Stepping Back to Move Forward

Mike McKay is the CMO at Jozii, an online platform that is changing the way the world hires college students.

Coming into Summer Launchpad I knew that time would be a scarce asset. Student acquisition, email marketing, reaching out to employers, networking events, Facebook ads, blogging …the list goes on and on. My days were packed before SLP started; how was I going to fit in all the extra work that was about to come?

It was time to make some hard decisions: What were we doing that brought the most value to Jozii and what could we put on the back burner? If you want to put it in Launchpad Central terms, it was time to stop doing the “nice to haves” and focus all of our efforts on the “must haves.”

Everyone in the startup world talks about the “metrics that matter.” For those unfamiliar with the term, it is used to quantify essential components that could make or break your business. E.g. cost of customer acquisition, gross margins, and churn. In order to run a successful business, it’s important to prioritize tasks that deliver results and improve these metrics. To determine which tasks moved to the top of the list and more importantly, which tasks we’d eliminate, we considered two main factors:

  1. Cost

Resources, both financial and otherwise, are scarce in the startup world. When thinking about cost we realized it is important to not only consider monetary cost, but also opportunity cost. Time spent working on one aspect of our business is time that we could not spend elsewhere. During SLP, we scaled back a lot of our marketing efforts to make time for the program. It turns out that 90% of our results were coming from only a few of our marketing tactics. Fast forward to after the SLP and we’ve kept a lot of the lower performing tactics on the backburner. Maybe one day we’ll bring some of them back, but for now we’re focused on strategies that drive the most growth at the lowest cost.

  1. Objectives

When deciding on a marketing strategy it’s important to keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish. Early on in our customer discovery, we determined that employers want a large pool of applicants when posting to job websites. Therefore our “must haves” include a large student user base that actively applies to positions posted on Jozii. Keeping this in mind, we were able to narrow down our key activities to those that focused on generating new student users and keeping existing users applying to jobs.

Summer Launchpad forced us to take a step back and re-evaluate our marketing strategies, allowing us to accelerate our growth beyond what we previously thought was possible.

So what did I learn this summer? When resources get low, execute strategies that deliver the best results and cut out everything else.