Unit 7: Promotion

This unit begins with an introduction to the art and principles of Storytelling and how entrepreneurs craft meaningful stories for influence. Students will discuss effective storytelling techniques and get the chance to practice these techniques when crafting the story of their team through this course. Next, students will begin to understand how to build awareness and promote their business with the goal of getting customers. Students will develop marketing and sales plans for their company. Plans will include selling strategies, promotional tactics and will have corresponding budget estimates. The plans created will be used to complete the “Customer Relationships” and “Channels” sections of the team’s business model canvas. It is recommended that coaches with expertise in sales, marketing and small business communication lead instruction throughout this unit.

This unit is closely tied to the concepts introduced in Unit 2-Customer Discovery, and Unit 3-Customer Connections. Help students make the connection with reference to the key outputs they created in those lessons. Important referenceable documents include; customer empathy maps, customer personas, positioning statements and channel maps. Teams should be able to see the need and benefit of updating these documents based on evidence they are gathering with their MVP tests.

Enduring Understandings

  • Marketing shapes the public’s perception of a product and can make it more desirable or memorable.
  • With limited resources, start-ups critically evaluate and prioritize how to spend money to grow a business.
  • Successful entrepreneurs know their customers well and adjust their sales approach accordingly.

Essential Questions

  • What is the purpose of storytelling and how does it apply to business and entrepreneurship?
  • How does my team promote our product to match the demands of the market?
  • How does my team utilize information we have collected on competitors to make marketing decisions?
  • How do different communication strategies impact the financial viability of my business?

Expected Outcomes by end of Unit

  • Students will create a presentation for their team’s story. This will be used to help their creation of a final pitch presentation in Unit 8.
  • Students will determine a sales approach and write an action plan.
  • Students will develop a communications strategy and estimate costs of this marketing budget.

Key Terms

  • Storytelling techniques
    • Emotional hook
    • Call to action
    • Appropriate language
  • Marketing Tactics
    • Attending trade shows
    • Foot canvassing
    • Traditional ad buys
    • Digital ad buys
    • Social Media
    • Providing value
  • Sales Planning
    • Characteristics of a salesperson
      • Generally knowledgeable
      • Persistent
      • Resilient
    • Tactics
      • “Cold calling”
      • “Warm calling”
      • Team sales
      • Listening to the customer
    • Strategies
      • Referrals
      • Research
      • Understand your product/service

Shareback

Students will present an update on MVP test learning, changes being made and how this will shape their business story and marketing plans.

Preparation for this exercise will help prepare students for the final pitch and marketing section of the pitch. You will be graded according to this rubric. Follow this structure for your presentation:

  • Introduce team and company via an elevator pitch.
    • What is the problem you are trying to solve?
    • How will you be solving the problem (solution)?
    • Who has this problem (customer segment)? What value do you provide them?
  • What is the status of your MVP testing at this moment?
    • Discuss your key metrics and how close/far away you are in achieving them?
    • Based off of your current metrics, timeline remaining and budget status, what are your next steps to continue/aspire to achieve those metrics?
    • Based on your progress and communications with early adopters, what have you learned about your company?
  • What are the key components of your business story?
  • Conclusion
    • How will you conclude your presentation?
    • What part of the testing plan will you focus on next?
    • What changes need to be made based on your learning so far?