Welcome to 2023, it’s going to be a tough year. Some companies may go under, others will be forced to take down rounds but some will survive and thrive – the ones that focus on getting their marketing strategy right. Instead of copy/ pasting last year’s marketing plan and debating your MQL conversion rate, marketing leaders must ask fundamental questions: 

✓ Why do customers choose our product and why do they leave us? 

✓ Who are our competitors and how are they positioning themselves? 

✓ How much pricing power do we have?

✓ Are current agency partners still hungry for our business and proving their value with new ideas?

If you’re running an early-stage company, addressing these questions is critical, especially now. So stay tuned, over the course of January I will share a ten-step blueprint to achieving growth in a volatile, unpredictable 2023.   

#1. What business are you really in? 

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself”  – Peter Drucker

The fastest way to learn what business you’re in is through customer interviews. You may have done this once, but like the price of eggs and gas, in turbulent times the market evolves rapidly and those insights are no longer relevant. So, take this critical first step in getting your marketing right – from your website, to your Google ad campaigns and sales-enablement materials.

How to interview your customers: 

Use an objective third party to conduct the interviews and offer to anonymize responses so that customers are honest and open. 

Run the interviews, one-on-one and face to face, too much meaning is lost in written responses.

Ask open-ended questions: “What first made you interested in our product or service?”, “What feature do you wish we offered?” (But never ask “what don’t you like?” people don’t want to look foolish for choosing you).

Customer interviews will quickly tell you what business you’re really in. McDonalds knew that they were selling an experience. Burger King thought it was in the business of burgers, and that people would choose its grilled burgers over McDonald’s fried option. They were wrong. Fast forward to 2023 – McDonalds has a market cap of $193Bn and Burger king has a market cap of $19Bn.

Are you ready to learn what business you are really in?