How Startups Should Map Their Content Marketing Strategy To The Buyer’s Journey

How Startups Should Map Their Content Marketing Strategy To The Buyer’s Journey

Wow, did I ever butcher this joke.

“The CEO, CFO, and Marketing Manager walk into the bar…”

You can watch the video below to see how I killed my stand-up career before it even started…

…but here’s what I was trying to convey.

Depending on WHO you are, you probably have a different need for the same outcome (i.e. a drink).

When I was building my startup Flowtown, we had customers who bought our product at $20/month, some at $200/month and even a few at $2K/month!

Were they the same? Yes and no.

Yes, they all had the same need….

… but no, they all had a different motivation and reality they were coming from.

That’s why I think it’s important to map your marketing strategy to your buyers.

Fail to do this and you’ll only be speaking to one type of customer – or the one stage of the buyer’s journey.

The cool part is there’s a simple framework you can use to clearly identify the type of content that you need to create to help customers move through the funnel quickly to purchase.

Here’s a mental model you can use to think through the process…

… starting with each role and the type of information they need.

The CEO wants to learn about problem space so he can be better informed to evaluate his need against his vision for the company.

The CMO wants to learn more about the specific solutions available and companies using them so he can feel good about his timing decision, and the specific vendor to avoid looking stupid.

The Marketing Manager needs to understand the specific features and benefits of each platform so he can map his strategic goals to the product’s key strengths.

Each one is potentially looking at your solution under a completely different lens, and searching to answer their questions from a different type of position.

Many in the industry call it TOFU (Top of Funnel), MOFU (Middle of Funnel) and BOFU (Bottom of Funnel).

My buddy Sujan likes to call it Kung-Fu! 🙂

Regardless of where you’re at, you need to address each stage of the journey with the right content.

That’s how you map your marketing strategy to your buyer’s journey.

So what stage of business do you have the hardest time creating content for?

Post your situation in the comments and let’s get some ideas flowing.

Just remember, no more bad jokes – I’ve butchered enough for the day.


  • Tricia

    Hi Dan:
    Thanks so much for the informative article and video. It really helped a rookie like me understand the importance of thinking of my buyers journey – the funnel analogy really made sense to me. We are a small business just starting out and our product (which is pretty expensive) isn’t moving as fast as we had hoped. As I was reading your article and watching your video, I began to have some great brainstorming ideas…..and I was wondering if you had anymore advice for us…..we make and sell bartop arcades and we have just been promoting/advertising each product as we have made them (we also work out of our home – we don’t have a brick and mortar shop). I am now thinking that as a buyer, it is a lot of money to shell out in our local area, and it would probably benefit them to be able to try out the product first (like rent it for a week/month) to see if they like it….I was also thinking about the customers that you said paid $20 or $200 a month…and I started thinking about a payment plan of some sort, or varying the rental costs (a rent to own idea)….however I know that logistically that would be a nightmare and the wear and tear on our products, etc., but as a buyer I think this may be important to creating a final sale. We are also kicking around the idea of having a rental part of our business where the customer can rent a machine or two for Christmas or birthday parties etc….however by the time we get this thinking over, it feels VERY overwhelming and I then get paralyzed because I have no idea how to even go about these things. Any advice or help? Thanks again for all your advice!

    • Dan Martell

      You need to get clear who your primary customer is.

      I have videos on this.

      Nail that, strategy maps to them and all activity is there to support sales for that specific customers.

      Clears up the overwhelm.


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