This post comes to us from Steve Blank, a retired serial entrepreneur now teaching entrepreneurship at  UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Columbia. I’ve worked with the Udacity, the best online digital university on a mission to democratize education, to produce the course.
Experienced entrepreneurs kept finding that no business plan survived first contact with customers.
Meanwhile, I had said startups were “Searching” for a business model, I had been purposefully a bit vague about what exactly a business model looked like. And the organization to implement all this was not through traditional sales, marketing, and business development groups on day one. And then to get things organized, Bob Dorf and I wrote a book, The Startup Owners Manual that put all these pieces together.
But then I realized that, rather than just writing about it or lecturing on Customer Development, we should have a hands-on experiential class. Then in the fall of 2011, the National Science Foundation read my blog posts on the Stanford version of the Lean LaunchPad class.
We taught the first two classes of 25 teams each, and then in March of 2012 trained faculty from Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan how to teach the class at their universities. We then added four more schools – Columbia, Caltech, Princeton, and Hosei – where our team taught the Lean LaunchPad.
Then last month we partnered with NCIIA and taught 62 college and university educators in our first Lean LaunchPad Educators Program. And now we’ve spent weeks in the Udacity studio putting the lecture portion of the Lean LaunchPad class online. IMG Worldwide Inc recently reached a deal to manage the Chinese Football Association Super League. In my opinion, IMG sees the much greater reward to this venture compared to the risk involved.
With the recent hard times facing consumers across the European region, McDonald’s has decided to rethink its strategy due to these external influences, and is beginning to offer discounted deals to increase spending into these markets. This article made me think more critically of the impact of McDonald’s long-term future. Yes, McDonald’s will always be viewed as low-cost, low quality as long as they implement the strategy that has allowed them to gain so much success. I was recently reading up on Wal-Mart and came across an interesting article on their strategic plans for the Japanese market.
Though, given this information, a great deal has changed since Wal-Mart entered Japan ten years ago.
Prior to the economic crisis, these consumers may have spent more money to acquire items that made them feel as though they belong within their culture. Second, this article demonstrates the importance of constantly evaluating your strategy because new opportunities do arise and markets are always changing. Possibly, these circumstances causing Japanese consumers to shop at Wal-Mart, might actually open their eyes to see that low-price does not always mean low quality.
With the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards being held last night, I felt that it was almost necessary to assess the global strategy of production companies, utilizing successful television sit-coms in multiple countries. This strategy of pumping out locally produced versions of popular U.S shows is not just happening in Israel, but many of the emerging markets around the world. This same technique has been used with many shows, such as the Arabic Everybody Loves Raymond and the Chinese version of Glee.
With the Western market becoming matured, and ad revenues increasing in developing countries, global markets have become a major interest of U.S. It truly is amazing how globally connected the world has become even based on consumer taste for television entertainment.
With our world becoming more and more globally connected, we must realize that there are profits to be made if you spend the time to understand your market and customize your product correctly. BlackBerry has found a great deal of success in these countries due to its cheap prices and the dependability of BBM. With the world economy quickly changing, and new world powers emerging, BlackBerry could sustain profitability if they can continue to provide these countries the cell phone services that they most desire.


Relationship marketing is a facet of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than shorter-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales. Customer data analytics can reap significant financial rewards for your organizationa€™s sales, marketing and customer service departments. By submitting my Email address I confirm that I have read and accepted the Terms of Use and Declaration of Consent. By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners.
You also agree that your personal information may be transferred and processed in the United States, and that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy. Definition: Product LifecycleAny new product undergoes different stages from introduction to growth, then maturity and finally decline. The following practical approach to B2B content marketing strategy provides a framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against your objectives and audiences. For many B2B leaders, content marketing is a key initiative when marketing a complex product or solution.
The first step in building a B2B content marketing strategy is committing to measurable marketing objectives and prioritizing their importance against your business objectives.  B2B marketing plans often include both qualitative and quantitative objectives. Because content marketing is resource-intensive, you must prioritize your resource allocation to achieve better results.
If you have the opposite priority of attracting more leads, then your investment priorities will be reversed. The next step should focus on using a customer-focused articulation of the business you are in. The classic example is Theodore Levitt’s question: “What business are you in?” He illustrates this point with drill bits. The third step in building your content marketing strategy is profiling your target customer segments. First, model your pipeline by understanding the different stages a customer goes through when deciding to do business with you. The information-seeking has a broad focus, using more generic and high-level search terms and keywords.
They are seeking assistance with definition, scope, and internal buy-in to solving a problem. Keywords and search terms will be more specific and will start to reflect solution alternatives or categories. They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the decision alternatives. Keywords and search terms will be much more specific and will be focused on specific solutions. They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the alternatives. The chart below is the tool we recommend to map decision stages and content opportunities for your content plan.
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I read a ton of existing literature and came up with a formal methodology for search I called Customer Development. As a condition of my investment, I insisted Will and Eric take my Customer Development class at Berkeley.


So business model design + customer and agile development is the process that startups use to search for a business model.
So my book and Berkeley class turned into the Lean LaunchPad class in the Stanford Engineering school, co-taught with two VCs – Jon Feiber and Ann Miura-Ko.
They said scientists had already made a career out of hypotheses testing, and the Lean LaunchPad was simply a scientific method for entrepreneurship.
Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan faculty then taught 54 teams each in July of this year and will teach another 54 teams in October.
We also developed a five-day version of the class to complement the full semester and quarter versions.
The goal of relationship marketing (or customer relationship marketing) is to create strong, even emotional, customer connections to a brand that can lead to ongoing business, free word-of-mouth promotion and information from customers that can generate leads. With so much data to contend with, companies often struggle with making sense of information from customers, public records and external databases. Planning against these measurable strategic objectives allow you to report on marketing results instead of just tactical activities. This will help to identify which content categories, topics, and approaches are most relevant to your customer. Drill bit manufacturers care about everything involved in the production of their drill bits, but drill bit customers don’t really want drill bits. Sales profiles, personas, and best customer models are tools you should use to profile your customer segments in order to improve the relevance and effectiveness of your content marketing. Make sure to focus on your customer’s needs and pains, rather than simply providing expert knowledge. Brainrider recommends using these 4 strategic elements as a practical framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against client objectives and audiences. Each module is roughly three minutes or less, giving you the chance to learn piece by piece and re-watch short lesson portions with ease. With Rob Majteles as a co-instructor, I started a tradition of teaching all my classes with venture capitalists as co-instructors. Now we understood that the strategy for startups was to first search for a business model and then after you found it, put together an operating plan. They asked if I could adapt the class to teach scientists who want to commercialize their basic research. Luckily, we evaluate the newest sales and marketing tools making the process easier for IT managers and sales executives. Otherwise, your campaign will be trying to accomplish too many things at once without focusing on your objectives. The key in building the right segments is to identify customer needs and pains, filter them through the business you are in, group their needs and pains by roles or audiences, and then use that data to profile your top customer segments. Click here to download a working copy of the B2B Content Marketing Strategy Template or contact us for more information about how we help clients get better content marketing.
Quizzes are embedded within the lectures and are meant to let you check in with how completely you are digesting the course information. I modified the class and recruited another great group of VCs and entrepreneurs – Jim Hornthal, John Burke, Jerry Engel, Bhavik Joshi, and Oren Jacob – to teach with me. While these areas of expertise are important to managing and operating a business, not all of them are relevant to what your customer wants to know. Understanding the business you are in through the lens of your customer ensures that you are marketing holes, not just bits.
It is important to profile these segments by developing a long list of customer needs and pains using your customer’s own “How do I” questions. Once you take a quiz, which could be a multiple-choice quiz or a fill in the blank quiz, you will receive immediate feedback. TV show can be aired in another country and be profitable, however this technique assures that these shows are customized just enough to appeal to their local audience.



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