When it comes to startups, marketing efforts need to be as innovative as the products themselves. However, startups also need to be cautious given limited funds and resources. Here at AdRoll, we understand scrappy and know that marketers need to stretch their dollars. And, while retargeting can accomplish a lot, we know that it’s just one tool in a marketer’s belt.

To that end, we debuted Ad Hacking for Startups at this year’s SXSW to get a diverse set of marketing champs in one room to throw around the tips and tricks key to their success and to discover the latest ad hacks. We had such a great audience, especially given the heavyweight competition in our same time slot, we knew we had to replicate it locally. Doing right by the customer and community is one of our core values here at ShangRolla, and putting some resources towards providing this content seems to fit right in with that.

Check out the recording of Ad Hacking for Startups, featuring our very-own Adam BerkeHiten Shah of KISSmetrics, Ilana Stern of Weddington Way, and Terry Whalen of CPC Search, to learn how these companies marketed themselves to success.

Some highlights:

  • [18:30, Hiten] “I’ve answered more generically when people ask me ‘what’s the number one metric?’ To me, it’s customer satisfaction — are your customers happy? I don’t mean things like net promoter score, I just mean whatever way you can possible define that at whatever stage in your business.”

  • [21:40, Ilana] “The itch that I like to scratch is — are you solving a real pain? We started by thinking about, and looking at, really understanding the consumer pain that we’re solving and, early on, talking to customers. Before building ever happened, the beta was built off paper prototypes i had put together to work with early customers through Google Docs, SurveyMonkey, and Powerpoint stitched together. We started with the customer.”

  • [24:22, Terry] “When you’re doing things for marketing, you want that unique selling point, pretty colors or soundbyte. Guess what? I like that too. Even though we’re marketers, we like those tricks – things that are easy to grasp. Why not have a pretty website or landing page? If you’re selling to fellow marketers, we want to have a harder aspect to what we’re putting forth. For us, that’s a free, no-strings attached Google AdWords audit. We don’t always get the client, but we always have something valuable to deliver.”

  • [26:04, Adam] “Our free trial has been our best acquisition tool.”

  • [28:06, Hiten] “The reason that I love marketers is there is no limit to the content that they will consume as long as it’s useful to them, educational, and high quality.”

  • [33:35, Terry] “[Competitors] are not something we talk about every week or every month with our clients. We want to start with the core – what is the value proposition that our advertisers have.”

  • [35:37, Ilana] “We’re doing something that’s completely different. A lot of what we pay attention to is peers that we admire that are doing cool things and trying to understand what they’re up to.”

  • [36:37, Hiten] “Everything starts with the customer. We try to pay attention to what the customer is thinking.”