I originally published this on Forbes. Read there original here.
If you’re a startup founder who’s looking for someone to build your team, what do you look for in your first marketing hire? It’s a tough question.
Before you start holding interviews for your first marketing hire, ask yourself this: what is the purpose marketing in the first place?
Read moreThe One Question To Ask Your First Marketing Hire
I originally wrote this for HuffPost. Find the original here.
What does every (good) marketer do to develop a new brand? They spend time (and lots of it) trying to come up with a brilliant and unforgettable name. But despite all that hard work, great brands often die. Meanwhile, some brands that eschewed the traditional naming process manage to last decades. Is that fair? Not really.
But it raises an important question: Why are some brands so successful even though they didn’t go through a rigorous naming process?
Read moreDoes a Great Brand Name Even Matter?
I originally wrote this as a piece for Huffington Post, which you can find here.
Startups face no shortage of uncertainty, and nothing creates more uncertainty than going through a pivot. A pivot can be a soul-wrenching, sleepless, and hair-pulling ordeal that can leave you feeling like the whole startup thing was never worth it. That is, if you let it. But if you have the right attitude, a pivot can be a period of intense personal and professional growth – a unique learning experience that can help you grow in wisdom and fortitude.
I’ve gone through a pivot before. And I’m in the middle of another. Here’s what I’ve learned that has helped me turn the experience into a positive one.
Read moreHow To Stay Motivated During A Pivot
This post is Part III in series called “How To Pick a Target Market for a B2B Startup.” To start at the beginning, click here.
Marketing guru Regis McKenna once wrote, “marketing people should be on the road half the time–meeting customers, talking to people, building relationships, and seeing where the next product is going.” You know, actually speaking to live, flesh-and-blood human beings. Crazy.
While that much travel might not be feasible for everyone, his point was clear: understanding your market is key to successfully selling to it. As convenient as research and surveys are (which we discussed in Parts I and II) they simply cannot help you know your market really well.
That’s why interviews are the final (and most important) part of selecting a target market for your B2B startup.
Read moreHow To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup (Part III – Interviews)
This is Part II in a three-part series about finding your ideal target market. Click here if you’d like to start from the beginning.
In part I of this series, I showed you how to use brainstorming and a bit of research to build a short list of potential target markets for your B2B startup.
Now it’s time to narrow that list even further.
To do that, we’re going to use surveys to ask polarizing questions and find out even more about our targets.
Read moreHow To Pick a Target Market For a B2B Startup (Part II – Surveys)
In a B2B startup, there are two questions that you must answer before your company gets very far: what is the product, and who are you going to sell it to? In today’s post, I’m going to focus on the second question, and show you a 3-part process you can use to find the exact market niche to focus on.
Read moreHow To Pick A Target Market For A B2B Startup (Part I – Research)
As a marketer, it’s not uncommon to feel tempted to emulate the marketing strategy of another company you admire.
While there’s nothing wrong with drawing some inspiration from great companies, there’s a big risk involved with following someone else’s footsteps: they may be at a different point on the path, or might be on a different path entirely.
Or they might be drunk, and moving in the entirely wrong direction. (Hey, even the best companies make marketing mistakes).
This brings up something every marketer should consider before developing a marketing strategy: the state of the industry you’re trying to enter.
Read moreThe One Thing Every Marketer Must Consider Before Setting A Strategy
You’re about to go on the fifteenth date with that “perfect” girl. Everything’s been great. She thinks your corny jokes are funny, she loves watching The Profit with you, and heck, she doesn’t even seem to have any annoying friends. She might be the one. But then one day, things… just… stall. Not only is she suddenly “too busy” to see you, but she even lets slip that she thinks Marcus Lemonis is kind of lame.
Read moreYour Startup Isn’t Growing. Is It From A Bad Product, Bad Marketing, Or A Bad Market?
One of the defining characteristics of a startup is that you never seem to have enough people to get everything done. Marketing is no exception. The desire for extra marketing help is always going to be there, whether you’re a team of one or one hundred. While recognizing that you need to add manpower is simple, deciding whether to hire more employees or bring on a marketing agency isn’t so straightforward. There’s no answer that works for everyone.
I recently went through this dilemma myself. And to help you learn from my experience, I wanted to share why I decided to consider a marketing agency and what questions I asked myself to make the decision.
Read moreShould You Hire a Marketing Agency For Your Startup?
“Come on,” my dad quipped, pretending not to notice the look of sheer horror pasted on my face. “It’ll be fun. I promise.”
I was just a 9-year old kid, getting ready to ride a roller coaster called the Loch Ness Monster: 3,240 feet of bright yellow steel tubing wrapped around itself like a two contortionists playing a game of Twister in the middle of tornado. I nearly crapped my pants when I saw it.
Read moreYour Company Will Fail Without A Brand Promise. Here’s Why.