Check out this excellent post on marketing a startup by Josh Kopelman, Founder and Managing Partner at First Round Capital (one of the VCs behind Xobni).
His key point is that a single event (such as TechCrunch) sprinkled with viral growth should NOT define a startup’s marketing strategy. He then goes on to explain what should. His recommendations are right on the mark.
My first week as interim VP marketing at Xobni was incredible. In earlier startups we had to work a lot harder to get the customer acquisition engine cranking.
Naturally, I did a lot of due diligence on Xobni before deciding to join. I discovered that Xobni has all the elements of a startup with enormous potential for marketing success. Specifically, it resolves real pain in a mission critical part of the daily work flow for a huge addressable market. And early users are thrilled with the solution. They love how Xobni helps them manage the flood of email hitting their Outlook inbox. After installing Xobni, it’s much easier to find contacts, attachments, conversations and more.
The PR opportunity for Xobni is also enormous. The press is enamored with the visionary way Xobni addresses the email overload problem. Xobni’s solution leverages the rich relationship data that already exists in the inbox. In a sense Xobni turns email into your biggest and most important social network. While this is a bit esoteric for mainstream users, it’s great for generating press. In recent months Xobni has landed coverage in the Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Business 2.0, Webware, and BNET. Additionally, there are already over 5,000 blogs and websites that link to Xobni. All this with no PR agency.
So I consider myself extremely fortunate to be the first marketing head at Xobni. While a lot has already been achieved, there are still many dials to turn to accelerate Xobni’s momentum. For confidentiality reasons I won’t go into the details of how I plan to market Xobni, but I will be trying to make frequent blog updates on my general startup marketing thoughts. These thoughts are becoming crystallized as I spend more time executing the early stage marketing for Xobni.
By the way if you are curious why it’s an “Interim” role, this post explains the reasoning.