Resources for Founders and Early Marketing Teams
The Marketing Meditations newsletter is organized with:
- Something to think about
- A “How-To” resource help you improve your marketing capabilities
- A deep dive on marketing topics relevant to founders.
Pull out your yoga mat, get comfortable, and enjoy…
Something to Think About
I saw Zig once in Salt Lake. He was amazing and this quote is one I’ve always remembered.
One "How To" Resource
It won’t always be this way.
But once in awhile the “How-To” section will include some goodness from us here at CMO Zen.
This week I’m excited to share that I’ve teamed up with Catherine Bennett, CEO of Backpack Marketing, (one of the best copy maestros I know) to host a webinar on mid-funnel content.
Why mid-funnel content?
Like the middle child of the buyer’s journey, the middle can be messy, imprecise, and easy to neglect. But the middle of the funnel is where conversion really starts. That’s when your prospects first raise their hand.
Once a prospect takes steps in response to your top-of-funnel (ToFu) content, they enter MoFu—the mid-funnel, and they’ve started the process of conversion. You’ve captured a little piece of their hearts, piqued their curiosity, or built a tiny kernel of trust.
So how can you maximize on that initial momentum?
How can you prepare to guide them through subsequent steps?
How can you speak to their nascent interest in your brand?
Join us and we’ll share tips that you can use right away to nail the messy middle.
A Marketing Deep Dive
The Key to Customer Validation?
Brand positioning statements (BPS) can be effective guides for how to approach validation.
For tips on writing a killer BPS, check out this article on our blog.
Better yet here’s a playbook you can run yourself.
How does that tie in to validation?
In the early stages of your go-to-market you’re looking for evidence that what you believe about your product or your company, will turn out to be true when exposed to the merciless eye of the customer.
Validation is the process for gathering evidence from customers that your belief is true… or at least the extent to which it isn’t true.
To validate, we use the scientific method.
Start with a hypothesis. Then test it.
But often those early beliefs are disorganized or not fully formed. Sometimes it can be difficult to build a testable hypothesis.
That’s where the BPS comes in.
The BPS gives you five testable hypotheses that, if true, mean you have a business. If not, now is the least expensive time to course correct.
So what are the five hypotheses?
Following the structure of the brand positioning statement they are:
- For [target customer]
- With [problem/pain]
- Our product [benefit that addresses the pain]
- Unlike [alternatives].
- That’s because [secret sauce, thing that makes you different, better, or special compared with the alternatives].
First, you need to validate that you know your target customer. If you’re selling B2B this is probably your ICP (company) and personas (people) involved in the buying decision. For B2C this is just your target customer, avatar, or persona. If you’re wrong about your hypothesis here, nothing else about your GTM strategy will work.
Second, you need to validate that they have the problem you’re trying to solve. If you can articulate the pain better than anyone else, you win. I was recently working with a client who thought they had identified a critical pain point with their target customer. We interviewed the sales team who agreed this was what their prospects needed.
But when we interviewed the prospects themselves, we couldn’t get ANY of them to validate that this was actually a problem for them. So, we had to go back to the drawing board and come up with a fresh idea.
Third, a hypothesis about how we solve the pain. We want to know if the benefits we’re providing will actually alleviate the pain. If they don’t it’s going to be frustrating for everyone.
Fourth, we need to validate the alternatives. What is the customer using now? Is it a competitor? The status quo? Nothing?
And finally fifth, is the thing that makes us different, better, or special meaningful to the customer. Does it give them a reason to believe that we can take away their pain?
I often work with clients who aren’t sure where to start, because they haven’t really done enough validation of their company yet. From Paul Ahlstrom and Nathan Furr in Nail It Then Scale It, “Entrepreneurs innovate. Customers validate.”
Without validation, you’re still guessing and hoping that customers will buy. But if you can validate all five of these points, you have the building blocks of a real business.
So when you’re missing validation and aren’t sure where to start, try using the BPS as a framework to guide which key assumptions you need to validate.
Until next time… namaste.
Chad Jardine, Founder & CEO
P.S. This newsletter was written by a human. AI may have helped with some images though.
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