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Startup Launch - Key Steps to Success

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Based on the process used to launch several successful startups including two that have gone on to file for NASDAQ IPOs (Uproar in 2000 and LogMeIn in 2008 - pending). Recent companies implementing the methodology have included Dropbox (runner up for best startup in 2008 at the Crunchies), Xobni and Eventbrite. Ideally it is implemented in a company’s first six months of customer engagement, but it can often be used to boost results at any stage.

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Startup Launch - Key Steps to Success

  1. Startup Marketing Using Metrics Driven Customer Development to Reach Your Startup’s Full Potential Sean Ellis Principal at 12in6 Startup Launch Accelerator Email: Blog:
  2. First six months of customer engagement most critical for reaching your full potential Blog:
  3. <ul><li>Prepare for big launch </li></ul><ul><li>Work like crazy for awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Build customer acquisition channels </li></ul><ul><li>Target 1 million users by Jan 1 </li></ul>Typical execution first six months Blog:
  4. <ul><li>Missed targets </li></ul><ul><li>High burn </li></ul><ul><li>VP Marketing turnover </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced potential </li></ul>Typical Results Blog:
  5. 80% of typical startup launch efforts are a waste of time and money 80/20 Rule Applies Blog:
  6. 12in6 Methodology Concentrate effort & resources into 20% that matters, when it matters Blog:
  7. <ul><li>Reduced burn during discovery and optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Accelerated customer development (12 months in 6) </li></ul><ul><li>Improved tactical results between 2X & 10X in 6 months </li></ul>12in6 Methodology Results Blog:
  8. 12in6 Methodology: The Sequence 1 ) Survey Driven Discovery 3) Experiment driven Growth 2) Metrics Driven Iteration 12in6 Methodology builds momentum Blog:
  9. 12in6 Methodology: The Metrics <ul><li>Potential Conversion Metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit-to-registration rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Or visit to download rate) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trial-to-transaction rate </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential Transaction Metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average revenue per user </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average transaction size </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transactions per customer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Months per subscriber </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential Acquisition Metrics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User acquisition sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campaign ROI management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowable acquisition costs </li></ul></ul>Focus on actionable metrics that drive decisions to improve results Blog:
  10. Evolving Over Several Startups… … and continues to evolve Blog: Startup When My Role Description Stage Uproar 1996 - 2001 VP Marketing Worldwide Leader Online Games ’00 -’01 NASDAQ IPO in 2000, Acquired by Vivendi Universal LogMeIn 2003 - 2008 VP Marketing 50M active installs for remote access Filed for NASDAQ IPO in Jan 2008 (pending) Xobni Jan 2008 - Current VP Marketing Interim, Advisor Leader Email Contact Profiles VC (A) – Khosla Ventures, FRC Eventbrite Aug 2008 – Feb 2009 Acceleration program Event Ticketing Platform VC (A) – European Founders’ Fund Dropbox Sep 2008 - Current Launch program Cloud/PC/Mac file/folder Sync VC (A) - Sequoia
  11. Survey Driven Discovery Attract the right users who are passionate about your solution Blog:
  12. Survey Driven Discovery Your passionate users hold the keys to unleashing massive customer adoption * The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Blank recommended for early customer development. Blog: Why do they love it? Need/Problem? Messaging that gets more “must have” users? Which users say: “Must Have”?
  13. Metrics Driven Iteration Reduce barriers, streamline experience, maximize average revenue per visitor Blog:
  14. Metrics Driven Iteration X% X% Iterate flow to eliminate barriers that prevent gratification and transactions Blog:
  15. Experiment Driven Growth Discover scalable, profitable customer acquisition channels Blog:
  16. Develop Free Channels First <ul><li>Develop External Free Drivers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO (self) – Ideal for products/services that disrupt existing categories. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog - Blog about passion to solve a problem. Link with other blogs in category. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Widgets make it easy to embed your content (brand experience) on other sites/platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Potential User-Get-User Channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viral replication - if your product has a social element </li></ul></ul>Blog:
  17. <ul><li>Paid channel testing sequence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PR : Great for “innovators” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand harvesting channels (easier than demand creation) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Create unique onramps for each usage and user type </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SEM, directories </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Demand creation last (challenging and expensive) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get ideas by monitoring competitors and overall trends </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Widgets, webcasts, sponsorships, banners, radio, trade shows </li></ul></ul></ul>Then Test Paid Channels <ul><li>Test lowest hanging fruit first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Begin by testing user acquisition channels most likely to have easy, positive ROI </li></ul></ul>Blog:
  18. Budget For Profitable Growth <ul><ul><li>World Domination Budget Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget max spend for allowable acquisition of a new user that returns investment more slowly. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low Burn Budget Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Budget max spend for allowable acquisition cost of a new user that gives fast payback. </li></ul></ul></ul>With the 12in6 Methodology you should always invest for a positive ROI – but payback period changes by strategy. Blog:
  19. Need More Help? <ul><li>12in6’s mission is to help as many startups as possible reach their full potential through a metrics driven go to market approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Help ranges from free guidance (this presentation and the blog) to a hands on go to market program for qualifying startups. </li></ul>What is 12in6? 12in6 uses a metrics driven approach to help startups gain customer traction and build long-term momentum. The name represents the objective of achieving twelve months of customer development progress in only six months of execution. Sean Ellis Email: Blog: Learn More About 12in6