Entrepreneurship 6: Marketing your Project

Marketing Your Project

Entrepreneurship 6

Developing a marketing plan is one part of earning maximum points in the Business Plan section of the rubric for Senior division and User Adoption Plan section for the Junior Division. It can also help with future goals.

In this lesson, you will...

  • Learn what marketing is
  • Use this worksheet to make a plan for more people to use your app or AI project through marketing
  • [Junior Division] Develop your User Adoption Plan
  • [Senior Division] Develop the marketing plan section of your Business Plan
  • [Senior Division] Try out some of your marketing ideas and revise your marketing plan

Note: The marketing strategy that you’ll develop in this lesson will be necessary for the Senior division to complete their 5-10 page business plan. However, Junior division teams should still complete this lesson to help with your User Adoption Plan. Some of the content will not be necessary for Junior division teams.

Key Terms

  • Marketing - The process of telling people about your business and getting them to use it.
  • 4 P's of Marketing
    • Product - The thing you are selling or offering
    • Promotion - The way you tell customers about your product
    • Price - How much the customer will pay for a product
    • Place - Where you are selling your product
  • Strategy - How you will market your app so that you can meet your goals
  • Assessment - Whether or not your strategy is working

Marketing

You could create an awesome product that solves a really important problem, but your business will not be successful if no one knows about your product. You need to get people to use your product. This is called marketing. Marketing is the process of telling people about your product and getting them to use it. 

For the Junior Division, we’ll use the term “user adoption” rather than marketing, since you are not required to complete a full-fledged marketing plan. However, you will still need to plan how you will get users to learn about and try your product. You will also need to write about it  in your User Adoption Plan. This lesson and activities can help you with your User Adoption Plan.

There are a lot of different reasons why someone may or may not want to download your app or use your AI project. In this lesson, you will create a plan so that more people will use your product. This is called a marketing strategy.

Since marketing is about getting your users to use your product, you should reflect on who your users are. Check out your project canvas or your work from Ideation Lesson 2.

Marketing Strategy

The 4Ps is one way to approach marketing. You’ll want to make sure you think about the product you are selling, the price you are selling it at, the ways you are promoting it, and finally the places you are selling it in.

      Click on a part of the wheel to jump to that section!

Product

Your product is the thing that you are selling. The first step in getting people to use your product is to make sure that it is a good product that will be useful to them. You’ve already done this! In this case, your product is your app or AI invention.


 

Price

The price is how much your consumer will pay for your product. You need to think about the price of your app or AI project when you are considering how to make money. However, you also need to consider how much your users are willing to pay for your product. If your price is too high, people won’t want to buy your product

The price of your product isn’t all paid in physical money. If you are making a mobile app that is free, but there are a lot of ads, this can be annoying to the user and they might not want to use your app. Also, if your app is free, but some of the features require an in-app purchase, such as paying to unlock new levels in a game, this might also stop some people from using your app. 

If you aren’t sure how much to charge for your product, ask some of your target audience what they would be willing to pay. This can help you set a price. Here are some example questions to ask:

  • How much would you be willing to pay for this product?
  • If your project is an app: 
    • Do ads bother you? Would you pay more for it to be ad free? 
    • Would you rather it be free, but have ads?
    • Would you be willing to pay for in-app purchases?

 

Promotion

Promotions are the ways that you will tell people about your product. Here are some examples of different types of promotions you can do to tell people about your product. Click on each tab to learn more! You don’t need to do all of them or any of them, but they could be helpful. In the activity below, we will give you some steps to take so that you can start using one of these strategies.

Media advertising

It can be pretty expensive to get media advertising. You don’t necessarily need to do any media advertising, but it might be the best way to reach some of your users. Here are some examples of media advertising.

  • Commercials on radio or television
  • Print ads in newspaper, magazines, flyers
  • Online ads on websites

Steps to get started

Note that you’ll be able to answer all those questions and work through those steps in the Activity - Create a Marketing Strategy below.

Commercials on radio or television

  1. This can be a really expensive option. However, there might be ways to get some airtime for cheaper. Think about some local options, does your school or nearby university have a radio station? If so, would they let you promote your product? What about a local television station? 
  2. If you get some airtime, think about what you want to say. You can give a pitch, which you will learn about later. If your timeslot is really short, you could say a slogan. If your timeslot is really long, you could have someone interview your team or try out your app or AI project.

Print ads in newspaper, magazines

  1. Again think about some local options. Does your town have a newspaper? What about your school? These would be good places to promote your product.
  2. If you get some space in a magazine or a newspaper you’ll want to create something eye-grabbing. Use your brand colors and logo in your design. Make sure that your ad explains what your product is for and why someone should use it. 

Online ads on websites 

  1. What are some websites that your users might visit? These would be good places to put an ad for your app or AI project.
  2. Again, think of some local options to keep the cost down. Would your school website let you put an ad on it? What about your town? 

Social Media
Word of Mouth
Partnering with Organizations

 

Place

The place is where your users can access your product. If you’re creating a mobile app, you are generally restricted to the Google Play or Apple Store.  If you are creating an AI invention, you might look at websites where you could sell your invention. You should target websites or stores that focus on the problem you are solving. You can make your product look great in the virtual stores by writing a strong description, using keywords your customer will relate to, and taking helpful screenshots. For mobile apps, you should also ask your friends to download your app and leave a nice but honest review. You may want to refer back to your market research to find the keywords you’ll want to use to attract your target audience and reference your brand to write your description in the way you want your product to be portrayed. Make sure to include links to your app or AI invention in your social media pages and in any advertisements you create! Another way to add to your distribution is to develop an online website to support your app or AI invention.

Are you ready to try out some of these marketing strategies? In the next two activities, you will set some goals for your marketing strategy and then you’ll get started marketing your product. If you are in the senior division, you will use this work for your business plan. If you are in the junior division you will use this work for your user adoption plan.

Activity: Set Marketing Goals

Before you try out some marketing strategies, it helps to have goals that you want to accomplish. Your goals should be measurable so that you can see if your marketing strategy is working. 

Here are a few examples of goals:

  • Get at least 100 app downloads per month, for mobile app projects
  • Get at least 25 people to try your invention, for AI projects
  • Get at least 10 likes per social post
  • Get at least 100 followers on each social media account
  • Reach $100 in sales per month

Work as a team to brainstorm goals you want to achieve.

Once you’ve brainstormed a few goals, work together to narrow it down to 2-3 goals in total. You should make sure your goals are realistic, so you are able to achieve them without making them so high that you’ll be discouraged if you are unable to reach them.

Activity: Create a Marketing Strategy

Now that you have your goals, here are some ways to get started on them. With your team, decide which method you want to use and take some of these steps to get started.

Tips for selecting a marketing strategy:

  • Think about your target audience when deciding what types of promotions that you want to use. Do your users have Twitter or Instagram? Will they see posters that you print out and hang around your school?
  • Don’t forget that some types of promotions are free - like using social media, but some cost money - like getting a commercial on TV. In the next two entrepreneurship lessons, you’ll create a budget. You’ll need to include how much your marketing efforts will costs.
  • Check out some of your competitor’s websites and social media profiles. What types of things are they posting? How are they promoting their product?
  • Don’t forget about organizations that are already working on this problem! See what they are doing and let them know what you are working on. See how you can work together.

Once you have decided on a marketing strategy, follow the steps to get started listed in the content above.

Activity: Document your Marketing Plan

[Senior Division only]

If you are in the Senior Division, you can share this work in your 5-10 page business plan. These items can be used in the marketing plan section.  If you are in the junior division, you can still include this information in your user adoption plan.

Judges will look for this information:

Marketing Plan (strategy & implementation): 1 page

    • Branding is clear and amplifies your product's purpose
    • An in-depth strategy for how your product will reach target users
    • Feedback from target users integrated into marketing plan
    • Details about pricing, promotions, and distribution of the product's
    • An explanation of how the company will function, from when the product is produced to when the product is delivered to the customer
  • (Optional) Team’s response to feedback from initial marketing attempts (This could go into pitch video instead)

After you have written this portion of your business plan, make sure to have someone outside of your team take a look, like a mentor or a teacher. Investors place a lot of importance on marketing since even great products can fail due to poor marketing.

If you are in the junior division, you can still include this information in your pitch video and other submission materials.

Activity: Trying out your Marketing Strategy or User Adoption Strategy with your Target Audience

Reflect as a team what is working and why it might be working, and adjust your plan.

Before you start this activity, please get your mentor’s or parent’s approval of the people you choose to talk to. Talk to as many people who are a part of your target audience as you can to gather feedback about your marketing strategy. You can do this at your school or in your community.

Prepare:

  • Complete a first draft of your marketing plan
  • Pick one of the advertising strategies above and complete it in your community
  • As a team, plan 5-10 questions you’d like to as members of your target audience to gather feedback about your advertising and marketing plan. Here are some ideas:

    • What did you notice about our advertising? Did it make you interested in trying out our product?
    • What could be better about our branding?
    • If you wanted to reach other people like yourself with this product, what would you do to let them know about it?
    • At this price, would you use our product? Would you buy into any of these additional features?
    • Do you understand how our product functions? What is still confusing for you?

Complete the activity by talking to target users, be sure to keep track of their responses on paper or (with their permission) on a recording device so you can reflect on what they said.

Debrief:

  • Add in their feedback to your Business Plan [Senior division] or User Adoption Plan [Junior Division]
  • Consider what parts of your Marketing Plan [Senior division] section you’d like to change. It’s okay to rewrite parts of your business plan based on the feedback from your target audience

Reflection

Congratulations, you are done with your marketing plan! Let’s review what you did:

  • Set your marketing goals
  • Created strategies to achieve your goals
  • Found a way to track and assess your progress

Remember, your marketing plan can change as many other factors change, like your product (or its features), the way consumers view your brand or even budgets. It’s up to you to be flexible and modify your plans as best you can.

Additional Resources: Checking Metrics

To check the progress of your marketing plan in action, you’ll want to think of ways to track your goals, which are called metrics. The metrics that you want to measure will depend on the different types of goals you are trying to achieve. For example, if you wanted to keep track of app downloads, there are features built into Google Play and Apple Store that you can use if you choose to upload your app.

Example of how to check metrics in Google Play

Check out our Google Play Developer Console from the app we created for the first coding challenge! We can track how many users installed our app, how many uninstalled it and we can even see the breakdown of which country the app is being downloaded in.

 

Our app has only been in the Google Play Store for 3 months, so we can see that we’ve had 11 downloads over that time. We can see we had a few downloads in September, two in October and we are already up to 6 for November! We can also see that 1 person has uninstalled our app. If we scroll down a little more, we can see information about how many people reviewed our app and what they gave us as a rating.

In total, we’ve had 6 ratings, and our app was rated once in September and then 5 more times in November. We can also get a breakdown of how many stars the ratings are for.

All of this data is really helpful for us to know if our app is succeeding! Social media apps can help a lot with marketing, and they have their own tracking tools that you can use instead of creating your own. One of the most popular and flexible applications to use is Google Analytics, which gives you a lot of options with what you want to track, how you want to track it, and the way the information is displayed.