Strategy is not a wish list. Strategy is not a bunch of fuzzy words. And strategy is not tactics.
The internet is awash with tactics, including tactics for growth.
“If all you have is random tactics, you will (almost certainly) drive yourself crazy, run out of money and fail. Period.”
Bad strategy is everywhere.
Meanwhile, marketing is much misunderstood in both startup and corporate circles.
Put the two together and you have a recipe confusion and failure.
I wrote an article last week to set out my views on:
- The purpose of marketing for startups and innovative companies
- What strategy looks like for growth (hint: marketing is the key to unlock growth)
- How clear objectives are merely the starting point for devising good strategy
- How to set measurable results for each objective
- How tactics are the techniques, methods and tools you will adopt to achieve those results
- Why nothing will happen unless you know who will do what, when and at what cost
- How it all fits together and how to get started…
In short, marketing strategy is the what, why and how to reaching the growth goals for your startup or innovation initiative.
New McKinsey research shows that loyalty is at a new low. Consumers are shopping around more than ever, and financial service consumers are among the least loyal of the lot. The challenge they argue is to find ways to get potentially disloyal consumers to consider giving you another chance before you lose them forever.
Establishing a Growth Team
Casey Winters at Greylock Ventures offers some sage advice on how to start and grow a growth team. In sum: Start: begin with a single (easier) problem to establish credibility. Grow: Own the growth funnel. Evolve: Morph into a cross-functional special forces team.
Devise Your Exit Strategy Upfront
Jonathan Friedman at LionBird Ventures talks through some “leading indicators for likelihood of a near-term exit that can help those choosing to pursue this strategy” early in the life a startup. In sum: Disruptor Factor: When a large innovative tech-driven company perceives & M&A as a shortcut to disrupting incumbents. Outsourced R&D: An incumbent may see a tactical advantage to acquiring a startup to give it boost in a specific niche. The Tuck-in: Forming a successful partnership with a potential acquirer can be a leading indicator for a successful exit.
Mention Price Last
David Cohen of TechStars explains why when pitching investors it’s generally wise to not mention pre- or post-money valuation pricing until the very end. As in any negotiation, giving first, demonstrating value upfront gives you more leverage and minimises the risk of selling yourself short.
11 Reasons You’re Not Getting Funded
Phil Nadel of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners sets out 11 reasons why VCs decide not to invest. Take heed.
Open Guide to Investing Terms
Andy Sparks & Josh Levy of MatterMark are putting together an Open Guide to investing terminology. A very cool and useful resource for startup founders everywhere.
Capital One Cafes Are Cooking
Banks turning branches in to cafes to appeal to ‘millennials’ generally comes off as desperate, lame and embarrassing. But Capital One seem to be doing something right with this US initiative. The roving money coaches are reminiscent of the blue shirted Apple store geniuses. Will it work? Time will tell but the early signs are positive.
European Challenger Banks On The March
Thomas Olszewski of Frontline Ventures explains how the coming wave of challenger banks are set to provide a better customer experience, offer lower charges, acquire customers more cheaply and be more profitable than incumbents.
How Large Companies Can Avoid Disruption
Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies unpacks what incumbents need to do to stave off disruption. He provides examples of how to innovate better and faster in 10 distinct ways. Required reading for (would-be) innovators at established firms looking to avoid being disrupted themselves.
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