At Workstreamer I’m in charge of marketing and strategy.
As I have begun developing our marketing, I have become deeply bothered by the lack of resources available to marketing strategists of early early-stage companies. Aside from the awesome work and insights of Dave McClure and Andrew Chen there seems to be a real lack of resources.
Distribution of a new company is maybe more important than the product itself. Yet, everywhere you look online, all you find are blogs about web-design, venture capital and branding. Yes, there are generic marketing blogs, but how you market a new web service is a unique beast. So where the blogs written by top strategists? Where are the articles dealing with how you â€˜scale’ or â€˜bootstrap’ a marketing campaign?
Starting Monday I’m going to devote the next couple months to discussing the marketing strategies and tactics we will deploy with Workstreamer. This should be a great learning experience for me personally. I have never marketed something on this order of magnitude before and expect that success or failure there is much to be shared. In the spirit of being open and transparent, I’m hoping my thoughts will generate feedback, comments and discussion. Hopefully this information will also help out others in my same position.
Startups have been marketed in all sorts of ways. Here is a short list of well-known examples:
- AOL â€“ Mass mailed CDs with free trail offers
- Netscape â€“ Pre-loaded search software on Windows computers
- Craigslist â€“ Email lists, Geographic Focus
- MySpace â€“ Started as a website focused on providing free websites to bands in California. Photo sharing and self-expression really helped it grow.
- Facebook â€“ Acquired emails lists and kept its product exclusive in the beginning
- YouTube â€“ Used the widget concept; transportable product hugely extended branding
- Ning â€“ Viral marketing through invitation and viral loops
- Tumblr – Being “cool” and attaining PR quickly
One great resource I have been visiting is the blog, Startup Review. Startup review interviews founders of successful companies and then creates mini case studies. They even have a section devoted to â€˜launch strategy.’
Top indicators for Internet Startup Success [Startup Review]:
1. Define a previously unrecognized niche
2. Strong ability to leverage natural search as the primary means of user acquisition
3. Service that empowers people to make a living
4. Free (or near free) alternative for a previously high cost service
5. True viral distribution potential
6. Ability to jump-start user acquisition through distribution partnerships
7. Story that lends itself to mainstream PR
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