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How to land your first customers

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Presentation on "How to land your first customers."
at Startup Camp Berlin
Friday 8 April, 2016

Veröffentlicht in: Business
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How to land your first customers

  1. 1. How to land your first customers. Martin Wrobel Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society Friday 8 April, 2016
  2. 2. About me Doctoral Researcher at Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and Berlin University of the Arts Supported more than 100 startups in sales, marketing and customer acquisition in 1:1 sessions, mentoring hours, and workshops Worked for several years in sales and marketing-related management roles
  3. 3. How to get from ZERO to sales? From ZERO to 10 to 100 customers? Customer Validation Customer Discovery Company Building Customer Creation Source of the framework: Steve Blank and Bob Dorf
  4. 4. Agenda 1. Relevance 2. Thoughts3. Advice 4. Q&A
  5. 5. Agenda 1. Relevance 2. Thoughts3. Advice 4. Q&A
  6. 6. Customer acquisition is THE major challenge for Internet startups at all stages. According to the European Startup Monitor (2015), German Startup Monitor (2015) and Startup Genome Report (2011) sales, marketing and customer acquisition are the most important challenge for startups. “Properly executing startup customer acquisition means the difference between the success and failure of your big idea.“ Quote: Renée Warren
  7. 7. Picture source: flickr, Chase Elliott Clark “Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have are enough customers.” Take full responsibility and focus on customer acquisition. Quote: Peter Thiel; Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares “If you’ve invented something new but you haven’t invented an effective way to sell it, you have a bad business - no matter how good the product.” “If you build it, will they come?” What are the odds!?
  8. 8. Agenda 1. Relevance 3. Advice 4. Q&A 2. Thoughts
  9. 9. Product Promotion Place Price Customer-Centricity is the new sales and marketing word of today. Marketing-Mix “Customer-Centricity is a culture of putting the customer at the center of everything you do.” Not the product. Customer-Centricity Quote: Brian Solis; David Skok “Building a sales and marketing machine is a structured methodology for designing and reviewing your customer acquisition process. It stresses the idea that the only right way to build a sales and marketing process is to design it around your customers (customer-centric).”
  10. 10. There is always one perfect customer acquisition strategy for every startup. But how do you know which is the right one? A holistic perspective is essential to find the right sales and marketing strategy. Customer acquisition is a blend of art and science.
  11. 11. There is no silver bullet on how to acquire customers. But there are some important principles and philosophies. Picture source: flickr, Ed SchipulQuotes: Larissa MacFarquhar & Aaron Swartz, Ryan Holiday, Paul Graham “Aaron Swartz (Reddit) had previously believed that you came up with a great idea and people would use it. But he realized now that you couldn‘t expect people to come to you; you have to pull them in.” “Your customers have to be acquired.” “You can't wait for customers to come to you.”
  12. 12. The truth about customer acquisition is even harder for startups. Source: Advertisment from 1958 for McGraw Hill magazines in BusinessWeek. I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know what your company stands for. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now, what was it you wanted to sell me? Startup = #nobudget #nobrand #nochannels
  13. 13. Getting the first 10 / 100 customers is more short-term than long-term. Come up with an initial strategy and try to validate it. Hunting customers with a shotgun or acting more strategically? Think through your actions wisely or proceed hands-on with trial-and error?
  14. 14. Customer acquisition in the early stages has a lot to do with data, KPI’s, analytics and learning. "Tracking marketing is a cultural thing. Either tracking matters or it doesn’t. You’re in one camp or the other. Either you’re analytical and data-driven, or you go by what you think works. People who go by gut are wrong." Quote: Stuart McDonald
  15. 15. And, on the other hand, with creativity of course. “Think outside the box.” MATHMEN vs MADMEN Source: American Marketing Association
  16. 16. But you can still build a business without being creative. “If you don’t have creativity, you need money. One or the other.” Quote: Rob Walling
  17. 17. Early customer acquisition is more like sales than it is marketing. Sales in narrow and deep. “Sales is narrow and deep and this is what is important for startups.“ Quote: Paul Graham; Jessica Livingston Marketing is broad and shallow. “Do things that don’t scale.”
  18. 18. There are eight ways to build a $100M business. 10 x 10.000.000 $ 100 x 1.000.000 $ 1.000 x 100.000 $ 10.000 x 10.000 $ 100.000 x 1.000 $ 1.000.000 x 100 $ 10.000.000 x 10 $ 100.000.000 x 1 $ = 100.000.000 $ Source: Christoph Janz
  19. 19. $1 $100 $10.000 $10 million Viral Marketing Marketing Sales Complex Sales Consumers……………………………………. Small Business…………………………………….... Big Business Government Which category does your startup belong in? Source: Peter Thiel Dead Zone
  20. 20. Product development and customer acquisition go hand in hand. Picture source: flickr, Thomas HawkQuotes: Ryan Holiday But still “Someone has to be the advocate for the potential market (customers), and the earlier their influence is felt in the process, the better.” “Forget the conventional wisdom that says if a company lacks growth, it should invest more in sales and marketing. Instead, it should invest in refining and improving the product or service itself until the customers are so happy that they can‘t stop using the product or service.” A good product is so important.
  21. 21. Agenda 1. Relevance 2. Thoughts3. Advice 4. Q&A
  22. 22. 1. Acquisition 2. Retention 3. Development Focus on customer acquisition but make sure that your customers stick. “Turning your customers into an army.“ Quotes: Ryan Holiday; Bronson Taylor “Referrals win.“ “What matters most are happy customers.“ “Retention trumps acquisition.“
  23. 23. Have an ideal customer profile (ICP) and know which of your customers are best for your business. “It‘s a targeted offensive in the right places (online and offline) aimed at the right people.” Quotes: Ryan Holiday; Ian McAllistor; David Newman Picture source: flickr, Myf McMahon “Who, then why or what.” “Prospect centered Marketing.” Do it like Amazon and work backwards from the customer, always.
  24. 24. Try to get into the heads of your customers. The better you know your customers, the more you can interact and engage with them. Find out where your potential customers spend their time, online and offline. How do your buyers buy?
  25. 25. Find out how your customer’s buying journey works. “It’s easier to market to people who are already listening.” Awareness Interested Considering Intend to buy Evaluation Buy Quotes: David Newman; Steve Jobs “You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology - not the other way around.”
  26. 26. Work on your sales pitch. It has to be simple, concise and crystal clear. Quotes: Ryan Holiday; Ian McAllistor; David Newman “Pain relief, problem resolution, nightmare prevention.” Three words of advice: “Authentic. Client. Language.” “Speak prospect language.”
  27. 27. Find the right sales and marketing channels and execute (test) them well. Picture source: flickr, Alan O'Rourke “It’s easy to waste a lot of money in the wrong channels.” Quote: Gregory Ciotti
  28. 28. Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Marketing Direct Sales Social Media Marketing Banner Marketing and Retargeting Video Marketing Couponing or Voucher Marketing E-Mail Marketing Guerilla Marketing Viral Marketing Affiliate Marketing Content Marketing Business Development and Partnerships Review Pages Public Relations Mobile Marketing Speaking Engagements Community Building Blogging, Podcasting Shopping Clubs Trade Fairs Influencer Marketing Marketing Engineering Engagement in Forums (e.g. LinkedIn) Product and Price Comparison Pages Platforms Verified Programs Crowdfunding or Crowdsourcing Offline e.g. TV, Radio, Print Retail, Wholesale, (Online) Market Places Thanks to the Internet you have a wider choice of different marketing tactics or sales channels than ever before.
  29. 29. Customer archetypes Most promising channels Matching Make an informed guess on which channels are highly likely to perform best. Product Competitors Money Skills Knowledge Competencies
  30. 30. Become an expert in the channels you are going to execute.
  31. 31. Start focusing on 2-3 channels first and make sure to execute them well. Picture source: flickr, Richard Cawood Start measuring the success and the conversion right from the beginning. Spend enough time and money to get enough data to assess the effectiveness of a channel.
  32. 32. Choose proper key performance indicators (KPI) to measure and analyze progress and let the data be your guide. “CAC > CLV” If the customer lifetime value (CLV) exceeds what it costs you to acquire that customer (CAC), business gets interesting. “CLV > CAC”
  33. 33. If you reach that point (CLV > CAC) it’s up to you to raise capital to fund the further growth of your startup. Picture source: flickr, Pictures of Money
  34. 34. In summary: Here are my 10 points of advice! 1. Take responsibility and focus on customer acquisition. 2. Have an ideal customer profile and know which of your customers are best for your business. 3. Try to get into the head of your customers and find out how the buyer’s journey work. 4. Work on your sales, marketing and customer pitch. It has to be simple, concise and clear. 5. Make an informed guess on which channels are highly likely to perform best. 6. Start focusing on 2-3 channels first and make sure to execute them well. 7. Become an expert in the channels that you are going to execute. 8. Choose proper KPI’s to measure and analyze progress and let the data be your guide. 9. If your CLV exceeds CAC it’s up to you to raise capital to fund further growth. 10. If nothing works out, visit www.Startup-Clinics.com.
  35. 35. Sessions | Roundtables | Workshops | Talks | Mentoring Business Model Innovation Finance HR & Culture Law Sales & MarketingLean Project Management Apply via www.Startup-Clinics.com and like us on Facebook. Startup Clinics
  36. 36. @martinwrobel martin.wrobel@hiig.de www.startup-clinics.com www.hiig.de Thank you for listening.
  37. 37. 1. Relevance 2. Thoughts3. Advice 4. Q&A Any questions? Comments?
  38. 38. Quotes and sources. American Marketing Association; From Mad Men to Math Men | Brian Solis | Bronson Taylor | Christoph Janz | David Newman; Do it! Marketing | David Skok | Gabriel Weinberg & Justin Mares; Traction | Gregory Ciotti | Jessica Livingston | Ian McAllistor | Larissa MacFarquhar & Aaron Swartz | Paul Graham | Peter Thiel; Zero to One | Renée Warren | Rob Walling | Ryan Holiday; Growth Hacker Marketing | Steve Blank & Bob Dorf; The Startup Owner's Manual | Steve Jobs | Stuart McDonald

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