Understanding and Designing Marketing for Startups

Understanding by Design Modeled

Stage 1 - Identify Desired Results

Established Goals: Learners will understand and design different marketing strategies for a startup business.

Tenets of the Oakridge Classroom Environment addressed

  • embraces hands-on learning and authentic experiences.
  • encourages students to find their voices as they develop and share their passions.
  • engages in a meaningful and timely feedback loop.
  • fosters digital organization, literacy and citizenship.
  • inspires inquiry, creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
  • provides a variety of learning tools and resources, both inside and outside the classroom.
  • supports a blend of established and progressive teaching methods.

What essential questions will be considered?

  • What are the possible marketing outlets for your startup?
  • What are the demographics of your startup’s target audience?
  • Why are certain types of marketing outlets more appropriate for your startup?
  • How can you utilize modern marketing outlets to maximize your small budget?
  • How can I create a feedback loop for my marketing efforts?
  • How can we measure the ROI?

What understandings are desired
Learners will understand …

  • Differences between the different types of social media outlets, which is best for what type of businesses, how to best use each most efficiently
  • The value of business demographics to customize marketing efforts
  • The need for responsiveness and feedback in marketing
  • Difference between traditional marketing and “guerilla” marketing
  • The importance of ROI to your marketing efforts

What key knowledge and skills will learners acquire as a result of this unit?

Learners will know …

  • How to identify their target demographic
  • What marketing outlets are most efficient for their demographic
  • How to utilize a small budget to most effectively reach the most people

Learners will be able to …

  • Do basic market research
  • Design and implement appropriate marketing materials on various outlets
  • Understand how to measure the ROI


Stage 2 - Determine Acceptable Evidence

What evidence will show that students understand?

Performance Tasks:

Who Buys My Product and What Marketing Outlets Do They Use?

Students will perform basic market research to understand who buys their product. Then they will identify what marketing outlets people in their demographic utilize most often in a short analysis paper..

Design Two Marketing Pieces for Two Different Marketing Outlets

Students will design two marketing pieces for two different marketing outlets. Most won’t have design abilities so they will utilize templates from sites like Canva.

Other Evidence: (e.g., formative or summative assessments)

  • Formative assessment - learners create a class Google Doc listing the advantages and disadvantages of different marketing outlets

  • Formative assessment - Socrative on types of marketing outlets and demographics of who uses each

  • Formative assessment - learner presents initial market research to teacher and/or mentor before proceeding to design

  • Formative assessment - learner presents rough draft of marketing material to teacher and/or mentor for feedback

  • Summative assessment entails production a marketing proposal for their startup

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:

  • Students will write a reflection post on their market research

  • Students will post 2 designs to their blog and which marketing outlet where they would use them


Stage 3 - Plan Learning Experiences

What sequence of teaching and learning experiences will equip students to engage with, develop, and demonstrate the desired understandings? Use the following sheet to list the key teaching and learning activities in sequence. Code each entry with the appropriate initials of the WHERETO elements.

  • Mentor entrepreneur gives an overview of their business and what types of marketing efforts and outlets they utilize. W,H,E

  • Students are presented with the task of identifying different marketing outlets and their advantages and disadvantages. E,T

  • Students add their discoveries to a class Google Doc. E,R

  • Teacher and Mentor lead discussion around findings in the Google Doc. R,E,W

  • Students are posed the question “With all these different outlets, how do we choose the correct ones to use especially on a limited budget.” Teacher and mentor lead discussion that results in learners understanding the need for market research. E,T,H

  • Mentor gives a mini-lesson on market research. W,E,O

  • Learners do market research on their product and identify which marketing outlets should be utilized to reach their demographics. T,E

  • Learners write a reflective blog post of what they have learned thus far. R,E

  • Learners design 2 marketing pieces for 2 different marketing outlets they have identified. T,H

  • Learners write reflective blog post including their marketing pieces and why are where they will utilize them. R,E

  • Learners will be given a small budget and have to decide how to spend that money for marketing. T,E

  • Learners are posed the question “How will we know whether these marketing efforts will work?” Teacher and mentor lead discussion that results in learners understanding the need for measuring return on investment (ROI). E,T

  • Mentor gives mini-lesson on ROI. W,E,O

  • Learners produce a marketing proposal curating all the elements they have produced during the unit. R,E,T

Adapted from: Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design 2nd edition. Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.