Thursday, 4 November 2010

Board reporting on marketing

Unless you're playing in a really niche space, you need some sort of marketing. Marketing in a startup, like everywhere else, is a fairly straightforward exercise, with two distinctive focus areas.

In strategic marketing you think about positioning and target audience. What kind of product or service you want to produce on long term? What is your target audience, how big is the market. What do you need to do to address it. Those questions will influence your product and operational decision.

In operational marketing you think about ways to achieve what you set out to do. Branding, web site, PR are just one of the  tools with which you execute your decisions. 

So how far do you have to go in reporting to your board? That depends on what kind of board you have, however there are some general guidelines. I recommend that you set and revisit your marekting strategy every quarter, do the analysis and challange your assumptions from the previous cycle. Have the assumptions change? If so, what kind of conclusions do you need to draw, does that change your strategy? You can do that on a fairly condense report and share it with your board. Board will look forward for your recommendations and ask a few questions, but bottom line is: should we stay on course, intensify it or change direction?How much will that cost us in terms of money, time and resources.

On operational marketing  your should concentrate on particular campaigns and projects that you set out to do in order to fullfil your marketing strategy. Usually there is enough news on the topic to address it on every board meeting. So put top two or three projects on one slide.

I suggest that you look at everything in marketing as a project and that you measure as much as you can. Examples are: home page, conference presence, rebranding and new version launch. For each such project you need to understand: scope, timeline, needed resources and expected autcome. It's highly likely, that you can list those on one slide, each month, which give's you a nice overview of what's going on marketing.

No comments: