Find your “teacher customer.”


Your customers know what they want more than you do. This week’s insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. The customer would be the first to receive the new functionality in a new release.

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Can you defend your pricing niche against your competition?


This week, we continue our series on marketing and positioning. There can be nothing more important in your business planning that selecting the proper pricing niche, making your story clear using that niche, and the defending your position against the competition.

Why I Look for Obsessive and Competitive Founders

Both Sides of the Table

When second place isn’t good enough because we live in winner-take-most markets. He wants to compete to be the lead drummer in the competitive ensemble and study under Terence, an obsessive instructor who is hell bent on winning competitions for the school. Obsession.

Here’s how NOT to define your competition


An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. We have no competition.”. Your potential customers could choose “do nothing.”. Perhaps buyers cannot obtain attractive financing in the current market. We investors see this all the time.

Do you take those loyal, key customers for granted?


And that behavior results in leaving little time for outreach to the most critical component in your chain – your key customers. Then, what is a benchmark for customer outreach? But, do your customer know that they want? Do customers know what they like when they see it?

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Competition Is A Lie – Tracy DiNunzio Explains Why


Tracy DiNunzio, Founder and CEO of Tradesy , recently shared her insights regarding the best approach for entrepreneurs to address competition. competition''s a really interesting thing. To this day, Microsoft remains a tertiary player in the remote access / remote meeting market.

Why Your Marketing Campaign Sucks

Both Sides of the Table

Mostly it’s because your marketing campaigns suck. Or more directly – they are likely narcissistic resuscitations of your newest features or bragging points that nobody but your marketing team and your mom care about. They offer a point-of-view about their market.

Competitive Intelligence

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 -- Competitive Intelligence: 007 Market Intel. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to estimate market size, competitive market share, how many potential customers are there, and price points. Just who is doing what in the market? This interactive session will address methods of uncovering market information when there simply aren't any established sources or published reports.

Be careful how you define your competition.


Professional investors laugh when they hear an entrepreneur state, “We have no competition.” Perhaps buyers cannot obtain attractive financing in the current market. It could be that a larger competitor has met with its customers, promising to extend its product line into this very niche. So, do your homework especially well by putting yourself into the minds of your potential customers.

HipTraveler | Taking Startup Competitions by Storm

Tech Zulu Event

In order to support all of these teams, there are several on-campus startup competitions every year, from the Silicon Beach USC competition to the New Venture Seed Competition, with prize funds to help build the companies.

Your Product Needs to be 10x Better than the Competition to Win. Here’s Why:

Both Sides of the Table

He wanted to build direct customer relationships to get product feedback but only 2% of customers would ever return their registration cards. So when he saw the browser it instantly dawned on him that this would be the greatest customer development tool ever.

Meet Our Startup of the Year Competition Semifinalists: Mobile Therapy


From apps to hardware, to KickStarter successes and international startups, we’re inching closer to finding out who will take home the title of Startup of the Year competition at our annual Celebrate Conference in October. Among the dozens of participants that applied for the online competitions, only a few progressed into the semifinals. Tech.Co: Since launch, what was the most challenging part of gaining market traction?

Catch up to your market or be lost!


Markets and competitors change. First, speak to your customers often. Look up for customer needs that change. Are you being left behind?

Using Technology to Realize a Competitive Advantage

Tech Zulu Event

Computers and the Internet have now brought in a new era that relies on data to make profitable business decisions in the competitive environment. Below is a full explanation of how small businesses can leverage technology to earn a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Master of Customer Acquisition, Matt Coffin, On Startups …

Both Sides of the Table

He is very hands-on and helpful – especially for any company looking into customer acquisition. o Put a timeframe/money – competition in the picture. Passion: Have to be able to motivate people, customers, team, yourself.

Find your “teacher-customer.”


Your customers know what they want more than you do. Find one to teach you. This insight came from personal experience and from a good friend who advanced the notion of the “teacher-customer” years ago. Email readers continue here.] This is not to bend this insight into a claim that a company should wait to develop new, groundbreaking products and services until a customer asks for them.

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Marketing and big data: Finding that needle in the haystack


Classic marketing teaches us that this is the best way to define our audience, and to make appropriate pitches that will elicit favorable response from the target audience. Make a short list of all the places you know you accumulate information about your customers and prospects.

HG Data Takes $12M More For Market Analytics


Santa Barbara-based HG Data has raised $12M in a Series B funding, the company announced today, for it market analytics and intelligence information. The company's service revolves around tracking the installed base of a wide range of products, ranging from cloud services, enterprise applications, and customer relationship management tools, to hardware, project management, and other applications.

Understanding the Underbelly of Online Marketing & Why You’ll Lose if You Don’t

Both Sides of the Table

But being best-in-class at online marketing is also a sine qua non to standout from your peer group. The starting point of product IS marketing, which is what a lot of young entrepreneurs that never studied business don’t realize.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

As organizations we have become more open and I believe this is great for businesses and their customers. We spent time out in the marketplace talking with customers, looking at their solutions, comparing ourselves with our competition and then squirreling ourselves away in our offices designing our next set of features. some came from our customer service, some were to improve performance / scalability from tech ops, some were bug fixes, etc.)

FreedomPop Launches New MVNO Targeted At Sprint, T-Mobile Customers


Los Angeles-based mobile phone service provider FreedomPop is announcing this morning that it has launched a brand new, high end mass market wireless service, specifically aimed at Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers. According to FreedomPop, its new service, UNREAL Mobile , will provide unlimited plans starting at $15 a month, and is aimed an "ensuring continued competition" in the wireless market after the announcement of the T-Mobile and Sprint merger.

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If You Don’t Define Your Personal Brand the Market Will

Both Sides of the Table

I have long advised startup companies that if you don’t control your messaging somebody else will and your potential customers will form impressions of you shaped by somebody else or by nobody at all. That was fine with me – the market is the market.

Here’s Why a Booming Tech Market May Fool You into Thinking You’re Successful

Both Sides of the Table

Since 2009 we’ve been in an unequivocal bull market. It’s when the noise stops and you can actually get customer attention, press articles and VC meetings. You’d imagine that companies selling tons of shelfware would quickly meet their deserved fate in the market, yet the spin around a category of software can fool buyers into thinking they “must have this product to compete.” Growth markets have a way of fooling us all.

The #1 Question to Ask Before Starting Any Case Study


A customer story can't just be interesting or results-oriented. Before beginning customer success stories or case studies with a new client, I ask a LOT of questions of my marketing contacts - well before ever talking to one of their happy customers.

RingRevenue Creates A New Performance Marketing Revenue Channel


Messenger : Rob Duva , Co-Founder, COO RingRevenue, prior Director of Customer Acquisition, CallWave. Value Prop Twitter Style : “Ringrevenue’s call performance marketing platform enables ad networks, agencies, advertisers & publishers to generate more inbound sales calls.”.

Marketing Pre-Planning

Tech Coast Venture Network

Manal Richa A crucial part of crafting and putting together your marketing message resides in the work that you do prior to working on your content. Researching and getting to know your target market projects a light on how your approach should be. Be very clear and detailed on who your customers are or would be. “ In addition, study the competition and find out exactly what differentiates you from them.

What I learned from losing a million…Market knowledge comes FIRST.


Know your market and competition, or don’t spend a dime on anything else. I have stated previously that I love absolutes – statements with no wiggle room for gray-area responses. There is no competition.”

When Your Startup Business Plan Needs to Be Revised

Tech Zulu Event

1) Your market has changed. Whether due to technological, regulatory, or competitor driven factors, key market dynamics you envisioned when you came up with your idea, did your research and developed your business plan, no longer apply.

Close5: eBay's San Diego Move Into The Mobile, Local Market


In the last few years, Southern California has been a key market in launching mobile applications and services, due to a huge, mobile-savvy consumer population. We spoke with Bart Molenda , Head of Market at eBay Classifieds Group and eBay''s Close5 efforts, on why and how eBay is using San Diego as the spearhead of its move into enabling local transactions in the mobile app era--and taking on Craigslist-all at the same time.

Ted Dhanik | Engage:BDR, LA Tech & the Marketing Scene

Tech Zulu Event

We talked to Ted Dhanik, the founder of Engage:BDR, about his company and the future of marketing. I moved in marketing for NextTag and I was part of the team that launched consumer lending products. Entegrate, is the opposite of performance marketing.

Be a Unicorn: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Your Startup Like a Pro

Tech Zulu Event

Marketing your startup can be one of the most daunting tasks an entrepreneur faces on their journey to world domination. Marketing, however, is not always about what we as consumers need, but what we deeply desire. and magic is at the heart of the very best marketing.

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How to Get Your E-commerce Site Noticed In A Global Market

Tech Zulu Event

Further, as the competition amongst web stores continues to increase, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to grab one’s parts of their desired market. One of the most effective arcing strategies to get noticed in a global market is to simply incorporate an SEO strategy.

How Savvy Companies Leverage Brand, Technology and IP Licensing to Leap Ahead of The Competition

SoCal Tech Calendar

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 -- How Savvy Companies Leverage Brand, Technology and IP Licensing to Leap Ahead of The Competition. AccessEN.

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Sponsor Message: Find more customers with socalTECH


In this kind of economy, it's more important than ever to find and locate customers. How do you find customers who are still going strong--and are expanding and hiring? socalTECH's High Tech Company Database provides you with the tools to locate and research companies in Southern California -- and beyond -- who might be in the market for your products or services. Try our free, two week trial and see how we can give you an edge in finding your next customer

Catching Up With Eli Portnoy, Sense360


For this morning's interview, we had a chat with Eli Portnoy , the CEO and founder of Culver City-based Sense360 (, which is developing analytics software which leverages mobile phones for data on customers. The hypothesis was, companies are in an extremely competitive environment, and it doesn't matter what company or industry they are in, it's been one of the most competitive environments we've seen in a long time.