Great Marketing starts by knowing your customer. Here I'd like to share some thoughts on how software startups can do this effectively.
Gaining clarity around company vision, while driving the execution of business and marketing initiatives with precision and accountability are key opportunities for CEOs and their executive teams.
The following “thought starters” can help as discussion topics for your staff meetings. Start by picking one that’s most relevant to your business situation and spend 30 minutes in open dialogue to turn your next Leadership meeting into a mini-offsite.
- Why do customers choose to do business with us?
(Have participants write down their top three reasons, then share)
- Why do we lose business?
(Capture the most recent losses. Then ask “why” until you get to the root cause)
- Who are our most profitable customers? What do they have in common? Are we taking any business we shouldn’t?
(helps moving from CAC optimization to focus on total “Cost to Service” and profitability)
- What are we BEST in the world at doing? What can ONLY we do? Are we recognized for it?
- Are any of our value propositions interchangeable with our competitors?
- How do we differ from ________ (top three competitors) in delivering our products (or services)? Are we recognized for it?
- Is there a “Southwest Airlines” disruptor in our product category or industry (no seat selection, proprietary reservation system, no change for bags, employees are the voice of the company, …)? If not, what would it look like?
Product Line Assessment
- Which of our current products (or services) are most aligned to market and customer requirements? How did this happen? Is it a repeatable process?
- Are we disproportionately investing in marketing and our most profitable products?
- Should we be offering more, or less, choice in our product portfolio? Why?
- At what stage are our products in their product life cycle?
- How do we qualify our coverage of the total addressable market?
- What sales channels are we deliberately not deploying? What conditions have to change before we reconsider?
- How has the selling process changed for our sales teams and channels? Have we modified our sales support strategy to keep up? Is our pricing model optimized?
- What potential sales partnerships and industry alliances should we be planning for in our future?
- How might a licensing or private label or OEM approach be implemented in our business?
- What business (like ours or in the adjacent industries) should we consider for acquisition? If a competitor were to make an acquisition, what scenario would be devastating?
- What are the most strategic investments across our sales cycle for promotional investments? Do we know what works and what doesn’t? Are we continually trying new methods?
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After 15 years of experience in the Software Marketing Industry, Stijn adopted the SaaS model to launch Kalungi, a marketing agency that specializes in assisting B2B SaaS companies.