This is where marketing comes to your rescue. Marketing helps startups create an identity, helps them to spread the big idea and helps them to fight big competition. More importantly, marketing helps startups get customers.
With the right marketing , your startup can position itself among the hearts of your target customers. And once you win the customer’s heart, they are more likely to make repeat purchases. They are also more likely to recommend your products to others. And in this modern age, such positive word-of-mouth does more wonders than any big budget advertisements and campaigns.
Now-a-days, with so much technology, it is far easier and cheaper for startups to engage in marketing. All you need is a well crafted plan, strategy and the right people for execution.
Because of a lack of market need. If you build a product that is interesting but is not what people want, your product is bound for failure.
That you have to build your brand that builds trust that sells your products.
from the second to the fifth year of their founding. The major reason for their failure was competition from other companies.
If marketing is a process, a marketing strategy is the tool to implement that process. For a startup, a lot of decisions need to be taken regarding marketing. And with so much work around, it might be hard for a founder to decide which marketing activity to pursue and which to not. A marketing plan helps at such times and even in the long run.
A marketing strategy is a detailed roadmap of what your business is going to pursue, the action programs to be taken under the strategies, the budget and time allocated for such programs and how you evaluate such strategies. A marketing plan also describes the business’s target market and assesses the competition.
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Giving birth to a startup and seeing it grow is a lot like parenthood. And like rearing a child is for parents, managing a startup is also difficult for its founders. There are so many things to do in a short amount of time. You need to build a team, pitch in front of investors and more importantly, make sales.
Startup founders feel the most pain if customers do not buy their products. Your product might be groundbreaking but if it doesn’t solve the customer’s problem- it is done away with. Customers will not be aware of your problem and thus not consider it while buying.
Another pain startup founders face is the huge competition. A startup founder is a David in a field full of Goliath. Facing such big and established giants with such small resources will surely give the founder a vertigo.
Fortunately, marketing can help solve the startup founder’s pains. It is like the old phrase- “To kill two birds with one stone.” But here, you are actually solving a lot of problems with only one solution- Marketing.
By segmenting the market and then identifying the target market, startup founders can market their product effectively. By identifying the target customers, they can understand their behavior and their problems. By understanding customers’ problems can the founders bring a product for solution.
By analyzing the market, startup founders can understand the competition and fight it. Understanding the competition means finding out the current offerings and who are being left out by such offerings. It also means finding the market gap which your product can fill in.
The first step in digital marketing is to create a website for your startup. This helps prospective customers to know about your company and its offerings. And by creating options for newsletters or for creating an account, you can get valuable customer insights.
The second step in digital marketing is to engage in social media marketing. Your startup needs to have presence in all major social media networks- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube. Usually startups get to know first about companies through social media. So social media is a powerful tool.
The third step in digital marketing is to update your startup’s website and social media accounts regularly. This is done by frequently posting content- blogs, photos and videos. Now-a-days, customers respond more to content than advertisements. And the content does not need to be about the products itself, it can be about any problem customers are facing related to your product category.
As seen throughout this page, having only a product is not enough. You must communicate the product. Thus, promoting your startup is important. However, there are plenty of promotion channels out there. With a tight budget, you need to find the right channel for promoting your products.
There are mainly three promotion channels available for startups- advertisements, sales promotions and social media marketing. Although advertisements can be costly, if your target market is more available watching television or reading newspapers, you should choose this channel. Sales promotions can help attract more customers and even engage them in your product and online content. And social media marketing mainly helps you find customers if your target market is mainly younger generations.
Confused about which channel to choose? Peter Thiel, the legendary investor and author of the best-selling book “Zero to One” offers this advice- “When you can only afford to spend dozens of dollars acquiring a new customer, you need the biggest megaphone you can find.”
If no one buys your product, building your product will be futile. Thus, it is essential to identify the market need of your product.
First, you need to segment the market. This can be done according to age, culture, income and other demographics. You can also segment the market according to customer behavior. After segmenting, select the market that you think will be better served by your product.
Second, you need to analyze the competition. Find out what your competitors are offering and what customers are saying about them. Then identify the gaps in the market and the pains experienced by your target market. In this way, you can highlight features of your products that will be beneficial to your customers but not provided by your competitors.
Finally, you need to establish a frame of reference. If you are a startup providing e-commerce services, you need to make sure your startup provides services that customers will expect from such. In other words, you must own a category. If customers cannot compare you with a reference, they will probably not even consider you during their buying process. That’s why a frame of reference is necessary.
In order to ensure a systematic marketing process, a startup founder must make a marketing plan first. This will outline all the activities that need to be done. The marketing plan must also specify the time frame for carrying out all activities.
Secondly, a marketing team must be developed. A founder can choose to develop an in-house team or even outsource the marketing process. It all depends on the costs and benefits. Outsourcing marketing activities to agencies is often cheaper as these agencies have the experience and scale. On the other, having an in-house team means you have more control over the marketing efforts.
Thirdly, constantly evaluate the marketing efforts of your startup. Make sure your marketing effort is meeting its ROI and other metrics. And if needed, make sure to make improvements.
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