Noah Kagan – Lovegasms

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This is a summary of Noah Kagan‘s Business of Software 2012 presentation.

Rogue Marketing Strategies

  1. Contests
  2. Relevant location
  3. $0 partnerships
  4. Sponsor niche sites
  5. Free things/inbound marketing
  6. Build a relationship

Image credit: @mdclement

Marketing is only good if your product doesn’t suck.

Kagan pyramid for exceptional

You’ll make the most money when you don’t focus on money.

The Kagan pyramid for exceptional:

  • (1%) Exceptional: You feel guilty about how little you’re paying for it.
  • (10%) Meet: It meets your expectations.
  • (89%) Value: You buy it because of the price.

For the amount of money customers are paying you, do they feel guilty or are you merely meeting their expectations? It doesn’t take a lot to be exceptional these days, because the bar is so low.

Startups are creative, and rich companies are boring. The challenge as your business grows is how do you maintain the creativity that got you here.

  • Think of your business as being around for ten years. When deciding features, ask “Is this a ten year decision?”
  • Your customers aren’t just numbers, they’re real people. Treat your customers right. Give them a chair/bear/whatever in meetings. Take the time to educate your customers to make them feel better about themselves.
  • Never say “That’s not my problem.” Empower your team to say “It is my problem.”, and let them solve it. “I never said that’s not my problem.” ~ United Airlines CEO.
  • Policies are meant to be broken if it’s good for the customer.

The about page is one of the top trafficked pages. How many of your clients have you built a relationship with? How deep are your relationships with your customers?

Marketing only works if you work on the pyramid first.

The AppSumo framework:

  1. Is this something we’re proud of?
  2. Is it simple?
  3. Are we having fun?
  4. Is it profitable?

You should build your own framework.

When Noah first started AppSumo he tried gimmicks (share, like, etc.), but he learned that what people really want is quality content.

6 steps to the lovegasm

Things to consider when thinking about how to create happy customers:

  • What will you say hell yes and hell no to?
  • Do your customers feel like they are cheating you? If you answer yes, then you have great value.
  • Are you running a business that you want to be a customer of? If you answer yes, then you will be successful.
  • Most businesses start cool and become boring. Surprise your customers and be unique.
  • Have consistency in the experience (that doesn’t mean you have to be boring).
  • Are you personal with your customers? You should be.

Six steps to the Lovegasm:

  1. Core values (i.e. the hell yes/no)
  2. Value
  3. Authenticity
  4. Surprise
  5. Consistent
  6. Personal

Evaluate yourself, and experience your business as a customer (and realize how messed up it is). Learn to recognize lovegasms in amazing customer experiences around you, and bring them into your own business.

[I’d like to thank Bill Horvath, founder of DoX Systems, for sharing his notes with me.]

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