Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Lessons learned from online marketing – Dan Marques

The importance of marketing does not change regardless of size of a firm. Small and large firms should invest in marketing aggressively in order to get their name out and to go against competitors. On Wednesday, April 16, Dan Marques ’07, senior online marketing manager at Reebok visited Babson. Although he is working at one of the largest sportswear companies, he started his career in different industries. Marques shared several online marketing lessons he’s learned.

Although some might argue that marketing cannot be learned from a textbook, Marques shared that marketing fundamentals do apply. Defining customers such as figuring out who are they, how many of them are there, where are they, why would they buy from you, and what problem you are solving is what typical marketing textbooks teach you, and is critically important. In this process, one can explore available tools online such as Google keyword tool, Google trends, Facebook advertising audiences, and Google alerts.

When customer wants your product or service, it is because either 1) you captured their demand precisely or 2) you generated the demand. In most of cases, generating demandis expensive and time consuming. An entrepreneur should start with capturing existing demand in the marketplace if possible. There are tools can be used for demand generation when capturing demand is difficult, including  paid search (pay-per-click), search engine optimization, partnership/affiliate, display, Facebook advertisement, marketplaces, and distribution partners.

A successful marketer never neglects a bit of data. In a world of marketing, data is the new oil. Using Google/KISSmetrics, marketer can increase customer acquisition and retention rates. Marques strongly recommends Google and Optimizely for A/B testing. A/B testing is a randomized experiment with two variants to maximize the result of interest in web design and other online settings. If these tools are well implemented, markets could expect great outcomes.

Some may question whether they should implement marketing plans by themselves or hire marketing agency to take care all the business. During the beginning stages, entrepreneurs can do it themselves for the most part as most of the knowledge is easy to obtain. Yet sometimes it is inevitable to hire an agency for outsourcing hard to gain skills and non-core activities.

As mentioned earlier, marketing is one of the key components in business. Businesses can hardly succeed without effective marketing. For those of you who are not familiar with online marketing, consider the lessons that Marques learned in his entrepreneurial career when growing your venture.