B2B Marketing 101 with Kasey Jones
Kasey Jones is the CEO of A Better Jones. She is a startup growth marketing coach, personal branding coach. Kasey is the founder of a new personal branding community called our galaxy.
Here are some of her tips for founder’s, mainly for early-stage marketing teams.
You need to be obsessed with your buyer. So that means learning everything you possibly can about them, knowing what matters to them. The biggest thing is actually to stop making assumptions. At times when you are a founder, you’re solving a problem that you had. You assume that you know everything there is to know about your buyer, and it turns out you don’t.
Your buyers can be very different from you, and your ideal buyers are going to change as you grow. So make sure that you make research part of everything you do. Make sure you’re not only talking to your buyers but also talking to the people who wind up not buying from you as well. It is the key, and I like to refer to this as relationship building at scale. So genuinely make build relationships with your ideal customers.
Marketing Tip #2
You need to care about marketing often. You might if you’re a founder. You might be a technical founder, and you might care a lot more about the product. You just don’t think about marketing and sales. You hire someone else to do it. But culture is a top-down thing, and if you don’t show your team from the beginning that you give a damn about marketing
That you’re doing the work to learn what’s going on and What you need, you are going to fall short through a whole thing. So you want to cultivate that marketing talent. If you have a marketing team of one hire a coach, they need help they need. They need assistance to hire a marketing coach that can support them.
Don’t compete for dominance when it comes to content. Don’t do the same thing that everybody else is doing like fingers crossed that you’re going to rise above it. Instead, find a niche of content that no one is covering. So look at what all of your competitors are doing, see what you both have in common. Then find the angle or the approach to content that no one else is covering. Dominate that, it’s the thing that will set you apart, and it’ll make your content journey a whole lot easier and a whole lot more successful. Find your niche and own it.
When it comes to marketing, especially early, you need to think 10x, not 10%. It can be hard for you perfectionists out there, so stop freaking out about every little typo. People don’t care about it. Think about the big picture. Think about the things that are going to move the needle. Do big projects that have real potential. Don’t worry about the small stuff because it’s not going to get you to where you need to go. Focus on big things that have the potential to make a difference to your ledger that is your pipeline.
Marketing Tip #5
Find your gang on the playground. What I mean is to find your strategic partners. Look at your industry and find the companies that are maybe solving a complementary problem to the one you are addressing. Perhaps you both can work together to kind of offer something that solves an even bigger problem together. Pull your resources if there is another startup that is going to team up with you so that you can maximize your assets and your reach. Invest in building Co-marketing and strategic partnership relationships.
Invest in your brand: With your brand, you can build a corporate brand far faster. Your brand can have a far greater reach than your company brand in the early days. People want to buy from people that they trust. If they see a founder who’s the content they love, admire, and trust, they are a lot more likely to buy your product. Look at companies like DRIFT and GONG, and they have leadership teams that have been out there. They have built these powerful personal brands, and as a result, their growth has just been an absolute rocket ship.
AMA with Kasey Jones
The following is excerpts from the AMA session with Kasey.
What part of marketing should somebody who started a B2B company today focus on?
It depends on the product that you’re selling and to which the industry you belong. So again, this comes back to your buyer. You need to understand where does your buyer hangs out, what kinds of content do they consume, where they are, and then create your strategy to be in front of them. Don’t create the plan and then go try to find them. It all starts with your buyer. It is the number one thing to get obsessed with your buyer. Learn absolutely everything about them. Creating a strategy to reach them is going to be so much easier.
What does the marketing team look like for a B2B startup in the first six months?
It’s probably just one person. You want to find someone who’s in that sweet spot of able to do some strategy but is still willing to do execution. One thing I see in early-stage startups make two mistakes
- They either have a c-level product person, a VP level salesperson and then a junior-level marketer. And, they’re surprised further why their marketing sucks.
- They go out, and they hire this expensive strategic marketer, who doesn’t want actually to do this stuff. They just want to create the plan.
You need to find that person in between, as I said before, find them a coach. You know marketing has like 30 different disciplines. You cannot find an expert in all of them. So figure out for your buyer what, where you need to focus, and then find someone who can do that. But, get them a coach so that they can get the support that they need to continue to grow.
In your experience, which is one of the most cost-effective channels?
It totally depends on your market. So if you’re selling eCommerce ads are going to be pretty critical. If you’re selling software, I would invest in things like live events (not trade shows) but hosting your events and hosting things like webinars and other forms of online activities. Again I hate to say that as it depends on every single answer, but it does look at your buyer and look at what matters most to them. Then focus on the channel to get most out of it.
What do you think of this era of marketing?
Now, I think, when it comes to b2b marketing, it is learning from B2C. We see a lot more sort of conversational marketing, a lot more actual influencer marketing in the b2b space. So there’s much crossover. It’s kind of fun. It means you can get creative with what your marketing does. You can get innovative. What I would do is look across the board at some of the wilder campaigns that are going on. There are b2b companies that are doing incredible things starting podcasts, hosting virtual seminars while teaming up with businesses. The sky is the limit. Get super creative.
Inbound versus outbound, What’s your take on it?
For a B2B founder in the early days outbound is reaching out to your customers and like going, and finding them is going to get you faster traction. But what you want to do quickly is start building your kind of marketing strategy to support that. So one thing to keep in mind that early-stage is marketing can help a bunch of departments. So talk to your customer success team and figure out what are the struggles that new trial users are having.
Can marketing create content that is both lead-gen and also onboarding support? Marketing should also be supporting products in terms of getting the word out there. But also provide that buyer research and giving that research back to the product. It is what’s going to make your outbound a lot more successful and then get you ready to launch inbound because you’re going to be building all of these things in the background.
What do you recommend a new startup to do first when it comes to launching?
There are a couple of things a startup can do before launching.
- You must build an email list. An email list is freaking everything, the bigger your mail list, the more people you can sell to, and the more you can learn from your buyers.
- Work on lead gen: Jump on the cold emailing directly. I would leave that to kind of your sales team to take care. Unless you’re selling a low-cost thing and you don’t have a sales team. Cold emailing can work, but don’t do it in like a kind of a traditional marketing spray and pray style. Do it like a sales development sequence.
What are the channels and means for a person to get his first hundred customers?
I hate to say it depends on your product. I will also say there’s a great Facebook group called “oh my god growth hacks” like saAs growth hacks, and you can always find founders in that group that have a similar product. They can tell you things about what they have done to succeed. It also depends on whom you think is your ideal buyer. Do a ton a buyer research and customer discovery interviews so you understand who your first hundred customers should be in the first place. Then going out and finding them is going to be a lot easier right.
What is the branding basics for startup branding?
You want to have a website where people can understand what you do. So early on, have a halfway-decent logo and work on the copy on your website. Make sure it is clear so that somebody comes to your website and says oh my god, that’s for me. See to it that it comes from buyer research from customer discovery and understanding your buyer persona. Check out what the words they are using while describing you are?
What is the messaging that they need to see to look at something and be like oh my god that is speaking to me! That is for me! Just keep it simple, have a couple of simple color palettes, know your fonts, and have the aesthetics down. Understand and see how you talk about yourself, but again can’t stress enough as a founder. You should be building your brand. Your company will grow faster if people know and trust you. Invest in what kind of leader you want people to see you as.
Any tips and tools when you are starting a new podcast.
For the podcast, it all comes down to your pitch. What you want to send is a super personalized mail. It is all about what they are going to get out of it and also flatter your prospects. We all have an ego. But the other thing that I think is a ton of podcasts overlook is to make sure that the system of signing up for your podcast is straightforward. Here is an example if somebody reaches out to me, and they want me to be on their podcast. I have to have like seven or eight emails back and forth of scheduling and telling them stuff, and all of that, I will give up unless it’s a fantastic podcast. Instead, what you want to do is create like an intake form, so you reach out to them, you pitch them.
Once they say yes, I’m interested, you send them a forum where they fill out all the information that you need from them to get them on the podcast. Also, then to promote the podcast once they’ve recorded it at the end of that forum. Have the link where they can just go ahead and schedule it. It makes the whole process so much easier. You’ll save a bunch of time, plus it makes you look professional. Like you know what you’re doing, and those more prominent influencers are a lot more likely to be willing to do it.
What are the most useful tools and potential pitfalls to avoid while building a sales pipeline for b2b tech products?
You must invest in some sales development talent. You need to work on that messaging. Refine it. The things you shouldn’t do is. Like some founders who think they’re going to sell their product in the first email. So they send this super long email. That’s like all about how their product is fantastic. You’re not selling the product; you’re selling a call to talk about the product. Keep it simple.