Marketing is always a challenge, but even more so for a Start-up. Marketing for a Start-up is unique due to establishing the brand as well as promoting the company.
You are the “new kid on the block.” No one knows who you are, what you do, or if you have anything to offer. Your opening marketing efforts set the tone for your brand identity.
Before you speak or write your first public words, there are critical facts which must be clear. Rudyard Kipling expressed it as his six honest serving men: what, who, why, where, when and how.
1. What is the key benefit you offer?
2. Who has a problem which that key benefit will solve?
3. Which precise message will appeal to your specific target client and why?
4. Where do you reach them?
5. How will you reach them?
6. When will they be most receptive to receiving your message and benefit?
7. Is there a large enough market segment willing to pay for your benefit?
Each of these topics could be an entire chapter in your Start-up book. For the sake of time and space, we will work on the premise that you have already narrowed down these details to a fine point before launching your marketing. Until you know who, what and why, you are not ready to craft a marketing message.
Launch Time Requires a Detailed Plan
Marketing can be Good, Fast or Cheap. At best, you will achieve two out of three.
If your target client is a CEO, he will respond well to information which he can scan quickly. Information must load quickly in a mobile format without much need for pinching or scrolling.
Make it easy for him to pick out the key points which address the problem he needs solved. He will not want to waste time on excess verbiage. Use a media mix to catch his attention. Even though he is totally focused on modern technology, he is aware that his customers may prefer the combination of printed brochures, websites and mobile apps.
Give him a fast and easy method to purchase.
If your target client is an engineer, he will seek extensive detail which he can analyze, make calculations and revisit over a period of time. Comprehensive data must load quickly and be easily massaged. He will want QR codes which take him directly to the various research sites he requires. Give him a direct telephone number, he will have questions.
A salesman is more people focused, but as speed oriented as the CEO. Catch the attention with a curiosity-arousing postcard or a poster in your place of business. Make any waiting time productive by including a QR code which takes them to a special site which gives a special bonus, free product or added incentive to act immediately. Add a QR code or text number to business cards which reveal the latest and greatest fun information, bonuses or audio he or she can listen while driving. Be certain the business card is such high quality that it is scan-worthy on the Smart-phone without losing any fine detail of the QR code.
Spontaneous buying decisions are probable; make it easy to order from the Smart phone.
Business is multigenerational; coordinate high quality print marketing media with online options.
Young entrepreneurs are accustomed to speed. Websites which load slowly or are not mobile friendly will be non-existent in their world. Develop an app for your business.
One of the biggest challenges for young techies is encompassing the marketplace. Not every customer will prefer to receive all information on the latest and greatest mobile device. Business cards, printed annual reports, or online newsletters will continue to be important to distribute information in a cost effective manner.
Dashing off a quick Twitter or Facebook message is certainly economical but it can require an extensive number of days and posts before generating any business. Social media is first and foremost about creating relationships before business is transacted.
Personal contact marketing is also lower cost as far as cash outlay, though not as low as you might think. Personal contact marketing is even more time intensive than social media. Personal meetings will also require an extensive supply of high quality business cards.
No matter how mobile we are, business is still about people and connections. The popularity of social media is increased connections, but the best connection is still human interaction.
Cheap and Fast or Cheap and Good
Online newsletters, mobile friendly websites and well-designed broadcast texts can either be inexpensive and good or inexpensive and fast but they will not be both good and fast.
Personal contact marketing appears to be inexpensive until you consider the value of your time and vehicle expense to drive to and from the event, hand out business cards and provide access to other marketing media and perhaps purchase food or beverages at the event. It can be extremely effective though when the group is your target market.
A well designed website can be good, fast or cheap but not more than one of the three. Websites must be mobile friendly: load quickly, read easily without pinching or scrolling, and provide succinct displays.
Good and Frequent
In order to reach the maximum effectiveness in a multigenerational marketplace, maintain frequent touches with the target client from a variety of sources. Mail a monthly postcard campaign with a link to a special bonus which they can access immediately online. Use a variety of social media posts to keep your brand fresh and frequent in the target client’s mind. Include a QR code on your scan-worthy business card which takes them to a frequently changing mystery gift. Provide posters with your social media links; visitors to your place of business who post their location immediately receive a prize.
Your marketing message must reach your target audience frequently. Reach them with the highest quality presentation possible. Focus on the benefit to your target client. Your marketing materials symbolize your company image.