By Steve Robins
Solution Marketing for Startups
Learn to Do
If you have the opportunity to teach, learn, network or otherwise participate with Boston Startup School, jump on it! Run by startup incubator TechStars, the new program helps “young professionals to learn the skills needed to have an immediate and positive impact on the startup they join.” Wondering what’s on their minds? Check out the new blog by the sales and marketing classes, www.GrowthNinja.com, which states that…
You don’t have to start a company to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is a mindset. It’s a healthy discontent with the status quo that brings together teams dedicated to making the world a better place. Entrepreneurs include all members of a startup team, from the CEO to the summer intern.
…and I couldn’t agree more.
Following is a quick overview of the solution marketing class. We started the day with an exercise that flipped the traditional introduction on its head. Instead of introducing myself, I asked the class to introduce me to them. After all, the next time any of them are in interviews, they’ll want to fully research the folks they’re meeting. With LinkedIn profiles, Twitter feeds, and blogs, we hiring managers and network connections leave a lot of breadcrumbs that help job applicants get inside our heads – heck, it’s like an open book test. Next, I had them share their backgrounds and tell my I’d want to hire them.
But Is It A Solution?
After that, I gave them an overview of solutions and their importance. The very engaged and bright students put their new skills to work evaluating the solutionology (using a solution scorecard that’s part of a larger solution marketing scorecard) of several companies and offerings, ranging from ChuckE.Cheese’s to SAP to LinkedIn to tablet devices such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, HP TouchPad and the just-introduced Microsoft Surface. Click the links to see their evaluations.
After that, we dove into solution marketing and a Netflix case study that showed how their marketing stumbles may have cost the company $200 million in lost revenue each and every quarter, even if it increased profits. All in all it was a great day – thanks to the engaged marketing students at Boston Startup School!
Additional Reading & Student Case Studies
- Solution Marketing Course Slides
- Solution Scorecard (simple version)
- ChuckE.Cheese’s – Sara Sigel, Gordon Alemao
- HP TouchPad – Kelly McDonald, Nicki Haylon
- Kindle Fire – Matt DiStefano, Kerrie McCarthy
- LinkedIn – Max Ade, Luis Duco
- Microsoft Surface – Dan MacLeod, Erik Grueter
- SAP – Assaad, Rhan, Bentzi