Learn to Play Moneyball:
If you haven’t heard the term Moneyball Marketing, you must be living under a rock. Simply put, it means marketing is now measurable and can be optimized mathematically. (Ewww, math!) This math-first approach requires two sets of data; conversions — measured in downloads, shares, transactions or other touch points along the customer acquisition path — divided by investment, which is usually time and money.
With real-time data, nimble startups can speed through the build-measure-learn cycle and outmaneuver the competition. Tiny companies can test wacky ideas, throw money at the ones that work and outmaneuver much larger competitors. So data enables marketing creativity – yea for data! But, the tools have gotten sophisticated so expect to invest in learning or hire someone to help. And like programmers, good analytics talent is in high demand, cha-ching! The faster you find how to put 1 dollar in and get 5 dollars out the faster you’ll get some “P” in the P&L. Our lesson? You guessed it, fast iteration requires writing code.
Hold Social Media Close:
Millennials are digital natives who know their way around social media and for us old folks the digital world isn’t as intuitive. However, knowing all the levers doesn’t mean you know which ones to push. Social media is just another marketing tool, and all marketing needs a strategy to deliver great results. I knew I couldn’t create a social strategy from scratch, so I hired a young consultant.
This person had lots of happy clients, she knew all the requisite lingo and I was excited to finally learn the levers of digital marketing — it was my motivation to start the company. The good news is that I got to see the way most companies were “doing” social media and now I know the levers. The bad news is that status quo is never a good approach for startups and getting no results was a $5,500 lesson.
Marketing Automation Rocks:
This is not the place to be scrappy, and I love scrappy. I thought marketing automation was only for the big guys, I knew it was expensive and I figured we could do it ourselves. Although we mastered the digital tools – squeeze page, CRM, email, affiliates, coupons, A/B testing, analytics, social sharing, etc. – they were all siloed. We kept bumping into walls and hacking together solutions. (And remember, we’d already hacked together the Web site.)
Finally, a good salesman got me to listen, we got trained on the platform and it was nothing short of marketing nirvana! The power of automating and integrating product, marketing and sales is enormous and worth the upfront investment. This is an easy lesson to learn, I’ll pick up the bill.
The best part is, streamlining marketing will free up time to focus on other aspects of the business, the numbers, for instance. (See business lesson #1.)