Early stage tech startups are primarily driven by engineers who believe in one or several of the following statements:
- We are making the world a better place
- We are disrupting a stagnant industry
- We have a solution to a prevalent problem
When you are deep in the weeds of developing a new tech product it may be hard to objectively evaluate the chances of your innovation to succeed in the marketplace. I’ve spent the past four years soaking up the San Francisco startup culture. Several of my friends, classmates from Stanford GSB and former colleagues have joined or funded startups. The million dollar question: “What’s the next hot tech company?” comes up at virtually every happy hour and every dinner. Being a geek at heart and marketer by passion, I’m spending my time at the intersection of technology and business thinking about how to turn an innovative product into commercial success story. Although a universal formula for creating the next game changing company like Uber, Dropbox or Netflix does not exist, the most successful tech companies have one thing in common. They are investing as strongly in product marketing as they are in the product development.
Innovation cannot happen in the vacuum, especially not in the highly competitive markets of today. The key to surviving and thriving as a tech leader is to constantly re-win your customers’ business by delivering real value. And how do you know that your product is set up for success in the marketplace? In order to answer this question I’ve looked at a number of hottest tech startups as well as well established companies to distill the critical elements of their marketing strategies. I synthesized the results of my analysis into a sixteen steps’ marketing plan checklist. Each step is explained threefold:
- Definition of the business term that is the theme of the discussed step
- Example of how a successful company implemented the step
- Insights from my work as business consultant and product marketer
“Marketing Plan Template for Tech Companies” is a framework for you to:
- Get to know your customers and your competitors
- Learn how to quantify your product’s value and how to communicate it
- Define realistic business objectives and strategies to achieve them
My marketing plan template features lessons learned from some of today’s hottest Silicon Valley companies. Let these great brands inspire your own success:
Tesla, Netflix, Dropbox, Google, Theranos, DocuSign, Marketo, Breather, Suse, Walgreens, Lyft, Riverbed, Nokia, Uber, Cisco, Trunk Club and Salesforce.
I hope you’ll find my marketing plan useful. I look forward to your comments and suggestions!
Justyna Bak is a marketing strategist and an engineer so naturally her passion is to help fantastic tech products succeed in the marketplace. Her marketing experience ranges from mobile networks and devices at Nokia, data center and cloud at Cisco, to user experience monitoring and optimization at Riverbed Technology. Connect with Justyna on LinkedIn and check out her TechSurprises blog.