Mike MasonProduct & Marketing, Founder.

Growth & Product roles at mobile and web companies for more than a decade. PM of The New York Times Crosswords, Founder, PM Wave (acq H&R Block), PM Shopify.

Recent Answers

When I go through the process of building a competition slide for a pitch deck I like to include several "forms" or competition.

1. Monopolistic Competition: Big players in your space, these are the Microsofts, Oracles, Google's of the world.

Tools to use: Public companies announce quarterly earnings. Understand where their revenue is coming from and what's growing the fastest. ex. http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1288776/000128877614000075/goog10-qq32014.htm#sE456F21B4F58076BCE0E8E07A40E64F4
It's also worth reading into what financial analysts say about each quarterly earning report. They are normally small picture thinkers but they almost always focus in on what the company is spending most of it's growth efforts on.

2. Distribution Competition: These are companies that will be fighting for the same distribution channels and advertising channels as you.

Tools to use: If yours is a mobile app, the best tools is App Annie, look at apps that compete in your category. You will have to fight these apps on download volumes and ratings even if they don't directly compete.

3. Audience Match Competition: These are companies that target a similar demographic profile to yours. Similar to distribution matching, these competing companies will be fighting for the same ad dollars.

Tools to use: Some of these are dated but it is a good list: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/25-sneaky-online-tools/

4. Use Case competition: These companies have a similar use case or have a solution to your problem (even if the solution is different)

This could be as simple as you're a note taking app and a use case match cold be a notebook, they are still worth brining into the slide as they inflate your solution as the obvious better solution.

This is what professional networking is about. Even if neither of your receive instant gratification on the objectives you're trying to push right now, the relationship could end up being profitable to both of you down the road.

Here's the breakout I would use:

Acquisition: Any work or activity focused on acquiring visitors to the site should be equated as an expense towards CAC. This includes work done by your marketing person + product development focused on your funnel and conversion points.

$40,000/year broken into small timeframes that even if performing at a loss in early months scale to profitability over time. This ties performance goals directly to the role of the employee.

Activation: Once on site, work done to activate these visitors is core product development.

Revenue: If you have a sales guy emailing leads and following up to explain benefits + convert to PU's this should contribute to CAC. The idea here is to use a direct email drip from a person and automate aspects of your drip as your acquisition funnel grows and becomes too cumbersome to manage all the individual parts.

Retention: Email triggers on auto renews, direct reach-out and support on existing customers is a direct overhead expense (cost of doing business) not CAC.

Referrals: Implementing some sort of viral hook for existing customers to refer their colleagues/friends/family is in my mind core product development and should be a value add to your acquisition strategy that grows over time.

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