Federal Hill incubator Betamore held its first class Saturday, an all-day marketing “bootcamp” for startups organized and hosted by Evolve Communications president and founder Daniel Waldman.
While the afternoon was reserved for putting together marketing plans and strategies, the morning before the break for lunch was dominated by two featured speakers: Social Venture Constructors CEO Jim Kucher, who has secured more than $70 million in venture capital for companies focused on social entrepreneurship, and Geoff Livingston, author of “Marketing in the Round,” a former startup operator and a marketing strategist who has advised a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Google, eBay and Pepsi.
Each gave keynote talks addressing mistakes companies — especially startups — make in their marketing strategies. We’ve identified five key points from each of their talks.
Jim Kucher: Five Things
- “The single biggest thing you want to know before you know anything else? Who gives a crap?” (Or: put the coding down, and figure out what you’re building and for whom.)
- H.T.M.L.: Headaches. Time. Money. Lives. “If you can clearly demonstrate that you can save one of those four things for a population you can actually identify, you’re getting somewhere.”
- “You need to know [your customers] better than you know your … mother.”
- ” ‘How do I make money?’ is NOT ‘how do I get money?’ “
- Be “maniacally methodical” about all the costs associated with your startup. If you’re selling coffee, for example, your costs include such things as the price to purchase the cups, the sleeves for the cups and rent, and not just the cost of brewing the coffee.
Geoff Livingston: Five Things
- “To have competitors crawling all over you is the luxury of success.” Or: no one cares who you are or what you do until your product is out there. So if your startup truly has nothing to hide, it behooves you to try to get some name recognition.
- Instead of building a marketing program, build a customer experience that inspires people. “Your job is to make people feel like heroes.” After all, why else would anyone participate in a Tough Mudder?
- “Early customers take the greatest risks.”
- People take chances on a product because they feel safe talking about your product. Think about how you can influence word-of-mouth marketing via social media, instead of just talking about your new blog post on social media.
- And whatever you do, “just make money.” Cash will forever be king.