There are two fundamental truths. A great product is necessary for a startup to succeed. But a great product alone is not enough. CB Insights estimated that 14% of startups fail because of poor marketing tactics, making marketing strategies for startups crucial. Neglect them, and you stifle growth.
The 4 Components of Marketing Strategies For Startups
There are four key marketing strategy components for startups. These components are interdependent, and they complicate strategising. Since nascent startups function with limited resources, planning an effective strategy is challenging. Let's break it down.
1. Establish Goals
For most early-stage startups, marketing goals fall into two categories: one, to create brand awareness; and two, to acquire users. Often, the two goals work in tandem.
To raise brand awareness, the marketing strategies for startups revolve around making the branding (name, logo, tagline) and the product recognizable. So, all your marketing communication should be about:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you do?
3. What sets you apart?
If the goal is to gain new users, then the right marketing strategy is to find leads and push them to:
1. Sign up for your product.
2. Turn them into paying customers.
3. Be more active on the platform.
All marketing communication must evoke curiosity to achieve this objective. The design, the copy, and the call to action of your website, social posts, and ads must grab attention and urge people to engage with it.
2. Define Target Market
The next component in the startup marketing strategy is defining the ideal target audience. To succeed, the right message needs to reach the right people. To understand a potential user of your product, flesh out their persona by gathering the following information:
1. Demographics: age, gender, location, income, etc.
2. Their characteristic habits and needs.
3. Barriers preventing a user from buying the product.
3. Reach Your Audience
Once your marketing goals and target audience are defined, connect with them through the right channels. For that, you first need to develop a strong business brand. Besides the visuals (logo, font, colors), define the brand’s voice, vision, and mission.
A branding blueprint connects customers to your startup and creates a positive image. After the branding is in place, start with marketing basics that help amplify your outreach without burning through your budget. This involves building a digital presence.
1. The best practice is to have a website. It may take time to design and develop one, but it lends legitimacy to the startup and is the most effective way to reach users.
2. Social media is another powerful channel to create a digital presence and reach your audience. In India alone, there are 467 million social media users. Make it your startup’s marketing strategy to quickly and directly connect with current and potential customers and drive traffic to your website and platform. This includes creating posts for your social media accounts and using paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and elsewhere.
Besides social media and websites, an effective marketing strategy for startups is email marketing. It costs little and delivers better results.
Since you already have a website, you can collect email addresses through newsletter sign-up forms. Then utilise those addresses to attract new customers by promoting your product or startup via emails.
Besides your online presence, word of mouth should be a part of your marketing strategy. Get family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers to champion the product and urge others to try it.
In addition, have a feedback process in place. As an early-stage startup, the faster you incorporate user feedback and improve the platform for better product-market fit, the higher your chance of winning.
4. Measure Your Success
Most startups operate on a shoestring budget, making it imperative to spend every dollar on quantifiable results. So, the very last component of marketing strategies for startups is measuring progress.
Establish key performance indicators (KPIs). These are metrics that track the progress of your marketing strategies. For instance, if the goal you defined in step one was to generate brand awareness, then your KPIs become:
1. New users.
2. Website traffic, page views, click-through rate, etc.
3. Social media likes, shares, impressions, etc.
If customer acquisition is the primary goal, consider KPIs such as conversion rates and monthly sales/subscriptions. Use this data to adjust your startup’s marketing strategies.
Measure again to understand which approach proved more fruitful so you spend your dollars more wisely and get more bang for your buck. Keep measuring, iterating, and repeating the strategy. Once your startup grows, allot more money to marketing and expand your strategies to tap a broader and deeper audience.
The Crux Of Marketing Strategies For Startups
To survive in a highly competitive market, your startup must constantly communicate with people, building awareness and familiarity with your product.
But when you put marketing low on the priority shelf, you create an awareness gap, preventing your product from reaching audiences. For this reason alone, planning effective marketing strategies for startups is pivotal.
Nevertheless, the product is a deciding factor in your success. A startup’s growth needs time and a viral coefficient (the number of new users an existing customer generates). So, build virality into your platform by developing a product that users want to recommend to others!