Use Math to Make Your Marketing Decisions – Rishi Narayan

Marketing is just a giant math problem

Well not completely – I just read that Kylie Jenner’s phone is the entire marketing department for her billion dollar cosmetics company. But that’s not normal. All of the other startups out there can make better investments in marketing by testing and tracking and adjusting along the way. Marketing is a giant math problem. You can map a customer’s journey from the time they learn about you until they become a customer. When you know the number of customers at each stage, then you can test the best ways to coax them through the journey faster. Good marketing does this efficiently, bad marketing doesn’t.

In class we will learn about a sales funnel, marketing channels, and media ratio. Together these form a foundational language for startups to make informed decisions about how to spend their time and money acquiring customers. The numbers can be really basic when you start and then grow in complexity as the business grows.

I asked Rishi Narayan to share a story about using numbers to make better marketing decisions. And he actually tells a really funny story about not tracking and not using numbers and how it came back to bite him.

Rishi is best known as owner of Underground Printing, a custom apparel printing company with headquarters in Ann Arbor. He makes t-shirts – lots of them. Rishi also teaches e-commerce at the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship and is an active Angel investor. As you’ll hear in the story he also owns the local professional soccer team: AFC Ann Arbor.

Casey Frushour is the graphic designer you hear in the episode.

Here’s a link to learn more about Casey’s Head.