Marcus Ho And His Take On Digital Marketing

The Grameenphone Accelerator is a platform for tech based startups where they find all the resources and backup they need to make their business a success. Startup Dhaka is the strategic partner of the program and both Grameenphone and Startup Dhaka work their best to ensure the long-term success of the incoming startups. In each batch, 5 promising startups get the opportunity to go under a rigorous 4-month long bootcamp. Other than providing in house financial and logistical backup, the teams also get to work under the supervision of mentors coming from home and abroad to guide them.

The 4th batch of Grameenphone Accelerator has been at work for the last one and a half month at GP House. Every week, the 5 startups get to learn about different elements of startups and business. These workshops are designed to prepare and guide the participants on their path to success.

Marcus Ho, author of the National Bestseller- Social Payoff & Secrets to Facebook Marketing and founder of SocialMetric recently took a two day long session on the core and basic foundation of digital marketing.

Marcus believes most startups make the mistake of jumping into running Facebook ads to get likes and drive sales without having a proper insight.

In his words this is like “Trying to jump into the ocean before even learning to swim or attempting to run before learning to walk.”

The workshop was broken down into two segments:

* Targeting the right audience

* Planning to drive sales


Marcus discussed the following ideas throughout his session:

Buyers Avatar

Most startups target people who are already aware of their problem, so it is very important how the message gets conveyed and pitched to them. It is a good idea to use statements like “invest in our product” rather than saying “buy our product”.

In order to understand the buyer’s avatar the startups did a hand on session where they broke down the consumers’ mindset into the following parts:

* Frustration: The problems consumers face.

* Goals: What you want to do to solve the problem.

* What They Hear: From newspapers and other avenues.

* What They See: Because people usually believe what they get to see.

Customer Value Proposition

This is the statement that describes why a customer should buy a product or use a service; in short why investing in the product or service would be beneficial for them. To decide the target market it’s important to figure out the CVP.

Customers are able to connect to a product or service when it tells them a story that empathizes with them. The core idea of customer value proposition is to target the right people and give them the right offer that helps them solve their problems and frustrations.


Minimum Viable Offer 

A crucial step for every startup is to come up with a minimum viable offer to get the consumers hooked to the minimum viable product or service to be sold. The idea is to offer a significant feature of the software for trial instead of giving up the entire service. For example, Uber gives customers their first ride for free so that they get the chance to experience an Uber and get attached to it. Others features given for free trial can be free sample beauty products, software for free download, discount, free shipping etc. While planning your journey, firstly you should determine the kind of media platform you will use (Paid, Own and Earned). The medium viable offer introduces consumer to the product which can drive the Front-end where consumers develop low level of commitment with the product. And finally the consumers reach the Back-end where they form a high level of commitment with the product and get hooked. At any given point re-engagement journey should be launched from the top to incorporate users who had dropped out.

Landing Page

Marcus discussed 7 key points to create a successful landing pages:

* Attention Flow: Page needs to be simple and eye catching.

* Compelling Headline: Headlines can be of different types depending on the kind of purpose the startup will serve. (Testimonial, problem solution)

* Bullets: Use of bullets and transitioning features into benefits enable greater connection between consumers and startups.

* Hero Shot: Use an image that adds value and credential.

* Call to Action: Needs to include in the landing page above the fold.

* Contrasting Button Color: Needs to be distinctive to draw attention of consumers.

The workshop was concluded with the startups getting a hands on experience of creating their own Landing Page.

In conclusion, Marcus expressed that Grameenphone Accelerator has always been a happy experience for him in terms of hospitality and opportunity. The startup scene in Bangladesh has a lot of potential as there are a lot of sectors where there are room for growth. Also, the people of Bangladesh are very open minded when it comes to adapting to new technology, so this opportunity shouldn’t be missed out on.


Nayeema Akbar