7-Step Results-based Marketing for Startups Harlan’s 2014 Captivate Conference Slides

I hope you enjoyed my talk this year at the Captivate Conference on Marketing for Start-ups (and specifically game startups).

Here are my slides from the talk, and as always feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn (see sidebar) or Twitter ( @harlanbeverly ).

Comments, email, and feedback welcome.

Slides Follow:

7-Step Results-based Marketing for Startups by Harlan T Beverly from Harlan Beverly

All of marketing should be about results! When you are a startup this is even more important, because you have no money to waste on “brand”… you certainly don’t have the time to waste. Harlan T. Beverly, 3-time Start-up Founder & CEO, will present a 7-Step process to create an effective Results-based “marketing engine” that will drive results for your startup. Harlan will give specific examples from marketing campaigns he has created from: Bigfoot Networks, Harlan’s video game hardware company, Night Owl Games, where Harlan developed marketing that attracted more than 1,000,000 players, INGZ games, where Harlan created marketing campaigns to drive users to install mobile games, and Key Ingredient, where Harlan is currently CEO and drives 3,000,000+ visitors/month to http://www.keyingredient.com

How to Do Google Adwords and Google Adsense Marketing Right

I was speaking to my students this week at http://stedwards.edu, and realized I have never posted this short training on Google Adwords I put together.

It’s a quick read and I think highly useful… so check it out!

Facebook vs. Google. Direct Internet Marketing (Advertising)

Which is better for Advertising?  Facebook or Google?  Hell if I know!  What is better anyways?  Different… would be a better way to explain Facebook vs. Google, so here goes how I see them as different from a Direct Internet Marketing perspective.

Here is the main difference: The Targeting is Different.

  • Facebook lets you target Age/Gender/Location/Likes, and more,  because it knows “who it’s users are”.
  • Google lets you target Location and “Search Term Keywords” only.
From a direct marketer’s perspective Facebook might seem better. Marketers usually think of segmentation in terms of “demographics” and “psycho-graphics’, and with Facebook’s tools, you can really target a “market segment”.
The problem with Facebook Targeting is that you have no idea of “buying intent”.  You don’t know if they are interested or care about your offer.
For Google, you target the key words that a person is searching for AT THAT MOMENT.  There is some kind of intent implied in the act of searching.  While this doesn’t jive with Marketers view of segmentation, it certainly does have an impact on relevance to the user.
The difference in the CTR and CVR between the two platforms shows what I mean.
  • “Averages” from some of my own Facebook campaigns:   CTR: 0.025%   CVR: 0.012%  (yes a tenth of a percent)
  • “Averages” from some of my own Google Adwords campaigns:   CTR: 0.6%  CVR: 0.06%  (yes 6 tenths of a percent).
Meaning Google is between 20x better at click-through-rate, and at least 6x better at CVR.
Another big difference is the “Ad Frequency” settings of the two tools.
  • On Facebook, the ads are shown in smallish quantities until one of the ads in an ad group takes off… then the others get virtually no traffic.
  • On Google, you can SET the system to show ads evenly (when you are A/B testing, this is really really important).
So doing A/B testing on Facebook is almost impossible… (I havn’t figured out a way to do it in a statistically meaningful way).
Instead, on Facebook, I do “Survival Testing”… ads that Survive (get impressions and seem to keep working at a decent rate) go into my “good group”  and ads that do not get enough testing, stay in the testing group until I have enough data to “kill them”.   It’s a very slow and tedious process.
I’m sure there is more differences as well… what differences do you think are key?

Experimenting with Facebook Ads

I’ve run literally many hundreds of thousands of dollars ($200,000+) of Facebook Ads, and I’m still experimenting.

Yes, I have a formula that works well… and it’s called “experimenting”.

See, even the most successful mix of target, photo, image, link, landing page, etc… that works this week will lose its effectiveness over time (sometimes in a matter of weeks!)!

So, what I do is religiously experiment… to do this right, I change just 1 variable at at time.

The hard part: measuring actual effectiveness…. to do this: I try to look not just at clicks, but also at conversions.  There is a fine balance between conversion rate and click rate.  Generally you want to optimize for conversions, but on Facebook, getting a click often means getting viral impressions as well.. and that can lead to ‘pseudo-organic’ conversion that you don’t realize came from viral impressions…

Anyways, for those of you out there experimenting with Facebook Ads.. don’t give up.  Experimentation is the name of the game.

Branding 101: What sets your Brand Apart?

Brand is one of those things many people (including engineers AND marketers) misunderstand.  Some think it is a color, a logo, a label, a trademark, a phrase or some combination.  It is not.  Brand is exactly this: what those who have heard of your product/company ‘think’ your product/company is about.  That’s it.

Where in the mind of your target audience does your company/product sit?
Which ‘mental filing cabinet’ do they put you in?
Can you influence it?

These questions have led to the development of most modern branding theory.  The answers may surprise you.

Learning where in the mind of your target audience your product lives is easy: just ask.  Ask your customers.  Ask them how you compare to competitors.  Ask them what they think.  http://surveymonkey.com can help.

The answers should let you see what kinds of filing cabinets exist (usually arranged in the minds of users by “Price”, “Value”, and “Quality”).  But can you get into a “New/Empty” filing cabinet?  Can you be the “most/best” of something, so your file comes up first in the mind?


You can influence where in the mind your product lives.  To do this you must first really understand your product & your competitors products.  WHAT SETS YOUR BRAND APART?  What are you really special at?  Nothing?  Going to be hard to file you in a cabinet.  (no room for ‘not best at much’ category).

Figure it out or make it so.  Be the “most or best” at something.  Unequivocally.

Now how to brand it that way?   Exude your most-ness.  Your messaging should refer it.  Your graphics should bleed it.  You should get your customers give testimonials claiming it.  You should get reviews saying it.  You must emphasize at all times, you are the ‘most/best/only’ X.

Build that brand on top of your key distinguishing attribute.  Then stick to it.

Got a new version of the same product that is even more “mostness” of the same key benefit?  Fine.  Keep the same brand name.

Got a new product with different feature mix?  Fine.  Build a new brand! DO NOT extend your old brand.  Don’t even keep the company name unless you have to (see P&G, Kraft, etc.).  The new brand should exude it’s new uniqeness and key attribute.  (not attributes mind you).

Debate welcome below in comments.

Working in the Blind

Do not work blind.  It is dangerous.  You can hit yourself, stab a friend, or even fall off a cliff.  Doing Marketing without Analytics, is working blind.  Imagine running an ad without measure its effect.  Imagine building a product, without any user input.  Imagine running a TV ad without any information about who watches it, what your goals are, or how to measure those goals.

My approach: Hypothesize, Test, Measure  –>  repeat.