Francis Adanza moderated the July 15th breakfast in San Francisco and offered this write-up.
We had a great conversation and a full house for the SandBox Suites’s location for Bootstrappers Breakfast. It was a mix of entrepreneurs; social gaming, mobile apps, B2B solutions, and video platforms. We had several thought provoking conversations on the topics of finding early employees/co-founders, marketing to small businesses, and how to partner with big corporations.
Steve Mock, our featured guest speaker, shared a few tips on how to get someone else to pay for your marketing and how to develop a win-win value proposition to make that happen. He gave three examples from three different companies on how he structured deals with Fortune500 partners to fund his companies marketing efforts. Below is the core of his three examples.
1) Major media companies. We had a great product that we wanted them to resell. Every major media company agreed it was a great idea, but seemed to lack the impetus to actual do a deal with us. Something was missing. We finally made a deal (loss leader) to one company to get things going. Once one was on board, the others fell like dominos. It took getting that first deal to ‘bless’ us to get the others motivated. Nobody wanted to be the first, so we offered the ‘first’ a deal they couldn’t refuse to get going.
2) Enterprise networking company. Starting with the “customer in common” in mind, we reached out to customers of all the major players in the networking space. Once we had customer validation, we reached out to the big networking companies to see if our solution would help reduce their sales cycles. All agreed that the solution was beneficial to their customers, but it only helped reduce the sales cycle for a few of the players. Those are the firms that we ended up partnering with. We actually partnered with the sales team in the field, got their buy in, and got them to take the mutual solution into their own internal product and marketing groups. We made the sales team our internal champion.
3) Enterprise software company. We wanted a giant Israeli company to resell our product. After showcasing our technology, we asked for product feedback and they would not provide us with any information. They were a very opaque organization. We could not gauge their thought process. We got their major customers to ask for the mutual solution. Still nothing. As a last ditch effort, we managed to meet the CEO for five minutes and pitch the idea. He loved it and made it happen. In this case, getting to the top of the organization is what got the deal done.