5&Vine Founder And Fractional CMO Rahul Raj Speaks At TechMTL

It was a privilege to speak at the fall edition of TechMTL and connect with entrepreneurs, investors and tech enthusiasts from the Montreal startup community. I joined Kyle Boulay from Bus.com and Josh Breinlinger from Jackson Square Ventures to talk about our experiences scaling B2C startups. We shared lessons that we learned and strategies that we still draw on when helping companies achieve profitable growth.


Here’s my top 3 takeaways on how founders can scale their startups:

1. Understand Who Your Customer Is and Wants to Be

B2C brands help customers represent not only who they are, but who they want to be. It’s important to understand the motivations and aspirations of your target customers to tap into these tensions. From there, you can find opportunities to connect your brand to resolve the tensions and enable your customer’s progression to their aspirational self.

The first step to building an authentic brand is understanding your target customer. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they spend their time? What do they read? Where do they hang out? With this understanding in place, you are best positioned to understand customer pain points and create a solution that best serves their needs.

2. There’s No Magic Formula – But Experimentation Is Key

The most important thing your marketing team can do is to be constantly experimenting with new customer acquisition channels. This doesn’t have to account for more than 5-10 percent of the marketing budget, but experimentation is crucial because it’s impossible to predict the point of diminishing returns. Similar to how portfolio managers diversify risk across their investments, you need to diversify risk across acquisition channels.

How do you choose the best channels to experiment with? Skip what’s trending and focus on the ones that make the most sense to your target customers. With a clear understanding of who they are, you can map out potential touchpoints in their physical and digital lives. Look to these places for low to no cost ways to test new customer acquisition strategies.

3. Spend A Little To Learn A Lot

The first thing that founders should prioritize is developing a strong value proposition. Some companies have extraordinary products, but you have to work to figure out that its extraordinary. Having a short statement that answers “what is this and why should I care” is the single best investment that you can make as a founder because it enables other people to share your company story.

Next, spend on things that you can test and iterate fast. You’re looking for high learning potential at a low cost. A great example is AdWords – You can easily run a campaign overnight for 100 dollars and you’re guaranteed to learn something. These initial learnings will help you to refine your messaging, build out supporting content, and start ranking for keywords that will become the building blocks of your brand’s digital presence.

When you go to market with your startup, it’s essential that you invest in a stellar customer support team. Simply put, delighted customers are the best marketing. When your support team is fixated on extraordinary service, you’re in a better position for customers to leave a review or tell their friends about you. Support is the most authentic and cost-effective way to market your product.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to the TechMTL team for supporting the growing Montreal technology community! 5&Vine is glad to support Canadian startups.

Watch the video of the panel here:



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👋 I'm Rahul, founder and CMO at 5&Vine. Reach out to schedule an intro call about your marketing challenges and let's assess how 5&Vine can help your brand win.

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