Investors’ Deck

Startups need a “pitch deck” to present their company to prospective angel or venture capital investors. The pitch deck typically consists of 15-20 slides in a PowerPoint presentation and is intended to showcase the company’s products, technology, and team to the investors. Few presentations incorporate a memorable and interesting story that truly communicates a company’s passion.


Raising capital from investors is difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, it’s crucial that a startup absolutely nails its investor pitch deck and presents a compelling and interesting story. 

While Investors see hundreds of business plans each year and even more executive summaries, they fund a very small percentage of those per year. Most companies that submit a business plan never get a first meeting, and those that do still face incredibly long odds. At SAGE, we help startups tell compelling stories – ones that will rise above the rest and leave a lasting impression.

We understand that for entrepreneurs, the first meeting with investors is a make-it-or-break-it event. By building and delivering a high-quality investor presentation, we help our clients not only present a successful pitch, but also pave the way to an effective long-term relationship with investors.


Here are some common mistakes we see when companies build investor presentations:

  • Decks that are too long – people have limited attention spans; if you feel you need to add more information, include it as an appendix
  • Wordy slides
  • Excessive financial details (you can always provide that in a follow-up interaction)
  • Using a lot of jargon or acronyms
  • Underestimating or belittling the competition
  • No clear value proposition
  • Poor layout, generic or weak graphics, or an overall low-quality “look & feel”

Investor presentations are an important part of communicating the value of your company. Telling a story using clear, consistent messaging, building a deck with strong branding, and using effective visuals will all help to ensure that your message captures investors’ attention.

Branding
(Identity, Look and Feel)

We always remind our B2B clients that we are not just marketing to a business, but to people within that business. At the end of the day, it’s a person who is making the ultimate decision of whether to do business with you, and that’s why it’s critical that your brand be easily identifiable and have a unique personality.

We often hear from companies: “We’re the best!”. Sure, it’s good to be “the best,” but you should be ready to prove your merit with more than just words, as this generic term (or others like “most effective”) is so overused in marketing and branding as to make it invisible. We certainly don’t meet a lot of companies who proclaim, “We’re second best,” but perhaps that would actually grab more attention (remember Avis’s “We try harder!” campaign?). The point is that B2B markets are flooded with similar goods and services, and prospects are constantly being bombarded with content. To stand out and attract new leads, you must differentiate yourself.


Whether creating a new brand from scratch, rebranding, or building a brand extension, our goal is to give you a competitive advantage. SAGE delivers authentic brand consistency through multiple channels and across key stakeholder touch points. We start with a brand strategy that defines the core elements of a brand: Vision, Mission, Values, Positioning and Messaging. Clarifying these elements is fundamental to developing a powerful and differentiated brand. SAGE captures your brand essence and transforms it into a comprehensive program for creating a sustainable competitive advantage.


Your brand identity defines the way the world views your company from the first moment of interaction. From logotype design to holistic brand language development, SAGE leads the creation of a compelling brand identity that will increase awareness and engagement amongst your target audience and boost your employees’ company pride.

Messaging
(Tone and Voice)

Messaging is a vital element of your marketing mix that helps you stand out from the competition and attract the target audience you’re after.

Before meeting with a potential client, we always review the company’s website in order to familiarize ourselves. In most cases, the website content we come across is full of industry jargon and/or heavy text elements that are difficult to digest, and the gap between what we read online and hear later in a face-to-face meeting can be vast. The problem with complex language and extensive use of professional jargon is that new website visitors must learn about your industry before they can understand your unique value proposition and discover why they should turn to you.


If what makes your business special – and different from competitors – isn’t straightforward and clear, the money you spend to bring more traffic to your website is wasted and generating relevant leads is much more difficult. The first and most important thing we do once we start working together is understand what the company is all about. We prepare several versions of copy that expresses this – in one sentence, in 50 words and in 100 words, and we make sure the message is simple, coherent, and consistent.


But it is not just about the high-level messages and the company description. It is mainly about generating high-quality content that is relevant to your buyer personas.: Quality content has been proven to generate the most relevant organic traffic and leads, and helps establish a company as a market leader.


Strategy and content are closely tied, since without an effective strategy, it’s going to be very hard to reach your goals and produce high quality content that performs. We try to encourage each website visitor to go through the whole customer journey, progressing from awareness all the way to purchase.


At each stage of the marketing funnel, we use relevant content to: 

  • Attract prospects and encourage them to pay attention to what you have to offer
  • Convert interested visitors into leads
  • Convert these leads into customers by engaging them with our content
  • Delight customers with more valuable insights and benefits to create loyalty and upselling opportunities

At SAGE, we also understand the importance of working closely with our clients’ sales teams to glean relevant insights that we then transform into powerful marketing messages. We take time to participate in calls with prospects and customers, review sales presentations, and observe the sales team at trade shows to hear them present to the audience. This is how we learn more about customer pain points, concerns, and objections, and then we make sure to use the relevant language and terminology in the marketing materials we produce.


We take a similar approach to content marketing and focus not on telling your company’s story, but rather highlighting how the company’s potential customers can use these products or services to solve their biggest problems. The content strategy we build also considers different interests your target audience might have, to provide them with real value.


Content formats we employ can vary greatly depending on the defined goals and objectives.

They can include infographics, videos, one-pagers, case studies, presentations, blog posts, website content, white papers and e-books, surveys, articles, email campaigns, landing pages, newsletters, social media posts and more. In each case, we pay close attention to using the right tone of voice that is consistent with the brand. In some cases, a cool, funky tone is more effective to convey the message, while others require a more conservative approach. And sometimes, being provocative or edgy is necessary to capture the target audience’s attention and rise above the noise. 


With years of marketing experience, we know that the more personal and granular we get with our messaging, the more successful we will be in achieving our marketing goals. It’s important to develop content to address each target group’s problem, rather than going for a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Personalization is key.  


One of the most powerful types of content is UGC, or user-generated content, including customer testimonials, reviews, quotes, etc. When others recommend your company or product, it is much more effective than even the best piece of content you can write about yourself. UGC helps build stronger relationships with your target audience and gain their trust. Articles written by analysts and journalists also play an important role and should make up part of a successful content strategy.

Marketing Plan and Budget

The marketing plan is a detailed roadmap that we create in order to outline marketing tactics, costs, and projected results over a period of time. The marketing plan considers business goals, products & road map, budget and KPIs (key performance indicators). 

good marketing plan includes:

  • Detailed goals by product, distribution channel and customer segment
  • Sales enablement plan and tools
  • Positioning tactics
  • Major marketing campaigns
  • Detailed budget and timeline

The plan should clearly state the criteria for success by time period
(3 months, 6 months, 1 year).


The KPIs are divided into categories:

Quantitative KPIs (mainly when lead generation is the primary marketing objective) can be the number of leads, number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads), number of SQLs (sales qualified leads), and various breakdowns of such by product or channel.

Qualitative KPIs (mainly when brand awareness is the primary marketing objective) measure quality. For example, which media publications mentioned the organization, website traffic (direct and referral) versus paid traffic (sponsored, awards and recognition), etc.

KPIs and goals can also be strategic, and it helps to simplify growth targets into visitor volume, quality, and value. For example, expansion into a new market with a new distribution channel or repositioning of the brand to reflect a change in the market or in a company.


The marketing plan we create contains:

  • The structure for an effective campaign to generate leads, nurture prospects, market to existing customers, and empower sales.
  • A complete range of integrated marketing activities across multiple channels including email marketing, social media, print, events & trade shows, content, PR, and more.

And of course, we periodically revisit the plan, measure our progress,
and adjust if needed.

Unique Value Proposition

When the value proposition is planned well, it can focus the way an organization operates to best serve customers and grow profits.

The most important components of a company’s value proposition are target market and segmentation. As not all customers value the same things, it is important to create different messages to pinpoint the specific pain points of each target audience.

Value is not the same for everyone. By definition, value is what you get in return for what you pay. However, it is not uncommon for different buyers in the same target market to have different perceptions of value.


For example, one customer may consider the Apple iPhone to be of high value. Another may consider it to be over-priced and would prefer to spend their money on a Samsung Android phone. When thinking about value, it is also important to think about both the tangible and intangible attributes and benefits. Tangible attributes could include iOS, battery lifetime, or power, whereas intangible attributes could include things like design, service, brand, prestige, etc. For customers who value design, for example, it might be that the more intangible aspects are those that drive their buying decisions.


Developing a strong value proposition makes it easier to connect with target audiences and establish a strategic foundation for a company’s marketing and sales functions. It also provides employees with a consistent and cohesive way to talk about their brand. At SAGE, we help you stand out among your competition and ensure you remain highly relevant among your target audience.

Positioning
and Competitive
Analysis

The primary purpose of competitive analysis is to discover strategic areas where we can position your company for a win.

We will search both for direct competitors (Direct Competition = same customer + same problem + same/similar solution) as well as for indirect competitors. In many cases, indirect competitors are the biggest competition. Our main goal when conducting competitive analysis is to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of your company in relation to the alternatives.

It is critical to fully understand the market and customers to ensure correct positioning that will help your brand rise above the noise in the ecosystem.

Strategy and
Go-To-Market

With over 20 years of hi-tech marketing experience, we know how best to position your company amongst your competitors. How? By conducting objective and highly accurate competitive analysis to determine how we can highlight your company’s unique value proposition.

A great B2B go-to-market strategy is a must, and it doesn’t have to be complicated!


Our extensive market research paints a complete picture of:

  • Audiences and decision-makers.
  • Buyer journey.
  • Competitors’ positioning and messaging.
  • Sales strategy.
  • Value proposition.
  • Target audiences’ pain points.

    We believe in the importance of people-to-people connections, and we work hard to ensure the tone and voice of our marketing materials always foster this.


    The elements of a successful marketing strategy should always include:


    Understanding the ‘buyer persona’

    • Who are your customers? Who are the decision-makers within the company?
    • Who are the users? Where are they?
    • What work challenges keep them up at night? 
    • What core problem does your product solve for your target customers? Do you solve this problem with a unique technology or process?

    We approach potential customers based on various relevant attributes such as demographics, buyer behaviors, attitudes, or needs (i.e., segmentation), and then we identify the segments most attractive to you (the ones you are best able to serve – i.e., targeting).


    Market segmentation

    It is a key process in any marketing strategy that uses insights from market research to determine who is most likely to purchase your product, solution, or service. What we’re looking for is not just someone that could potentially buy your solution, but someone that needs to buy it. Our messaging and approach is tailor-made in a granular way to each one of the verticals we decide to approach. 


    B2B go-to-market strategy

    It solves a compelling business problem in a differentiated manner. It is based on market and buyer personas, market trends, competition, product offerings, and pricing. Moreover, it is important to consider the best way to reach customers: direct? via distribution? channels? partners?


    Brand strategy

    It is essential for companies that want to differentiate themselves from the competition. Your brand strategy defines what you stand for and how you communicate with the market. What is the single most important value that your company presents to the world? We believe in the importance of a coherent brand identity, and once a company gets its brand just right, it is likely that all the other parts of the marketing mix will fall into place. Branding sits at the core of a company’s philosophy because a company’s brand makes the company who it is.