Guide to Startup Marketing
The sad truth about starting and running a business is that a good product and service aren’t enough to make it. They are, of course, essential, and nothing can replace doing good work and making something people want to buy.
However, having a comprehensive and well-planned marketing campaign is every bit as important. Startups, especially those created by people without enough experience, tend to forget this fact and treat marketing as an afterthought.
Start by evaluating your product, both its strengths and weaknesses and creating an all-encompassing marketing campaign with these concepts in mind.
Know Your Customers
Thinking that the whole world is going to love and buy your product is something that drives most businesses. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, at least not first. Choosing the right niche is essential for smaller startups and it drives the rest of the marketing campaign. You should investigate how big the overall market is (and is it enough to sustain your business), how much money is actually made in it and how strong a competition you are facing. With all these facts in place, there’s still one unknown piece the puzzle left. What’s the unique twist that you plan to bring to the market?
Unless your product is completely unique, there’s a chance that you’re going to have to distinguish yourself from your competition. Finding the right logo, company motto, and other distinguishing features is the hard part. They have to say something about your business and what makes it different. Once you’ve done this –try to cover all the basic: all the promotional materials, your website, and app, even your offices should be designed in the same fashion and using the same basic aesthetic. That’s how brands are born.
Reassuring Your Customers
It’s important to assure your customers that legal instruments are in place before you talk about the product itself. For instance, it’s mandatory to issue a surety bond for a vehicle with a bonded title. Legally, it’s the same as a transfer of ownership. The same goes for product warranties and instructional manuals – be vocal about these legal matters. That way, your customers will be put at ease and be comfortable with forming a relationship with your business.
Defining the Metrics
Social media, Google Analytics, and other tools allow you to carefully follow the effects of your marketing campaigns. This could obviously be an extremely useful feature, but it can also prove to be quite misleading. It’s important to define what success is for you and stick to that definition. For instance, the campaign needs to be set up differently if the goal is to reach a wider audience, than if you’re trying to sell more items each month. It takes time for the effects of a marketing campaign to show and changing its purpose in the middle of the process probably means you won’t achieve much.
Some marketing efforts, especially for tech startups, should be directed towards the industry itself. It may seem a waste of resources to spend money and time on such a small demographic (sometimes it can be just one influential person), but that’s the way the industry works. This means publishing articles for specialized publications and websites, courting important people for endorsements and focusing on B2B marketing, at least at first.
Any interaction your company has with the outside world can be considered a marketing channel. With all the emphasis on social media, blogs, and traditional media – one type of interaction gets mostly overlooked. Everyday dealings with an average customer are probably the most direct way to represent your business and its products. Creating a perfect customer experience isn’t enough, there’s also the need to encourage all those who came into contact with your company to share their thoughts and suggestions using social media. Also, don’t forget about remarketing efforts – potential customers, those who have left your business without making a purchase, need to be approached vigorously, but delicately and respectfully. A large percentage of them would come back if the right deal was offered.
Marketing campaigns are an integral part of starting and running a startup. It’s important to be methodical and deliberate in creating a marketing plan. That way, the campaign can grow and change as your business does.
About the Author
Alex Williams is a journalism graduate and a blogger. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to a wider audience and to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog. You can follow Alex on Facebook and Twitter.