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App Dev Marketing Strategy 2.0

App Dev Marketing Strategy 2.0

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Published by Damian Thompson
Business Marketing plan for App Dev startup
Business Marketing plan for App Dev startup

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Published by: Damian Thompson on Jul 01, 2012
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Application Development Marketing Strategy version 2.


App Dev Marketing Plan Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Executive Summary / Overview 3. Marketing Philosophy 4. Authority / Content Marketing 5. Marketing Funnel a. Lead Generation b. Lead Nurturing c. Sales Funnel 6. Sales & Marketing Process 7. Marketing Staff Roles & Responsibilities 8. Web Plan 9. Marketing Calendar / Output 10. Revenue Goals - Expenses 11. Critical Issues / Next Steps 12. Appendices

Introduction This marketing plan has been produced with the idea that any surprises that occur in a business should be positive ones rather than negative. While unexpected expenses always occur, they are easier to plan for using experience as a guide. Revenue expectations are far more difficult to plan in the early stages and are always likely to shift as the business picks up steam and starts to build upon its own success. I expect that we will come under our monthly expense budget the vast majority of the time, and also over-exceed our stated revenue targets. Isn’t finding out that we are 25% ahead of our revenue goal for the month a much better discovery than we are 25% over our expense budget? Of course it is. This isn’t to say that we are not being diligent in estimating the proper resources required and payoffs expected it is simply that exact targets are near impossible to predict. There is a great quick blog post from Jason Fried of 37signals (a software company I truly admire) that is worth a quick look. Let's just call plans what they are: guesses - http://bit.ly/e27Il2 With all of that in mind, I have taken a cautious, conservative approach to revenue expectations, as I don’t want to over-sell the plan. I have supreme confidence that we will over achieve the stated revenue targets in the mid to long term and if the business grows well, potentially blow out our year 2 & 3 numbers.

Executive Summary / Overview The quickest and easiest way to understand our new marketing strategy is through understanding the answers to a few key questions. In this overview you should get a good overall “feel” for the new plan, with a deeper discussion of strategy and tactics to follow.

Who’s the right customer? · Someone with a reasonable budget of more than $10,000. · Possibly has had an unsuccessful app built prior. · Likes the idea of outsourcing but doesn’t want “cheap” · Understands hourly billing as a superior choice to project billing · Has a good idea of the app they want built · Prepared to start project immediately

How will these customers find us? Customer will find us at first by the aggressive use of pay per click advertising; this will be our primary focus for the short term (1-6 months) as we build out our content platform. In the medium to long term (6+ months) we will attract unpaid search traffic by becoming an authority site through the use of content marketing. Content marketing entails us creating remarkable, sharable content (articles, whitepapers, webinars, video or audio materials).

What problem does our product/project solve for the customer? We help people with a good app idea actually get the product to market. From “cradle to grave” design and development and ensure that the solution is accepted by the requisite app store (android or apple).

What tools or materials we will need to get this built? We need to redesign the website to turn it into the “hub” of all our marketing activities. I suggest we use wordpress as a flexible, low cost CMS platform to lead our marketing automation efforts. But we will need some design & development work done. Marketo – marketing automation software to manage our marketing process automatically. From lead generation, nurturing, qualification, and integrating with our selling effort to ensure we communicate the proper message at the correct time for our prospects. In marketing you want to “enter the conversation already happening in our prospect’s head”. Salesforce.com – to manage our client revenue lifecycle AdWords – increasing our pay per click budget to feed traffic into our lead engine SEO – We need high quality consistent content created and links built to increase our search engine ranking and ensure prospective clients are finding us. As our organic search results increase we will be able to rely less on paid search. We need staff to do link building, article marketing, and social media engagement.

How long should it take us to create this new marketing engine? Building a consistent revenue pipeline is never an overnight success. I believe that an aggressive but realistic plan looks like this: Month 1: Month 2: Month 3: Research / Plan Build / Create Deploy / Test / Revise

How many new clients can we expect to gain? This is the million dollar question of course and very difficult to quantify, but one that must be attempted to answer. As with all marketing, things can change quickly and we are working off of imperfect information. With time we have better ideas on what the true acquisition costs of new clients are, what is working, what isn’t, and be able to adjust accordingly.

IF we deploy the strategy I am suggesting I would expect us to gain 1 new client a week in the short term (1-3 months after launch) and grow that to 2-3 new clients a week in the near term (within 12 months). With each new sale averaging $15,000 we should expect to grow our monthly sales to $150,000 a month within six months of launch and $1,000,000 in this calendar year. As we progress, we should be able to tweak the results even further and grow even larger.

Marketing Expenses Philosophically, I prefer to be conservative with revenue estimates and aggressive with expenses. This way we should have fewer surprises. As they say, planning is everything, but plans aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. There will always be changes to the environment that we cannot plan for but we should be diligent in our approach regardless. Monthly Costs AdWords Budget CMO Expense SEO SEM Content Manager Social Media Mgr Articles Marketo SEO Tools

$15,000.00 $3,200.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $800.00 $500.00 $27,000.00

Initial Costs Website Design / Develop $5,000.00 Misc. $5,000.00

So what does that look like for FY2012 and beyond? 2012 $1,000,000.00 $250,000.00 2013 $2,000,000.00 $400,000.00 2014 $4,000,000.00 $600,000.00

Revenue Expenses

What do we need to worry about? What do we need to worry about down the line? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Can we deploy the solution in such a fast time? Can we create high quality content quickly? Do we need to define a profitable target market? Can we close deals in the pipeline? Can we grow our organic search results in order to offset rising PPC costs?

Next actions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Finalize & Agree on the plan including specific dates & deadlines Purchase new tools to start deployment work Create content calendar Hire proper SEO / SMM resources Hire developer / designer for new site & landing pages

Quick Thoughts This plan should be our guide as we implement our content marketing strategy. I am confident in this approach being a profitable way to gaining new clients for us. There will be some changes / tweaks as we get further into the process of building the tools and more some specific deadlines / dates to be defined once we all agree on the overall strategy.

Marketing Philosophy Let’s talk overall approach. I believe in content marketing, more specifically demonstrating your authority in your niche through the strategic use of content (articles, videos, white-papers, etc.) This is highly reminiscent of Jack Welsh of GE fame’s classic line about being number 1 or 2 in your market, or getting out of that market. One way of ensuring you are 1 or 2 is to very tightly define your market. These days people use terms like “pivot” for this phenomenon. This is fine AS LONG as the newly defined market is large enough to sustain your business. A possible way to do this might be to focus on only one type of app, or to focus on clients that have tried and failed to build an app before and therefore are ready for a more professional approach. The old way of marketing ensured that whoever had the most money to throw at advertising won. But we are over-marketed to these days, what people want is a trusted partner / advisor to help them achieve their goals. The best way to achieve this is by building a relationship with our prospective clients. For the projects we want to work on (greater than $10k) the likelihood of someone hitting a “buy now” or even “talk to us” now button are relatively low. They are information shopping, wanting to ensure they don’t make a bad decision that costs them dearly. We can ease them into this purchase by becoming their “knowledge source” their consulting partner to walk them through to purchase. However, we want this to be a scalable process so need it to be as automated as possible, with staff getting personally involved only when we have a warm lead to work from. The best way to do this is to create a system of people, processes, and technology to create a sustainable lead engine that replenishes itself over time.

Content Marketing Content Marketing means creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers. The primary goal is to obtain opt-in permission to deliver content via email or other medium over time. Repeated and regular exposure builds a relevant relationship that provides multiple opportunities for conversion, rather than a “one-shot” all-or-nothing sales approach. There are three reasons most companies fail at content: 1) They don’t invest in quality content 2) They don’t execute consistently 3) They don’t promote or optimize their content Good content strategy involves creating helpful information that builds trust with our prospects. We can’t jeopardize that trust with a sales pitch embedded in an article, or it’s all over. Possible Content Ideas Why hourly billing is good for you ● Eliminates project creep ● Measure effort & activity ● Clearer understanding of work involved What is a good idea? ● Original / not a “me too” ● In existing market what makes you different? (better / faster / cheaper) Million Dollar App Idea ● Overview of successful apps ● What is common ● What is the market worth? How to pick your app dev team? ● Examples of previous work ● Years in business ● Size of team

Lead Generation By Increasing traffic to the website, we increase the number of opportunities for visitors to turn to leads. Blogging According to research a blog: ● Attracts 55% more B2B traffic ● Gets 400% more pages indexed by Google ● Establishes publisher as a trusted source Social Media ● Build a following, share blog posts, and engage in social media conversations ● Businesses see 63% increase in marketing effectiveness when using social media ● We can learn more about out competitors and monitor shifts in the marketplace ● Focus on facebook as a platform and twitter as a conversation tool SEO ● Identify targeted keywords, optimize the website for those keywords, routinely create keyword targeted content, and build quality links to our website ● We build authority by creating articles and content that is easily sharable ● We strengthen out Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking by building quality links

PPC ● We can gain early traffic by focusing on Pay Per Click advertising ● PPC is highly metric driven and we can measure our results

Google AdWords Traffic Estimations Keyword Avg. CPC Ad Position Daily Clicks Daily Cost (CAD) "iphone app development" $3.50 1.14 41 $143.56 "mobile app development" $4.50 1.64 36.51 $164.24 "iphone app developer" $4.62 1.84 7.39 $34.14 "android app development" $2.25 1.01 33.12 $74.54 "ipad app development" $3.32 1.07 10.59 $35.16 "mobile app developer" $4.51 1.84 6.06 $27.35 "android app developer" $3.79 1.14 4.92 $18.65 139.59 AdWords CPC Subscribe Max CPC Organize Dream Call Daily Budget Sale Conversion Rate Acquisition Cost (CPC) Total Monthly Traffic Monthly Sales Monthly Budget $3.55 10.00% $10 10.00% $500 25.00% 0.25% $1,420.00 4,244 11 $15,064.55 $497.64

Search Criteria: Phrase Search Max CPC $10 Daily Budget $500 USA, Canada English

Lead Nurturing The principle of lead nurturing is to engage our prospects with the proper message at the proper time. This is done by creating timely messages delivered automatically based on the prospects activities and prior actions. Email Marketing We can create an autoresponder series of 6-7 emails delivered over the course of a month using the Fibonacci Sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21), i.e. Email One Email Two Email Three Email Four Email Five Email Six Email Seven Day 1 Day 3 Day 6 Day 11 Day 19 Day 32 Day 53

Each email delivers knowledge and value to the prospect on a specific subject or topic and are meant to keep us fresh in the prospect’s mind and not to sell right away. However, we create a strong Call to Action and sales message in emails 6 & 7. Webinars We create a monthly webinar with a questions and answers session at the end to engage our prospects and to demonstrate our capability. The content will be one of the staple content packages we create just delivered in a new medium. Social Media Social Media can be used both as a lead gen tool and a lead-nurturing tool. In lead nurturing we would demonstrate expertise by answering questions on Quora or LinkedIn Answers, and engaging in a dialogue with our fans on facebook & twitter.

App Dev Sales & Marketing Process

All Traffic / Anonymous This is anyone that searches for our keywords or comes across us organically that “might” be interested in application development. These people are NOT qualified in any way yet and we do not have any semblance of a relationship with yet. Marketing Qualified Leads / Suspects - Goal is 10% of traffic These are people that have entered the marketing funnel by giving us vital information (email address, contact info, etc.) in exchange for an incentive such as specifically created content. The incentive must be project oriented and not a gift or present. Sales Approved Leads / Prospects - Goal is 10% of suspects These are suspects that agree to enter the next stage of the process, specifically our dream call session with a sales agent. At this point the sales professional takes over the client engagement and works with the prospect to close the sale Client - Goal is 30% of prospects Clearly enough this is someone who has entered into an agreement with us and is working with the application development team. Referral Source It is far easier to sell new clients with testimonials of previously successful clients. We will create a case study library for the website and possibly even feature certain users on webinars and other engagements with suspects & prospects.

Marketing Roles & Responsibilities With high-speed Internet access and collaborative tools like Google voice & docs, it has never been easier to create diverse worldwide teams working together on shared projects. As well as access to global talent, the Philippines where I currently reside has the availability of highly educated, English speaking, potential employees. The Philippines is quickly becoming the outsourcing location of choice for North American companies due to this. We could assemble a marketing team of hard working employees for a fraction of the cost in Canada or America. Each role would be a part time contracting engagement with specific outcomes weekly. Regardless of where we source the work from, these are the initial roles & responsibilities. Essentially there are 4 crucial activities that must take place on a near daily basis; the creation & curation of high quality content, optimizing and generating paid search traffic, increasing organic search traffic, engaging our audience and communicating through social media. Chief Marketing Officer The full role is outlined in the letter of offer, but here are the primary responsibilities. ● Develops and ensures the success of the annual marketing plan. ● To manage the Marketing Department Budget. ● Direction of marketing staff ● Managing the entire product line life cycle from strategic planning to tactical activities. ● Developing and implementing a companywide go-to-market plan, working with all departments to execute. ● Analyzing potential partner relationships for App Dev Software and App Dev CRM product lines. ● Social media, social networking, and management of an overall social media strategy. ● Copywriting & Copyediting of Crucial content (autoresponder series, whitepapers, etc.) ● Management of technology tools (Marketo, Salesforce, etc.) to ensure success ● Management of all advertising, social, adwords, radio, print, etc. ● Fallback responsibility for all marketing positions

Content Manager / Copy Editor Responsible for delivering upon our content strategy by ensuring high quality content is created and integrated into our web properties. ● Managing purchased content ● Writing blog content on their own such as weekly wrap-ups, etc. ● Checking text to ensure it is well written, logically structured and in the right style for the intended audience ● Correcting grammar and spelling ● Ensuring the text is in line with our 'house style' - for example, that hyphens, capital letters and optional spellings are used consistently (AP Style) ● Checking facts ● Raising queries with the author ● Working with SEO manager to ensure maximum search engine value ● Checking illustrations and captions are correct. ● Compose headlines for each article ● Write 'standfirsts' - introductory paragraphs that sum up a story and draw the reader in ● Edit stories to fit word count requirements ● Lay out stories fit in our page design ● Write material for publication such as advertising copy. SEM - Pay Per Click Specialist As our primary traffic generation strategy and the largest marketing expense by far, a resource dedicated to getting the most out of our PPC campaigns is needed. Maximize Return on Investment (ROI) of Google Adwords ● Increase Click Through Rates (CTR) – Get more visitors to our site than competitors ● Identify the best performing keywords – Don’t miss out on any high-value traffic ● Decrease Cost Per Click (CPC) – Lower advertising costs and still get more traffic Increase Conversion rates to maximize revenue and ROI ● Effective Landing Pages – Get inside our customer’s head with Ad Copy that sells more ● Split testing to improve page layouts – Convert more visitors into paying customers ● Optimize sales funnels – Increase revenue with the same amount of traffic

SEO Analyst Rather than rely on services that use social bookmarking sites and low quality links, we would train a staff member to proactively approach high PR site owners to build a high quality link network. ● Optimize pages for search engines, change content on pages, promote page/keyword ranking, strive to lower customer acquisition costs manually and/or with management tools ● Call link acquisition targets such as schools w/ high ROI content opportunities such as scholarships ● Research latest trends and stay up to date with the internet marketing industry ● Create and improve internal SEO best practices ● Reporting: rankings reports, keyword reports, link reports, etc ● Entire analysis of website, creation of a SEO report ● Selection of keywords which are able to generate traffic ● On and Off page optimization ● Competitor and statistical analysis ● Creation of monthly reports to a high standard ● Responsible for submitting links to web directories, article syndication websites, press release websites, bookmarking sites, blogs, online forums and other related media. ● Establish permanent one way links ● Execute link request email campaigns ● Acquire links from high PR sites

Social Media Manager Social Media is web 2.0’s most effective way of communicating with our prospects & clients. Expertise in this arena with a clear focus will help us achieve our goals quickly. ● Advise on overall social media strategy ● Plan social media campaigns ● Manage social media campaigns and day to day activities ● Manage presence in social networking sites ● Brand advocacy ● Community outreach ● Post and comment on relevant blogs ● Seed content into social networks ● Engage in conversations and answer questions ● Develop benchmark metrics to measure the results of social media programs ● Analyze and evaluate social media campaigns and strategies ● Report on effectiveness of campaigns ● Monitor trends in social media ● Monitor the activities of main competitors in social media ● Monitor social space for brand and related topics and conversations

Comms/Community folks: ● Compliments: Say thanks. ● Complaints: Apologize, and help get them connected with someone on the support side that can work to resolve their issue (work with customer service) ● Inquiries: Help provide and connect customers and prospects with information on your company, and work with the BD team to care for them appropriately ● Media opportunities: Connect with bloggers and journalists to build relationships

BD and Sales: ● Leads: listen for “point of need” sales opportunities and make genuine, helpful connections (no pitching, folks). ● Kudos: For example, our reps might connect with their prospects on Twitter after they went through a product demo ● Inquiries: Working hand in hand with the community and communication folks above to steward these requests

Customer Service: ● Troubleshooting or technical/product support issues ● Customer complaints ● Accounting/billing questions (to route to appropriate people) ● Compliments and kudos (there’s no such thing as too many people saying thank you)

Web Plan Our website is the central hub of all our marketing efforts and must be designed with the user experience in mind. We want it to portray our professionalism, demonstrate our capability, and to show off some of our work. But the most important thing it should do is to attract visitors and turn those visitors into leads. Through diligent testing, measurement, and revision we will ensure we optimize the website to a marketing engine. Homepage Video Intro Email Subscription Whitepaper Download About You Us History Services IPhone Development iPad Android Our Process Plan Design Code Analyze Test Success Stories / Portfolio Articles Get Started Schedule a Dream Call Contact Us Email Form Phone Numbers Address Social Media Icons

Marketing Calendar Important Dates 05 March 06 March 07 March 08 March 09 March 23 March 30 March 03 April 05 April Delivery of Plan 2.0 Begin Website Copy Creation Begin Website Design Process Marketing Plan Approval Purchase Required Marketing Tools Begin Marketing Staff Recruiting Process Web Primary Content Completed Web Secondary Content & Marketing Materials Completed Marketo / Salesforce.com Integrated and Tested Website Launched

Delivery Goals Daily: New Article Published 1 PR3 or higher link acquired Weekly: Guest Post Monthly: Live Webinar recorded Quarterly: High-level conceptual tool created (infographic, video, etc.)

Revenue Goals & Expenses As previously stated, I believe the best way to create a successful plan is to underestimate revenue and to overestimate expenses. This way there are fewer surprises in the achievements of our goals. Feb 2012 $0.00 Aug 2012 $120,000 Mar 2012 $0.00 Apr 2012 $0.00 May 2012 $30,000 Jun 2012 $60,000 Jul 2012 $90,000


Sep 2012 Oct 2012 Nov 2012 $150,000 $1800,000 $180,000

Dec 2012 $180,000


Feb 2012 Mar 2012 $2,500 $10,000

Apr 2012 $27,000

May 2012 $27,000

Jun 2012 Jul 2012 $27,000 $27,000 Dec 2012 $27,000

Aug 2012 Sep 2012 Oct 2012 $27,000 $27,000 $27,000 2012 $1,000,000.00 $250,000.00 2013 $2,000,000.00 $400,000.00

Nov 2012 $27,000

Revenue Expenses

2014 $4,000,000.00 $600,000.00

Monthly Marketing Costs AdWords Budget CMO Expense* Link Building Article Marketing Content Management Social Media Marketo SEO Tools

$15,000.00 $3,200.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $1,500.00 $800.00 $500.00 $27,000.00

Initial Costs Website Design / Develop $5,000.00 Misc. $5,000.00 * does not include 1% of revenue bonus

Revenue / Expense Projections

Revenue vs. Expense Spend

Critical Issues / Next Steps What do we need to worry about? What do we need to worry about down the line? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Can we deploy the solution in such a fast time? Can we create high quality content quickly? Do we need to define a profitable target market? Can we close deals in the pipeline? Can we grow our organic search results in order to offset rising PPC costs?

Next actions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Finalize & Agree on the plan including specific dates & deadlines Purchase new tools to start deployment work Create content calendar Hire proper SEO / SMM resources Hire developer / designer for new site & landing pages

Appendices (sent separately) App Dev Marketing Plan (spreadsheet with data calculations)

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