Startup marketing: strategies for year one

Inside Intercom

The most important tasks for any early stage startup are to write code and talk to users. Looking back, I didn’t see these activities as marketing with a capital M, but they absolutely were. and the answer I give is always the same: the same place we found the time for writing code, designing our product, raising capital, etc. Founding a startup is a lot like this. I didn’t have a perfectly mapped out startup marketing strategy.

The importance of an effective product marketing strategy

Inside Intercom

Despite the mountain of evidence contradicting the mantra of “if you build it, they will come”, it’s still extremely prevalent among product-first companies. First, most founders don’t have a background in either sales or marketing, and even though they’re told to “ start marketing the day you start coding ”, they just don’t know where to begin, or they’re incredibly overconfident. Do they know where to go to promote their product, and how to do it once they get there?

Product/Market Fit is Failing Because of Your Company Structure

Mind the Product

Did you know that 42% of startups fail because no one wants to buy their product? For corporations, nearly 80% of new products fail each year for the exact same reason. So why are we still developing products no one wants? Product experts have tried to tackle this issue but they gloss over the impact a company’s structure and leadership team have on product/market fit. Who owns Product/Market fit – Marketing, Sales, or Business?

The Ultimate In-App Marketing Guide for Product Marketers in 2019


In-app marketing – Everyone’s doing it in bits and pieces. This guide will give you a holistic idea of in-app marketing, what to improve and how to attract, acquire and retain more users. How To Use In-App Marketing Guide. The main types of in-app marketing.

How Product Managers Measure Product-Market Fit


Problems yearn for solutions, needs long to be met, and markets are waiting to be addressed. This reality beckons startups and established firms to introduce new products that will scratch that itch and deliver satisfaction. How to Measure Product-Market Fit.

Startup Dust

Oren Steinberg

The biggest asset any startup has is the time of its entrepreneurs and key talents. The success or failure of the startup often hinges on their ability to focus their efforts on the critical path at any given time. As the startup grows and faces scalability and growth challenges the issue of focus becomes even more challenging. 2 unexperienced entrepreneurs have a great idea for their first startup. Business (including all sales, marketing, biz dev etc.).

5 strategies to drive your next wave of growth

Inside Intercom

It might be to launch a new product, to define a new category or to hit $1M in revenue. You hit your goal – you launched that new product, defined that new category, hit $1M in revenue. Build your next big product. Your next big product is probably right in front of you.

Why Product Market Fit Isn't Enough

Brian Balfour

It’s Not Just Great Product The “go-to” answer for almost every question in startups, is “build a great product.” Building a great product is a piece of the puzzle, but it’s far from the full picture. There are great products that never reach $100M+.

Podcast Ep. 23: How to Validate Product-Market Fit

Sequent Learning

Masters of product management is a podcast series that captures the ideas, commentary, and lessons learned from product management thought leaders across the globe. Key points: 1) A product will only succeed if it solves a customer problem and presents a compelling value proposition.

Vision vs. Strategy


In recent articles on keys to product success and the alternative to roadmaps I have highlighted that if you want the benefits of product team empowerment and autonomy, then you need to provide each team with the necessary context in which to make good decisions. I’ve explained that the context typically needs to be the product vision, and a specific set of outcome-based objectives for each team (OKR’s are an effective way to do that). Product Vision.

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Lean Mean Product Machine – Dan Olsen on The Product Experience

Mind the Product

After leaving the Navy and working on nuclear submarines, Dan Olsen embarked on a career that has spanned enterprises and start-ups, consulting, speaking, writing, and running the Lean Product & Lean UX meetup. What is product/market fit? What is product/market fit?

How To Cross the Strategy-to-Execution Chasm

The Product Coalition

Most companies fail in execution, not strategy. Defining strategy the right way can close the gap. Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.” Why Defining Product Strategy is Hard Strategy Overload One of the challenges with the word “Strategy” is that it is an overloaded term.

Most startups don’t starve, they drown. Here is why, and how to survive.

The Product Coalition

Startups don’t starve, they drown. It was 2010 when I watched the online stream of the Startup Lessons Learned conference, initiated by Eric Ries. At some stage the now famous Shawn Carolan quote came up: Startups don’t starve, they drown. Most startups don’t starve, they drown.

Disney's PM Director on Lean Startup and the Media Industry

PMLesson's Ace the PM Interview

Sanaz Alexander is a product manager at the Disney ABC Television Group Software Solutions team based in Burbank, CA. In this Path to PM blog post, Sanaz and I discuss applying lean startup principles to media products. How did you break into product management? In my role, I met with management teams of small and large companies and learned about their growth and monetization strategies, revenue models and technology platforms.

Growing up Lean: Lean Strategies for Maturing Products

Mind the Product

Building an MVP and launching a product is actually the easy part. The Product Lifecycle. We all know the product lifecycle chart. Product Lifecycle. But in reality, it’s not where most product managers spend their time. Step 1: Set your product vision.

Dear Strategy: 090 Balancing The Old and The New

Dear Strategy

Dear Strategy: “In a rapidly changing marketplace, how should teams balance the need to support the core business and the need to tackle innovation? Dear Strategy: Episode 090. ###. Are you interested in strategy workshops for your product, marketing, or business managers?

Dear Strategy: 089 Embracing The Future While Respecting The Past

Dear Strategy

Dear Strategy: “How do I turn a disruptive threat into an opportunity – with a focus on turning the mindset of the company around from arrogance and defensiveness to embracing and taking action?”. . As the market for the product grows, Company X grows with it.

How to Design Your Customer Validation to Maximize Product/Market Fit

Sachin Rekhi

In my previous post I detailed how I typically go about documenting the initial set of product/market fit hypotheses for an early stage startup and each of the key elements that are important to capture as part of it. Acquisition Strategy. Monetization Strategy.

A Lean Alternative to a Business Plan: Documenting Your Product/Market Fit Hypotheses

Sachin Rekhi

The customer development and lean startup methodologies evangelized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries brought us a better approach that favored experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development.

What Happens When you do User Discovery After Market Traction

Mind the Product

Major elements of our sales and marketing plan, designed with companies like this one in mind, needed to be revisited at the least. Among other things, it was soon clear that we’d fallen into a common trap for startups and new products. We’d responded to market traction without properly understanding our users. We launched UserMuse with what we believed to be a deep understanding of our primary market: product managers at B2B software companies.

The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup’s metrics – 80 slide deck included!

Andrew Chen

Growing startups and evaluating startups share common skills. Earlier this year, I joined Andreessen Horowitz as a General Partner, where I focus on a broad spectrum of consumer startups: marketplaces, entertainment/media, and social platforms. Startups aren’t spreadsheets.

Taylor Wescoatt – Being the First Product Manager

Mind the Product

In working at Seedcamp and helping over 100 startups understand product thinking, Taylor Wescoatt has learned some valuable lessons he’d like to share, together with some real-world examples to drive the point home! Being the first product manager at a startup typically means being the 10th or 15th employee, and recognizing that – although product management has both tactical and strategic components – you’ll initially be more focused on tactics.

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Finding Your Product's Critical Event(s)

Product Management Lessons from the Trenches

Finding Your Product’s Critical Event(s) By now you have most likely heard the phrase “build it, they will come”. There is an App for that”) and simply building a product doesn’t guarantee a successful business. growth startup-lessons product-management product-strategy product

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What we learned moving sales and product upmarket together

Inside Intercom

As Intercom’s customer base moved upmarket, it became increasingly obvious to us in Sales that what worked well in our product for early-stage startups didn’t for larger companies. To fix it, we had to change how we worked with our product team. We created our first sales function in 2014 and in the busyness of building out the team, we had little time to reflect on how our experiences on the frontline of sales could add value to our product roadmap.

Mobile Second: When Desktop is the Right Platform to Focus on First

Mind the Product

In 2010 Google announced it would prioritize mobile ahead of desktop when developing new products. As we all know, there’s been a massive shift toward mobile-first product design since then. Our product, Karen , was one of those. The Product.

How to make product improvements

Inside Intercom

Web businesses searching for product market fit think they can follow this philosophy just by shipping code. But shipping code doesn’t mean that you’re making any significant product improvements. So what is product improvement? Continuous product improvement.

Improve Your Results with Clear Value Propositions

Product Management Lessons from the Trenches

Sales is pitching to distributors that the beer is “Less Filling”, while Marketing is advertising that the beer “Tastes Great” and Operations is delivering “the Lowest Cost Light Beer.” Things would be much better at a startup…” It turns out that?—?just or the marketing strategy.

Launching A New Product? Don’t Forget The Rest Of The Company.

The Product Coalition

Align everyone in sales, marketing, product, customer success, and professional services. The secret to a successful product launch is in the consistency of the process. Has your business leader approved of the product launch?

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The Dark Side of Product KPIs

The Product Coalition

Why can data generated KPIs limit your product? Product KPI is defined so we can measure how well the new feature works or resolve an AB testing. That’s why it is only natural that when we come to set the KPI for a new product or feature, we start by looking at the data.

The Model Market Fit Threshold & What it Means for Your Growth Strategy

Brian Balfour

The difference between these two are not the common mantras of build a great product, product market fit is the only thing that matters, or growth hacking. CAC spectrum and how your product and product tiers need to align on this spectrum.

Elad Gil on catapulting into hyper growth

Inside Intercom

As VP of Corporate Strategy at Twitter, Elad Gil was a key player as company headcount skyrocketed from 90 to 1,500 employees. This wasn’t Elad’s first experience with hyper growth – Google grew headcount 10x during his time as a product manager there – nor the last.

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How Atlassian built a $20 billion dollar company with no sales team

Inside Intercom

When you think about how “traditional” enterprise-focused firms – think Microsoft, Oracle and IBM – sell software, it usually follows a well trodden formula: negotiations, long sales cycles and a “checklist” of features demanded by decision makers who seldom use the products they buy.

Convert your ad traffic with personalized landing pages

Inside Intercom

In advertising, a one size fits all strategy is too broad to be truly effective. Last year, we decided to test a new, more personalized landing page strategy for our Google AdWords campaigns. Step 3: Review your current marketing site assets.

HubSpot’s Kieran Flanagan on product-led growth

Inside Intercom

That doesn’t mean his team overlooks traditional approaches; rather, they’re deploying a blend of tactics to create products with true, measurable value so powerful that it wows users and drives growth. Though he’s now HubSpot’s VP of Marketing and Growth, Kieran has seen it all.

The Lean Product Process

Product Bookshelf

Create and validate your hypotheses about your target market and their unmet needs and then do the same with your value proposition, feature set, and user experience. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen.

The Power of Online News Release in the Philippines

I Wonder The Value

How I made research I’m using Google Alert and Tweet Deck to ping specific topics such as startup and specific industry every day. marketing public-relations strategic-planning product-marketing marketing-strategies

How great Product Managers deal with technical debt

The Product Coalition

Tech debt is all of the little things that aren’t quite right about your product behind the scenes. It’s all the workarounds that you’ve found to quickly make the product look and behave the way that it does. How extensible does your product need to be?

The Misunderstood World of Product Growth

The Product Coalition

Relentlessly growing a product seems like a no-brainer. The truth is there are a lot of trade-offs that are being made, and often those trade-offs are leaving products or businesses exposed to lurking risks. This allows for the new product to turn a profit at smaller margins.

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Why CEOs Should Not Be Our Primary Source of Customer Input

Mironov Consulting

I work with a lot of CEOs, usually as an advocate for better product and development organizations. I think this is fundamentally wrong for companies with more than a half-dozen customers or a dozen employees – and is a primary contributor to product strategy gridlock.

Forget about Growth. Here’s the Metric that Really Matters.


Whether they’re exceeding expectations or falling short, how many users being added is an inevitable focus area for the entire organization, and product managers are often tasked with growth-related responsibilities. Product Management Product Strategy