Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Measuring the Customer Journey : A CMO Peer Group Discussion - November 1st, 2016

Customers go through a journey from understanding your brand to researching problems, solutions, purchasing, retention and ultimately advocacy.  Marketing has a role to play in almost all of these stages. With a finite amount of people, money and time, how do you know how much to invest in each stage?  What measurements can you use to determine the right amount of investment?  While simple funnel metrics are interesting, they really only focus on the middle part of the journey. In this CMO roundtable,  Bryan Semple, CMO at SmartBear Software led the group in a discussion of how to measure each stage of the journey.  Although we didn’t get to every stage, the discussion around 3 different stages resulted in key takeaways for the group:

1. Engagement and awareness.  Although it was admitted that measuring awareness is nearly impossible the key takeaways are: referrals are the most important metric, keep your PR analytics tool and add GA measurements to length of visit, brand terms, etc.  Also, read this article from Avinash Kaushik, “Brand Measurement: Analytics & Metrics for Branding Campaigns.” It’s a few years old but still very relevant.  

2. Adoption/Retention/Cross-sell/Expansion:   The metric on this one is easier – what % of your customers have XX number of products.  And in theory we should be able to figure out cross-selling but the crowd agreed, mining this data is not always easy. 

3. Advocacy:  Everyone agreed there is an allure to advocacy and that having these trusted relationships are gold.  However, they’re not easy and they can’t be manufactured using a tool or software.  It’s an area where teams are adding time, attention and additional resources.  Folks agreed that community is a way to cultivate your advocates and then get them out of there one by one. No tools or tricks will work unless you have a brand where people are willing to put on your t-shirt!

A few other resources for you: Clay Christianson’s HBR article “Jobs to Be Done” (maybe it’s no longer about personas). And to recite Avinash, remember, Engagement is not a metric, its an excuse!

Our next meeting is going to be held December 14th just prior to heading to the MassTLC CXO holiday party.  More to follow but mark your calendars! 

Thanks to Bryan and SmartBear for hosting and to DemandBase for sponsoring MassTLC’s sales and marketing community!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Manufacturing Rocket Pitch for Solutions – October 26

The MassTLC/MassRobotics/MassMEP team under the Advanced Manufacturing Futures Fund Program grant, funded by MassDevelopment, held our first “Manufacturing Rocket Pitch for Solutions” on 26 October 2016 at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub.

Our goal:  to help robotics, IoT and hardware start-ups and scale-ups grow and commercialize their products by connecting them with the local manufacturers and supply chain – turning great ideas into great products Made in Massachusetts.

Our panel of experts with over 100 years of experience between them included:

·         Bill Sullivan, FLEXcon

·         Mark Smithers, Boston Engineering Corporation

·         Marty Petraitis, Segue Manufacturing

·         Craig Bovaird, Reliance Engineering and LSR Engineering

·         Rich Breault, Lightspeed Manufacturing

Peter Russo from MassMEP moderated the panel – each panelist offered tips to startups about what they should know about manufacturing and discussed critical best practices.  Advice included:  Validate your product, understand what you are good at and find others for support in other areas, listen to the voice of the customer, look for loyal partners, don’t expect to make a profit on the first units sold…
Startup presentations by Phil Caruso (MiniMole), Sam Godin (Riptide) and Rory MacKean (Franklin Robotics) included discussion on manufacturing challenges.

Figure 1  Phil Caruso, Sam Godin, Rory MacKean, Peter Russo
Mini-Mole Robotic Floor Sweeper is a patent pending automatic hard floor cleaner that is smaller than any other automatic floor cleaner on the market. Named Innovative Technology of the Year in Consumer Tech at the 19th Annual MassTLC Leadership Awards, mini mole is 1” tall and 4” wide and gets under virtually all household furniture to remove accumulated dust, fur and other debris that collects under objects in the home.  It’s unique upward-looking object sensor and small size allow it to focus on cleaning areas that are difficult or impossible to reach manually or with any other automatic floor cleaner. 

Figure 3 Rich offers PCB Advice to Phil

Figure 2    Phil offers a MiniMole demonstration for the panel

Riptide Autonomous Solutions focuses on Unmanned Maritime Vehicle (UMV) development and production. This includes Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUV), Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (UUV), and Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV). Riptide is a small business entity poised for rapid growth and expansion focusing on the US Navy, Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Defense Advanced Research Programs Agency (DARPA), and research institutions.

Figure 5 Marty takes a closer look at Unmanned Maritime Vehicle

Figure 4 Sam getting advice from Craig


The team at Franklin Robotics is developing a robot that weeds home gardens. We have designed a solar powered, autonomous, self-sufficient robot named Tertill. It lives in the garden, and every day it charges itself in the sunlight, patrols the garden, avoids plants and obstacles, damages pre-emergent weeds before they surface, and cuts down post-emergent weeds. Friendliness and simplicity are designed in: setup requires only a fence around the garden, and small plastic collars around seedlings; no wires or beacons are necessary, there's no programming of any kind, and chemicals are no longer needed for weed control.

Figure 7 Marty Needs a closer look

Figure 6 Rory describes the Tertill's Challenge to the panel
There was lively and informative discussion between all startups and manufacturers.  A special thanks to Peter Russo from MassMEP and our expert panel for their donated time and expertise!
And to our Host: