20 Marketing Resolutions for Early-Stage Founders

What if you could download the wisdom of the world’s best tech marketers directly to your brain? For many early-stage founders, marketing is a skill learned through trial and error. While there’s no substitute for rolling up your sleeves, our experience at Dorm Room Fund has taught us that founding teams who become true students of marketing can shorten learning cycles and avoid costly mistakes.

Whether you have questions about segmenting your market, how to target top prospects, or how to position your product in their minds (we’ve found the classic “STP” framework to be a helpful one) there’s a high chance that marketing pros are thinking and writing about the same questions.

The STP framework.

Below you’ll find 20 resolutions to level up your team’s marketing game in 2020, paired with high-value resources used by the Dorm Room Fund community to help you get there:

Segmentation: What Is Your Market and Who Are Your Target Prospects?

1) Reverse engineer your customers’ brains:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert Cialdini)

2) Articulate exactly who you’re selling to:

The Mission Matrix: How to Build the Ultimate B2B SaaS Go-to-Market Strategy (Edward Ford — Growth Marketing at Supermetrics, Host of the Growth Hub Podcast)

3) Study the product adoption cycle:

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers (Geoffrey A. Moore)

4) Embrace the End User Era:

What is Product Led Growth? How to Build a Software Company in the End User Era (Blake Bartlett — Partner, OpenView)

BUILD: The End User Era (OpenView)

Targeting: How Do You Reach Your Target Prospects and Measure Their Responses?

5) Learn to speak growth marketing:

Growth Marketing (Julian Shapiro — Founder, Demand Curve)

6) Make your data work for you:

Data-Driven Marketing: How the Best B2B Marketers Use Data to Grow Faster (Clearbit)

7) Educate your team on the metrics that matter most in your space:

DTC Metrics, Explained (Zachariah Reitano — Co-Founder & CEO, Ro)

8) Build a SaaS conversion machine:

SaaS Pages (Volkan Kaya — Founder, Versoly)

9) (A)lways (B)e (B)enchmarking (your metrics):

SaaS DNA Project (Price Intelligently by ProfitWell)

10) Understand conversational marketing:

Really Good Chatbots (Drift)

11) Become a student of sales:

All Things Sales! 16 Mini-Lessons for Startup Founders (Peter Levine — Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Positioning: What Do You Want to Tell Your Target Prospects and What Do You Want Them to Think?

12) Nail your positioning:

Positioning Your Startup Is Vital — Here’s How to Do It Right (Arielle Jackson — Marketer-in-Residence, First Round Capital)

13) Define product marketing’s role at your company:

Product Marketing for New Products (Sharon Chang — Operating Partner, Andreessen Horowitz)

14) Communicate your “why:”

We Don’t Sell Saddles Here (Stewart Butterfield — Founder & CEO, Slack)

15) Study the marketing greats:

Ogilvy on Advertising (David Ogilvy)

16) Find Product-Zeitgeist Fit:

Why Product Zeitgeist Fit Is Your Startup Cheat Code (D’Arcy Coolican — Partner, Andreessen Horowitz)

17) Become a pitch deck artist:

The Greatest Pitch Deck I’ve Ever Seen (Andy Raskin — Strategic Messaging Advisor)

30 Legendary Startup Pitch Decks and What You Can Learn From Them (Aaron Lee, Piktochart)

18) Tell your team’s story:

How to Create 64 Pieces of Content In A Day (Gary Vaynerchuck — CEO, VaynerMedia)

19) Design the demo you’d want to see:

Your Product Demos Suck Because They’re Focused On Your Product (First Round Review)

20) Build your marketing swipe file:

Why Every Marketer Should Have A Swipe File (Dave Gerhardt — Fmr. VP of Marketing, Drift)

Written by Alex Becker, DRF Marketing Partner (HQ). Follow him on Medium.

Get more Dorm Room Fund news and updates on Twitter and learn more on our website. Want more DRF content? Subscribe to our newsletter and podcast. Ready to take your startup to the next level? Apply here to be considered for an investment from Dorm Room Fund. Until next time! 🚀

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