Jordan SkoleI love travel, dogs, coffee & bikes - in no order
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Marketing Automation Specialist at ActiveCampaign (Marketing automation software). Previous founder of Benchmark Intelligence, formally marketing director @ Ambassador (referral marketing software). Data driven growth hacker. How do you define "place?"



Recent Answers


I agree with all of the previous answers and would recommend you spending as much as you possibly can on a marketer.

True marketers care almost obsessively about making sure they can directly tie their efforts to results.

Marketers that confidently ask for a large amount of money do so because they confidently know they will generate a lot more.


I'm just spitballin' here,

But if it was me, I would create a super-simple YouTube retargeting/video ad. It could have just a static image and one of the tracks. Or even like a slideshow and the text.

The YT ad directs them to a free download. They need to enter their email address for the free download.

Then I would run them through a drip campaign for other free downloads. From there its just email marketing.


Start by organizing a Startup Weekend event. It is more like the franchise model, and they will provide lots of support for you, collateral, etc.

The second time you can spin off into your own thing once you have the experience.


This can be tricky.

Generally I recommend paying commissions on revenue-generation events only. The reason being, if it is free to generate a lead then it makes it really easy to take advantage of the system.

That being said, there are some ways to go about it. Calculate (you should already have this) your cost of acquiring a lead (CAC). That's your baseline. You can now set your referral commission at or below that CAC number. Since you only pay a commission based on the generation of a new lead you guarantee a positive ROI.

A prize/sweepstakes is not a bad idea. Make sure to create a prize that really resonates with your target demographic (YES: set of All-Clad pans, NO: an iPad) I would run the program the first time based on your best estimates; if you expect to generate 100 new leads, and would normally pay $10-$15/lead then you can afford $1,000-1,500 prize.

You can then adjust the process during future iterations based on:

1) The quality of the leads you received. Referrals are generally more valuable, but scam/spam leads are not.
2) The number of leads you generated.

If you want to work through details in your specific case let me know, I'd be happy to set up a call to discuss further.

Good luck!


You are thinking about it wrong.

Don't think of your organization as a pie. Think of it as a house.

When you add an extension (say a new kitchen) to your house, the value of your new kitchen now accounts for a larger *percentage* of your house, more than it did before.

But something else also happens. Your house is now worth a lot more.

I highly recommend you watch the series on raising money for a startup by the Khan Academy - http://robt.co/1u1wCsx


Tracking offline events is difficult. Be prepared that it will be impossible to track 100% of your offline branding efforts. For example imagine somebody sees your poster, remembers the name, googles your org and lands on your site. They will be considered organic traffic.

The old way was to use different phone numbers for each poster, and measure the number of calls that each poster generated using call tracking. This is the same way that infomercials test markets/times/channels/etc...

Nowadays we use websites but the process is still the same. You can use bitly codes, or multiple domain names to measure which poster drove which traffic, just keep in mind that rarely does a poster convert right away. People riding the subway or driving etc are in a completely different state of mind. You could try and attach a unique incentive to manipulate that (free t-shirt!).

Alternatively you can _infer_ the success of your posters based on what neighborhoods traffic is coming from, how much on mobile, and other analytical cross sections, but you should remain skeptical of the accuracy of this process.

Personally I wouldn't worry about which poster, I would just worry about posters total. If you see traffic increase and keep all other things equal then yay!

Good luck!


Really you should be doing 2 things; be creative, and learn the industry standards.
Industry standards are the tried and true digital marketing channels (departments of a digital marketing agency). They are generally; SEO, SEM, Social Media, and display/retargeting. There are lots of subsets of these broad channels, you should learn all of them.

There are lots of great places to do this, (I am self taught as well) but you will generally need teachers or at least people to ask questions. If there are any agencies in your town I would try and make friends with people that work at them and ask for their guidance. You should ideally pick one specialist from each discipline. Generalists exist (I am one, you are becoming one) but there are more specialists. Ask them for their best reading materials and where they stay current, and then learn from that. Some of the best documentation will come from the software that you need to use in order to be successful. Finally you need to understand analytics to tie it all together.

SEO: Moz, BrightEdge, Raven & inbound.org
SEM: Adwords, Marin Software
Display/Retargeting: Start with Perfect Audience or Adroll, then move into letting Adwords handle it except for facebook, then progress to Adwords video retargeting
Social Media: more moz/inbound.org and sprout social. Seth Godin for social media theory & strategy as well (understand tribes)
Analytics: start with KISSmetrics, and then work your way into Google Analytics. GA is free and difficult and powerful, KISSmetrics is expensive and easy. Spend the $ early to learn best practices.

Being creative is the hardest part of the job. This is what you need in order to become a "growth hacker." You just need to come up with ideas that no one else has come up with yet in order to gain an edge over your competitors. Being creative doesnt come from being at your desk or even learning about your industry (marketing). Go for hikes, read for pleasure, explore religions, find challenging hobbies.

I joined our local hackerspace, learned to lasercut and like to tinker with sparkfun projects. I go geocaching. I also taught myself how to build web applications and iOS apps. It lends a tremendous hand to understand the way our software works in order to measure its success. The point is to step outside your comfort zone and be ready for the muse when she comes.

Good luck!


The single best form of attracting new customers is referrals. It always has been, and it always will be. Period.

People trust referrals from friends and families more than any other form of advertising:
- 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. (Nielson)
- 81% of U.S. online consumers purchase decisions are influenced by their friends social media posts (Market Force)
- 49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness, up from 43% in 2009. (Jack Morton)

Start with making sure you nail down product/market fit. Are a lot of people coming to your events? Are they having a good time? It sounds like yes, but if you want to be 2x sure try using something like SurveyMonkey to determine your Net Promoter Score. Follow up with each 'promoter' (an 8 or higher) and ask them to bring a friend to the next event.

If you'd like to chat more about how my company has worked with the American Marketing Association to use referrals to grow their events I'd love to schedule a call and discuss the details.

Also, consider offering a discount on multiple tickets (1 @$10, 2 @ $15, 3 @ $20) to try and get people to bring their friends. In fundraisers this is common by selling an entire table.

Hope it helps!


I think that it depends on what you mean by Grow. I'll go ahead and make some assumptions based on your bullet points; you mean grow revenue, you have existing customers, you produce good work.

Word of mouth.

I highly recommend using the Net Promoter Score®. Conduct a simple follow up with every customer after the project is closed out, asking them on a scale of 1-10, how likely are they to recomend their experience to their peers. If they answer an 8 or higher, they are considered a "promoter" if they answer a 6 or lower they are considered a "detractor."

Follow up with both types immediately.

Follow up with your detractors right away and see how their experience could have been improved. What could you have done better next time to elevate them to an 8 or higher.

Your promoters are your bread and butter. Follow up with them and _ask_ them to spread the word about your company. Give them something that they can share with their friends that makes them look good, providing them with a unique discount code that they can share with their industry peers. The discount code entitles the referrer to a kickback and the new customer to a discount. We call this a _dual-incentive_ structure. It allows your promoters to spread the word about your services without coming off as spammy or exploitive.

A recent Texas Tech marketing study discovered that 83% of respondents would be willing to refer new business to a brand they love, but only 29% of them actually do.

If you'd like to discuss the specific details of your organization in a more private forum lets schedule a call and chat.

Good luck!


Go for the higher-paying customers.

The risk in a race-to-the bottom is that you might actually win. Worse, you might come in 2nd.

Early on you want the higher-paying customers because you want their feedback. You want to listen to their feature requests and implement them, so that you can iterate your product and get more $4.99 customers in the next release.

You also need to consider the opportunity cost of maintaining a larger customer base. Assuming you are breaking even on revenue and all other things considered equal then you need to answer 5 times the number of customer support requests on the lower plan.

All things are NOT considered equal. Your $.99 customers are going to have far more complaints, customer service requests, and overall headaches. All of these things are going to distract you from developing an app that provides real value for your customers.

We see this pretty frequently at Ambassador. If you'd like to schedule a call I'd be happy to share more specific insights around how moving up-market has helped us.

Good luck!


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