aren’t optimized very specific audiences.
If your audience is sales professionals that work in med tech you should have a page directly specific for them. You should be building your website presence so that Google knows all the things that you do and they can push the right people based on search results to your website many companies are many people in marketing don’t look at the website because it’s not a sexy it’s not as fun. But the reality is that needs to be the linchpin of all the other work you’re going to do or it’s going to fall flat.
Next is branding and again branding is extremely important. I’m just saying as a first marketer or building your initial team of marketers, you really shouldn’t be focusing so much on a brand marketer per se but one of the things that regular markers can do is build your brand by leveraging things like your thought leadership.
For social media the real purpose is supposed to be building a dialogue and conversations with your audience.
You have executives in your company, that are experts in certain fields, maybe it’s your engineers. Maybe it’s your security and compliance people you have individuals in your company that are very good at their jobs, so find ways to mine that information that intelligence out of them and creating content from it and that starts helping build your brand as being an authority in space.
Social media videos and memes are all parts of brand. Now social media can be used for lead generation. We use it for PR and all these other things. But when I look at social media the real purpose around that is to build your brand its social you’re supposed to be building a dialogue and conversations with your audience. So that’s why I put that into the brand bucket. But yes, of course social media can be used for all these other pieces.
There’s event marketing and obviously 2020 physical events slim to none if any what we saw was a massive uptick in Virtual events from webinars to smaller communities online that built up like red genius for example during the pandemic thing was the best time for them to launch this because all of a sudden thousands and thousands of sales people needed a place where they can congregate and get to know each other and network where physical events were just not possible anymore.
Within the event marketing space you’ve got registrations, logistics, execution of these events. So, how are you managing those? You need to have systems and processes in place to manage the registration of the logistics who’s in a virtual sense
- Who’s running the webinar?
- Who’s the host?
- What’s happening with that recording?
You have to have a team depending on the size of the company focus on that one area. If you’re running events, marketing should also be responsible
in some of these smaller companies for customer service falls under marketing too.
- Online reviews
- Support requests
- Social media.
Emails that are coming in, social support, all the things that are happening from your customer interactions and either from paying customers or free customers.
Whatever your model is. Somebody should be monitoring the customer service side of things on these channels to make sure that your customers are always feeling like you’re being attentive and aware of their issues and helping them.
Another part of marketing is the design side. Somebody needs to be very focused. That should be somebody’s job is just design. So who’s designing your emails your website again, very important. Social media presentation decks things are going to be sharing and all the paid ads all the stuff comes from a design team. So if you don’t have a specific design team in your company, you should go to up work or some other like Marketplace out there and find some designers that you start getting comfortable working with so they can start producing these design assets for you because
Most people in marketing if they’re great events or they’re great at PR or they are great at lead generation, they’re not going to be good at design.
It’s a totally different skillset and you need to find the right people or person to kind of run that side of things.
Content marketing. That’s my love within marketing. The content marketers role is really to produce the assets that are going to be driving the leads. So emails, blog posts, case studies, landing pages, papers and ebooks are all part of the content marketers role.
The goal is to create and curate content in a way that allows them to educate, inform, drive awareness to your audience’s, then pull them back into your website.
If the website is the most important linchpin among all of these the next really important piece you need to have in place and again, it could be somebody in-house it could be by somebody as a contractor or freelancer but you need somebody running systems and operations.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen companies that have had all these pieces somewhat aligned but they were missing or severely lacking in the system’s operation side.
These systems weren’t even talking to each other. You’re generating leads from 17 different platforms, all getting put into different Excel spreadsheets somewhere else and then you have to collate all of those and put them into something else. It was a big mess for marketers. Marketers that understand operations, they become technical to some extent, you know, I like to think of myself as a little nerdy, so I can create some of the stuff on my own but I am not a Systems Operations person.
I rely very heavily on the technical people that are going to be able to connect my CRM with my email automation platform or my lead gen forms with my email marketing platform. Whatever that may be you need to have systems and operations.
So I’ve always focused on content and social but I’ve been in companies and I’ve had a piece of all of these different pieces of the pie. These are all areas within the marketing execution of your strategy that you need to be aware of. I also say within your marketing strategy.
Think like a publisher
You need to start thinking of yourself and your company as a media business. You are now Publishers.
Content is King content and is still running everywhere. What you need to do is start thinking through it from a marketing standpoint.
- How do I become a media producer?
- What am I going to be creating that’s going to drive this audience?
Either contributing at the top of the funnel or how am I going to keep them engaged when they know who we are?
Content marketing is more than ebooks and blog posts. This comes down to your Messaging Frameworks.
What are the words that you’re using?
How do you describe your product and service?
The words that describe your company needs to be codified so that everyone in the company is reading from the same sheet of music.
From a content marketing standpoint what you would do is, take that messaging framework and then you start building out all the content. you are going to start creating for the next three to six months. This could be:
- Ad copy
- New landing pages
- A videos series
- Research reports
- all those types of things.
You have to start thinking like a media company so you can start producing the stuff at a consistent basis.
One of the things that I talked about last week is I also believe that you need to have some type of model in place on how you are using the media. What are you focusing on?
The PESO model which is paid, earned, shared, and owned are different parts of media within marketing. So, you know the paid side obviously, these are the ads. This is my own website and properties that I own earned are the things that are happening from PR and from the external audience the things that were doing that are getting noticed and then the shared piece is what are we creating? And how was that lifts through our audience as they are we sharing things on social media?
When you look at the Venn diagram on this you have your one area that you’re going to focus into but you have to be aware of how all these things play together in order to produce.
The marketing actions that are going to have the effects that you need within your business. Now you have all in place. You have your messaging framework. So you have an idea of what areas you want to focus into, you know, maybe it’s lead generation or PR, maybe it’s lead generation, whatever that might be, what you then need to start doing is figuring out how you’re going to measure.
Marketing metrics to track
Another part where I see companies failing all the time, is that they have all these great ideas and they put a team in place. They start executing but they have no idea what they’re measuring.
It might be number of leads generated. But that’s one metric of all the things that you should be measuring and there’s lots of leading indicators where I like to call red flags that you can also track to see if something’s in a drop-off if there’s an issue somewhere so you can start diagnosing this problems. Now when I say measuring there’s a spreadsheet that I typically use around measuring machine so it comes down to things like the segment your audience is in.
What are you spending? If there’s ads or something along those lines, if it’s spend on the website, whatever it is, you have to have a number it could be zero if it’s just you running a webinar.
- How many leads are being generated?
- What are the conversion rates of those leads you pulled in?
Understanding that conversion rate then starts helping you understand how much traffic you need to push through those pages to get that same conversion. The math usually continues to wash out. There’s always variations over time, but you want to make sure that you know.
Then you want to track not just the leads but then what’s turning into an mql? What’s turning into an SQL? What are the close rates of those sales qualified leads and all of these things then start telling you a story about the marketing strategy that you have in place. Is it working? Is it not working?
You can start really figuring out where to dig in or where to expand what opportunities are presenting themselves because ultimately what you want to do is build up the spreadsheet
As a marketer if you can walk into your leadership and say here’s what we did last quarter and here’s how much money we made for the company. It’s an extremely powerful conversation to have as opposed to “we generated three thousand leads and twenty percent of them were MQLs, which is where a lot of people stop.
All of these things then start telling you a story about the marketing strategy that you have in place. Is it working? Is it not working?
Figure out how to measure the all the way down to revenue so that when that question comes up and you need more money for budget, whatever that may be you can say, here’s here’s the numbers. This is what we did. Here’s how it washed out through the conversion metrics, and this is the revenue that came in through our efforts.
Once you have that in place, you have the frameworks and you have the flow the waterfall then you can start really developing what the predictable marketing revenue machine looks like.
And really that’s it. Once you get to a point that you have the messaging Frameworks in place, you know, what areas of marketing you want to really dive into and you build out the repeatable process with the metrics in place. You will have a solid strategy to execute against and that’s it. Leave a comment down below if this made sense if you have any questions, you know, put that in the comments as well and I look for the next video. See ya.