An eye on the goal

Marketing with Steffen Kellner

How do I orient my company consistently towards the needs of the market? What does my target group want? What do my users need? What attitude and which goals are behind my market strategy? Marketing is the art of having your ear open to the desires of your customers, recognizing changes and needs, and positioning your own company successfully amongst the competition.

stones Kellner, a partner of ignore gravity agency, is an expert in the art of making brand names fly. For many years, he was responsible for the domestic and international strategy of the Red Bull company – marketing deluxe, so to speak. In a workshop, he provided our start-ups with practical instructions on how to develop a marketing strategy for their target group and their market.

A challenge that can be a difficult task, and not only for start-ups. Difficulty number 1: A lack of clarity in terms of terminology and how to handle this lack. What are the prospects? What are the existing views, what are the characteristics of the company and the people behind it, which processes are used, which preferences are there, and which requirements? And how do you deal with these so-called “insights”? Difficulty number 2: The formulation of goals and their measurability. “There is usually little discrimination between a set of goals and the measures to be implemented”, knows Steffen. If you ask about goals, you usually get a lecture on the order and sequence of the measures to be implemented. “That is something like when you are moving across the landscape but cannot formulate the goal precisely – which makes arriving at your goal fairly difficult.”

From He expects After almost a year of working with the start-ups, he expects them to be able to define their goals, ideas, and business models clearly. Working together with young entrepreneurs and companies is especially appealing to Steffen. The highly dynamic environment, the way they handle things, and the high speed at which entrepreneurs move is one side of the coin. The other side is the positive way in which they deal with mistakes. “They are open and courageous enough to make mistakes. They admit them immediately, take countermeasures, and know how to use these mistakes as motivators. This stands in clear contrast to the manner in which large companies proceed”, says Steffen knowingly.

Meeting with start-ups also usually means having a refreshing encounter with most interesting personalities. “They have a clear content-based or technological concept and a strong business plan for the commercialization of their product”, says Steffen. “But they are often driven by ideals and do not only focus on one quick and lucrative ‘exit’. They really want to achieve something with their innovation.” That sounds like a good goal.