Is marketing necessary for a startup business? Of course it is! It’s important for any business, including one that is big and nationally recognised. Marketing is how a business puts itself in front of its audience. It’s how a business gets its message across to its targeted customers. It’s how a business promotes itself and its products or services. If you don’t market yourself, how are people going to know about you?
If you’re a big business that’s already well-known, it’s not such a big deal, but for a startup company that’s just spreading its wings, you need to reach as many people as you can. And you don’t want to wait to start marketing after you’re already seeing some turnover. You need to start marketing from the beginning! Start off by talking to marketing experts to get advice. And don’t assume that traditional print and media advertising is best for a startup. Social media, digital platforms, in-store marketing, and trade incentives often work better and are more cost-effective. But if you’re going to use social media, you need to realise your social media interactions for business are going to have to be different from how you interact with friends and family there. You will have to search out groups to talk to who would be interested in your business and open relevant dialogues with them to get them interested.
If you’re going to market your startup, here are a few tips to get you started with making the very necessary marketing plan.
Look over your goals and the products/services you offer. What makes you stand out from your competitors? What can your products/services offer your customers? Determine your selling point and what you hope to get from your marketing efforts.
Figure out who your target audience(s) will be. You don’t want to go too broad with your marketing efforts, at least not at first. Narrow your scope to the people most likely to be interested in your business. This will help you not only reach the most likely people but will also help you spend what limited marketing resources you have most effectively.
Assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Figure out what your advantages are, such as your selling point, if you already have a loyal customer base, and what resources you have that can give you an edge over your competition. Figure out weaknesses such as a lack of financial or staff resources, anything that you can improve on, or a lack of customer retention. Look for opportunities you can capitalise on, like trends or competitor weaknesses. Look for threats, such as evolving customer tastes, lack of financial resources, or new technology that can threat you.
Set the goals and objectives of your marketing efforts. Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
Plan out how you are going to achieve the goals you set in the previous step. Develop a strategy for each objective, then decide on what tactics you will use for each strategy. This is where you will decide on whether you will advertise, use social media, run e-mail campaigns, etc. Also specify how you will measure the activities to see if they are working.
6. Budget & timeline
Decide how much of a budget you will allot for marketing and how much will go toward which activities. Also set a timeline for how long you will let each activity run.
Evaluate the marketing campaigns you run and see if you’re meeting goals. If you’re meeting them easily, you may need to step it up and challenge yourself a bit more. If you’re not, maybe you need to lower your bar? Or maybe you need to look at your strategies and see if something is wrong so you can adjust it accordingly.
Do you have any tips you’d like to add to this list, please add them in the comments box below!
Additionally, you can use SuperTasker to get professional help with your marketing efforts.