Why Startups Can’t Afford to Fear Marketing

May 29 2019
Phil Bedford Written by Phil Bedford

Running a business isn’t easy.

It’s even harder without startup marketing.

To set yourself up for success, you need a great plan, and the discipline to move forward and act on that strategy. According to Eric Ries, in the book, “The Lean Startup,” it’s crucial not only to learn from your own successes and mistakes as you grow as a company but also learn from the actions of others.

Paying the attention to the hurdles that other entrepreneurs encounter as they strive to grow their organization will help you to figure out which mistakes you need to avoid when launching a new business.

For instance, one of the biggest blunders that startups encounter in the early stages of their development involves overlooking the value of marketing and creating the right company image. While the logistics of running a company, such as financing, shipping, and staffing are all critical, it’s crucial to make sure you have a way to connect with your customers too. That’s where a startup marketing strategy comes in.

The Benefits of Marketing for Startups

There are hundreds of millions of companies distributed all around the world.

They’re all competing for the attention of customers, just like you. That means that an “if you build it, they will come” approach doesn’t work for most organizations.

In reality, most startups will need to invest in as many promotional opportunities as possible, including free PR, content marketing, word of mouth, SEO, and more.

Startup marketing and branding are crucial components of business development because they help your organization to establish a unique identity. The more you share your values and image with the world, the more you benefit. Not only does marketing help you to differentiate yourself from the competition, but it also ensures that you can let your customers know what makes you special.
If your marketing is effective, your clients or Target Market will gradually grow more enamoured with your business, and they may even start to advertise for you as a result. Customers who build relationships with companies frequently recommend those businesses to their friends and families. A promotional campaign that resonates with your audience has compounding value.

Marketing also:

  • Drives traffic to your website
  • Generates leads which you can convert into customers
  • Improves the reputation of your brand
  • Lets you stay in touch with customers

How to Design a Startup Marketing Strategy

So, how do you start building an effective startup marketing strategy?
There’s no one-size-fits-all method.

Usually, the promotional campaign that you choose will depend on the long-term business goals that you want to accomplish. You’ll also need to think carefully about your budget, your position in the marketplace, and the audience you’re trying to reach.

Here are a few steps to get you started.

1. Establishing your Startup marketing goals

To create an effective strategy for your marketing campaign, you’ll need a good view of your business goals. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish right now with your promotional efforts. Do you want to get more traffic to your website, or just make sure people know what makes you unique?
Make sure the goals you set for yourself are SMART, meaning specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For instance, if you want to get more traffic to your site, how much traffic do you need, how will you measure it, and how long will you give yourself to reach that target? Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you figure out which steps you need to take.

2. Consider your Competition

Every business is different. Copying what your competitors are doing for their marketing campaigns won’t make you stand out. However, looking closely at the competition can make it easier for you to figure out what might work for you. The chances are that your competition is trying to capture the same target audience you are. That means a marketing strategy that doesn’t work for them might not work for you either.
Learn from what other companies in your area are doing, and create your strategy built on what you know about your industry. This should prevent you from wasting money on campaigns that don’t fit your business.

3. Understand your Target Audience

Every company, no matter how big or small, has its own target audience to consider. These are the people that you most want to convert into paying customers. Knowing the people who are most likely to respond well to your promotional methods will help you to tailor your advertising campaigns to suit their preferences. For instance, it’s unlikely that professionals over the age of 50 buying software for their business will be looking for solutions on Instagram. However, if you were selling makeup to a younger audience, an Instagram marketing campaign is excellent.
If you don’t have one yet, start building a buyer persona that you can use to step into the shoes of your intended customers. This will help you to discover the marketing channels and strategies most likely to speak to them.

4. Explore Startup Marketing Strategies

Once you know what kind of audience you want to appeal to, and what your goals are, you’ll be able to begin exploring the different types of startup marketing options available. Remember, there are many choices out there today, including:

  • Offline and event marketing
  • PR
  • Relationship Marketing
    ( Networking, Word of Mouth, Referrals etc.)
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Digital Marketing (PPC advertising, SEO etc.)

Most businesses will use a combination of many different kinds of marketing during their lifetime. The best thing you can do is experiment with all of your options and track the data. As you continue to explore different types of advertising, gather as much information as you can about how your audience responds to your campaigns. This will give you an insight into where you should invest in the future.

Investing in a Startup Marketing Strategy
When you’ve got so much to do to set up an active business, it’s easy to forget about the benefits of marketing. Many organizations assume that the benefits of their product or service will speak for themselves. However, without the right startup marketing strategy, you’ll never be able to make the proper connection with your target audience.
Make sure you set your business and brand up for success from day one with the right promotional plan.

Common Startup Mistake #5: Mixing Personal and Business Accounts Expectation vs. Reality: What starting a business is really like

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