How to Make a Marketing Plan for your Startup | Furlough Mastermind

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Join us every Wednesday at 2pm EST in the Furlough Community Discord for our Mastermind session hosted by Joe Casanova & Ophir Gadot. Our guests change every week and range from experts, entrepreneurs and creatives to influencers, brands, nomads, investors and more!

 

In this step by step guide, we talk about how to make a marketing plan that suits your startup needs. 

 

You can also watch the replay of the mastermind here:

 

How Often Your Strategy Change from Beginning a Startup?

 

Joe Casanova 

Ready to jump right into this. So let’s not waste any time. Let’s talk about how to make a marketing plan for your startup. And really, it’s the strategy, it all comes down to strategy. And Ophir, how often does your strategy change from the beginning of your startup?

 

Ophir Gadot 

What are our next steps, constantly changing, what is the end goal we want to get to? Pretty much the same, but it’s a constant evaluation and rethinking of what marketing channel we should push, you need to define your audience and be flexible, and be able to constantly touch base with a different segment and see what’s working and what’s not. It’s essential for brands to grow. … lack of complete knowledge. You’re not like an established brand, who is capable of looking at reviewing his existing customers. Most of the startups have no customers, but we’re starting to speak about planning, we need to treat assumptions as such. A lot of people think they know, but I mean, nobody knows.

 

Joe Casanova 

Bingo, absolutely. And, you know, planning is important because those who fail to plan, of course, they plan to fail. And you have to have some sort of Northstar. Setting goals that are far and outreach, especially for a startup, it’s a great way to encourage your team to set a mission in place, but with this strategy, right? Where do you start? That seems to be the main question. And the first step is really identifying your current position. Okay?

 

Step 1: Identify Your Current Position

Step 1: Identify Your Current Position

Ophir Gadot 

Where are you standing with competition? Where do you stand with your target audience? Being very mindful, because most startups are living in a kind of R&D mode, they lack feedback, they lack understanding of what the target market is. So just being mindful of that is key. And I’ve been there, meaning I went to investors, and told them, I don’t have competitors. And I see their reaction like I was wrong for saying that, obviously. I just, again, knowing your market is the number one thing. If you don’t know your market, whatever you’re doing, you’re having the best product in the world, you can compete.

 

Joe Casanova 

Exactly. And really doing a kind of a checklist, understanding where you are, what assets you have in place, guys. 

 

Step 2: Define Your End Goal

Step 2: Define Your End Goal

Once you identify your current position, of course, setting up and understanding what that end goal is. Because ideally, you want to start with the end in mind, right? That way, you have an idea of where you’re going. 

 

Step 3: Define Your Target Market

Step 3: Define Your Target Market

And going back to what Ophir said, identifying that target market, and who the landscape is, who the competitors are, who are there is very important. And understanding where you fit directly in that. Now, what does it take to determine your market?

 

Ophir Gadot 

First, again, it’s understanding what your audience is looking for when they reach a product like your own. So even if you created shoes that help you fly, or whatever innovation you put into it, you still sell shoes. So being aware of that nature and generic keywords you’re in, and what kind of segmentations you need to create for your specific features or additions to communicate that and create your own segment within the market. Keyword research is important in understanding where the key players are competing, where the majority of traffic is going and how you can get a piece of the pie.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely, and when you have this, this is all about building strategy for your startup, right? So you have an idea: wWhere the market is and possibly what your position in this market is. It’s really setting up metrics that allows you to say, okay, cool, my website hit 1000 visitors and how much reach I have and how many conversions. Of course, it’s a great metric to base your business off. Of course, this is supposed to be that Northstar, I truly believe goals are not supposed to be hit if you’re hitting your goals, set bigger goals.

 

Step 4: Choose the Right Social Channels

Step 4: Choose the Right Social Channels

Next up, this goes back to identifying your current position. Of course, choosing the right channels, your audience might not be on Twitch but your audience might be on YouTube. Right? Those are some of the references. If you don’t have social media channels in place, chances are you don’t have a website or a blog set up. So we’re going to consolidate those to set up your store, traffic, business or startup right. 

 

Step 5: Brand Messaging

Step 5: Brand Messaging

Step five, remember, this is a 12 step process, right? And you guys hear me talk about this quite frequently. And it goes down to the brand messaging. And this entails the tone of what you speak, the voice which you have. And of course the type of topics, the different types of verticals or categories in which your content is. 

 

Step 6: Personas

Step 6: Personas

So once you have this brand messaging, you’re really identifying these personas, okay, and you don’t know who your target audience is. And you might start building multiple personas. Ophir, what do you think the ideal amount of personas for a startup to be?

 

Ophir Gadot 

To me it really depends on budget and knowledge. And also what do you define a persona because Kim gave a very high level personas and created very like Iver focus personas, unless a startup comes from an expertise in a specific market. Let’s say I’m creating a cybersecurity startup SaaS. After working in a SaaS company that provides cybersecurity services, they see a specific segment that doesn’t get addressed with my product. This is the kind of example where a startup can go very specific. In most cases, I have a more holistic approach and clear and fine tuning along the way.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely. And I definitely agree with that. Ideally, you want one persona that’s your ideal targeting, ideal marketing, ideal person. But chances are in the beginning stages you really refining who that is. 

 

Step 7: Product

Step 7: Product

Now, once you’ve really identified your personas, it’s great to identify really the products and feature sets of which your brand or business has. In the case of Furlough, we have our community, of course, which is really geared towards these entrepreneurs. We have the Academy, which is geared towards these apprentices. And then we have this mastermind that’s really geared towards these experts. 

 

Step 8: Customer Mapping

Step 8: Customer Mapping

So when you have the idea of your personas, and you have these ideas of your products; mapping. Mapping these personas to these products or feature sets, so Ophir, if you don’t mind jumping a little bit into this, and you have such ways into drop here.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Whatever services it is that I’m selling, I have different use cases. For understanding that use case for each persona. And applying each feature for that use case that is fitting. Because I can have a SaaS product that addresses multiple segments in different ways, some will find more attraction in one feature, and some will find more interest in another feature. So just understanding their use case. And this is why I think the age or the location of the persona is less important, but more of the use case and the journey and the need. So I want to connect that need with that solution. And some connecting that need with that solution. The story is where I kinda fill in the gap and create the funnel.

 

Joe Casanova 

Amazing could you possibly give an example of a persona and how you’ve mapped them to a feature set?

 

Ophir Gadot 

In eCommerce, it’s not the best approach, it’s more relevant for SaaS. So for example, I worked with an app that does count management, some sort of CRM, it’s like a supplement for Salesforce in a way, where you can manage your sales and manage your communication in one place, and be on top of the sales funnel. So this product was having different features for different segments within their audience. Meaning to ..The guy that signed a check and pay for it, he wants to know that he has consistency, he wants to know that he has access to all the data within the account. Once you know that he can set up automations to team members, right? The team member wants to know that he has edit notes for him to only know, he has access from all devices, he wants to know that he can export these data to different places, and so on. But just being able to understand how to communicate each feature for each segment within the target market. And just think about it if I’m an enterprise decision maker, I’m a 50 year old plus, I’m a team member working on sales, I’m 25 to 35. It’s a completely different segment, they use the same product.

 

Joe Casanova 

That was spot on thing for that Ophir. And, just to give that love to use Furlough as a reference. And when we’re mapping an apprentice who’s searching for digital marketing education and it makes sense to route them towards the academy and really figuring out where that journey is. Are they on Reddit searching through blogs, they typing in Google, where can I learn digital marketing that’s not college. And we have a blog post that we’re bidding on, you know, digital marketing keywords so that this blog post gets in front of that customer while they’re searching and redirects them towards a product being our academy or going to experts who are looking for, you know, public relations, or some sort of sponsored posts or blogs, we can then encourage them to come to the mastermind, these are the type of use cases for these customers mapping. It is really mapping your customers and your funnels. 

 

Step 9: Advertising Assets

Step 9: Advertising Assets

So step nine, that’s the one and only, the advertising assets. And this goes back to your first step where you’re really identifying what assets you have, what’s your current position in the market? And what are the needs? Now, depending on the channels, right? Because if you’re going to be advertising on Facebook, and Instagram and these visual platforms, your knees on advertising, assets are going to be a lot higher than if you’re advertising on search engines like Google, where you just have would have to do keyword research, which was done in step three, and figure out what are your ideal personas or customers or prospects, what they’re actually typing in the search engine. So…

 

Ophir Gadot 

If you asked me as a startup, like let’s say you’re going to that planning phase, being your startup is not established, meaning you don’t have a customer acquisition channel, the first thing you need to do is be there. So is understanding which marketing channels go back to what you addressed like a few minutes ago. And first of all, set it up. Understand that it’s not going to be perfect, but set it up. From there before you push advertising channels and advertising assets, understand where your competitors are, understand where your traffic audience is, have that first fine tuning of your assets on the organic level, meaning if I’m pushing Facebook or whatever it is, it’s some minor feedback organically from friends, surroundings, initial users and stuff and so on. Improve your content and then move forward to advertising assets. Because today, most of the assets you’re going to have are going to be based on organic assets and user generated content. So this is what I would focus.

 

Joe Casanova 

I love that. That was spot on. Absolutely right. So you got your plan. You got your personas, you got your feature set, you got your understanding of the market, the keywords that you’re doing, you have your advertising assets. 

 

Step 10: Maintain Consistency

Step 10: Maintain Consistency

At this point, let’s go with step 10. Right you have your strategy, you have your plan. And it’s really maintaining that consistency in that brand, in that effort, because a plan and a strategy is only so much. You got to put in the work, follow the strategy, follow this plan, measure results. And I think this is by far the most important part. This is what Nick Fury did when he assembled the Avengers. It’s assembling a dream team.

 

Ophir Gadot 

Creating a team is the number one thing. Once you speak of investors, you understand that a lot of investors invest in teams and products. Listen, if you have good talent, and you have people who can make an impact, there’s so many business models out there, there’s so many products you can do. It is just finding the right people, finding the right ambition and push.

 

Joe Casanova 

Through all the years that I’ve spent in startups and entrepreneurship and businesses. It’s really the people that have determined the success of that business. So find people who care about your business as much as you do. And they will take you a long way. 

 

Step 11: Go Full Speed

Step 11: Go Full Speed

And the 11th step sounds pretty simple and easy, guys, and it’s a start that may hold you back and is the GO GO GO GO. Go at full speed. And once you go at full speed, and you’ve done this for a good amount of time, okay, and what is a good amount of time to really evaluate your plans, Ophir?

 

Ophir Gadot 

Your startup is less than three months old, you’re unable to understand what’s going on, especially if you’re not pushing advertising traffic, let’s say three to six months, you want to have the ability, it could pivot and not necessarily wait too much time. 

 

Step 12: Don’t Hesitate to Pivot

Step 12: Don't Hesitate to Pivot

Like for example, if you have five customers, and this is very ordinary for a new startup. And you hear from all your customers about a certain post, what is this shit, then you want to pivot quickly, meaning you want to keep that flexibility in mind at all times, while still being consistent, trying to get more of a sample size. If your customers are telling you something, listen.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely and he said it, he said it. So let’s just jump onto the saw set. And it’s really important to change the direction of your business. You know, there are so many businesses out there that have pivoted, you know, honorable mention right now, look at Facebook, or shall I call Meta, that is a pivot and it’s a new NorthStar. So I could keep pushing the company forward in that direction and

 

Ophir Gadot 

Amazon pivoted. Amazon started as a bookstore. And then they dominate eComm, the dominant storage and fulfill it worldwide. So Apple, they started as a computer company right now like they’re dominating phone have like Google’s an example as well. And Google is an advertising company. A long time ago there was a search engines, it’s no longer search engine. And this is like every company are going to check you’re going to find it. It’s just the nature of doing business there oil changes. You want to be with your hands on and simple enough to exploit new opportunities and do changes when you need to do them.

 

Joe Casanova 

Absolutely. Thank you Ophir Gadot, the one and only. Yeah, that was fun.

 

Ophir Gadot 

My pleasure brother, my pleasure.

 

Joe Casanova 

That is how to start off how to make a marketing plan for your startup.