The prime challenge for any start-up to kickstart their business happens to be the budget; as in most start-ups have a shoestring budget while rolling out initially. Apart from the budgetary issue, multiple other hurdles slow down the success of any start-up. Hence, a proper start-up marketing plan or strategy needs to be in place to reach its ultimate goals.
Not a single business can grow without a marketing strategy, and start-ups are no exception. Rather while initiating a start-up business, one has to be extra prudent about having a full-proof strategy or roadmap. An entrepreneur must also know how to create a successful marketing plan that stands the test of time and keeps the business contemporary.
The Best Marketing Ideas are Simple and Inexpensive!
But at first glance, one might think it is a lengthy process that will cost a lot of money. It might appear to a novice that creating robust marketing plans is an expensive affair, but in reality, ideas can come spontaneously from an out-of-the-box mind.
And it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Hacking growth for your start-up majorly starts from lining up a preliminary strategy framework that is tweaked and updated as you move along. And at this stage, most novice marketers have to take help from some tools dedicated particularly for start-up success.
Now, if you are overwhelmed about what your start-up strategy should look like and why you need it, keep scrolling. The marketing plan for a start-up is mainly created to align the budget and objectives of a business that has just rolled out.
Establish a Solid Framework
Often these plans include some ubiquitous growth hacking tricks. But you have to make your choice wisely, whether you want fast growth or long-term sustainability. This is the first step of the ultimate guide to start-up marketing that helps keep the business in a focused direction.
And this is how bigger brands get bigger and better, only because of their wise choices. However, your start-up can also smell success just like the big players; you only need to perceive and ascertain the need for a solid marketing plan for your business.
Importance of Marketing Plan for a Start-Up
Which takes us to the ever-asked question, why does a business need a marketing plan? And why should they invest in a marketing planner or a strategist? Well, the answer is pretty simple. With a custom plan for your newly launched business, you can not just identify your potential customers, but also can understand the pulse of the market, the pain points for your customers, create a buyer persona.
Apart from these, you can also evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, upgrade your services as per user demand and behavior, deploy various marketing approaches. So as of now, you might have seen several other start-ups thriving online and making a name for themselves. Just remember, all of these newly launched businesses have a set framework or strategy in place.
So, now that you know how important a marketing plan is for a start-up company, today we will discuss a few tips to develop a robust marketing plan and lay a foundation for your start-up. These tips and suggestions are proven true for any small-scale business to grow in the right direction.
1. Ensure a Strategic Brand Position
Strategic positioning of your brand doesn’t just mean taking your brand out in the market, in front of your target audience and prospects. It goes deeper than that. Brand positioning implies creating a certain perception of your brand in your prospects’ minds.
And this brand perception directly influences customer loyalty and retention. To what extent your brand is perceived makes all the difference. Whether it’s unique, favorable, or credible – these factors help guide your brand in the right direction. And newly-launched start-ups have this responsibility all the more because they are just starting. Brand positioning is one of the many stepping stones that start-up entrepreneurs have to cross before winning leads and getting a competitive advantage.
2. Initiate a Referral Program amongst your Audience
One of the most low-cost yet effective marketing strategies for start-ups is creating a word-of-mouth referral network for your brand. This works great when you want to build a large number of followers in a short time. Interestingly, almost 92% of new-age consumers trust recommendations by their friends and acquaintances. And start-ups must leverage this technique all the more because there’s no investment per se.
This works in a simple way, where you deliver top-notch quality to your customers, which encourages them to promote your products for you. In due course, your satisfied customers will recommend your brand to their acquaintances, becoming your ‘brand advocates’.
3. Establish a Product-Market Fit to Create a Product that You will Use
It is a great responsibility for new start-ups to ensure their audience wants their product. Unless there’s a product-market fit, you cannot convince people to opt for your brand. One must create a product or service that they would themselves use.
If your brand doesn’t stand out from your peers in every aspect, people won’t spare time even to check your website. So try to delve deeper into the product-market fitment and strive to figure out the worth and necessity of your product amongst your audience.
4. Outsmart the Competition and Be Different
One of the most wanted fundamental start-up marketing strategies, this aspect changes the game for any business. Whether a start-up or an SME, you have to stand out from the crowd from day one.
There are thousands of small businesses and start-ups around, and you have to think of a UVP (Unique Value Proposition) that acts as your key differentiator. If you are not different, you won’t get any hype. Gain a strong competitive advantage by cleverly crafting an engaging value proposition and develop that within your product.
Competition amongst start-ups can get heated anytime, so keep your brand up-to-date and undeniable by your target audience. Make them believe that if they miss out on your offer, they will be making a huge mistake. This is clearly a subtle usage of the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) concept.
5. Set SMART Goals Focused on Business
A start-up company is usually formed with an idea, encompassing brand awareness, as well as lead acquisition. You see, both aspects are equally crucial for a business, and prioritizing them is imperative.
If lead generation is your aim, how do you plan to carry out the lead generation campaign? How do you want to generate traffic for your website or eCommerce store? How would you reach out to your target audience? These are the points that you must think of and prioritize.
And if enhancing sales is another goal, then how to carry out email marketing, how much your marketing campaign investment should be, and what giveaways must be there – these are the things to be addressed. Also, how long do you expect to accomplish your goals and objectives is also something to chalk out.
SMART goals, standing for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely, are instrumental in bringing success for any business, be it a bigger one or a small start-up. So while drafting a start-up marketing plan, this point must be checked.
6. Determine your Marketing Budget
Honestly, there are several external factors on which the funding or budget of a start-up depends. Crowdfunding, angel investments, investments from Venture Capitals, and CapEx-OpEx – influence the budgetary and marketing plan for start-up growth. Hence, spending the fund wisely is vital.
And to ensure logical spending that drives significant return requires proper budgetary planning. That said, the marketing strategy for a start-up is never complete without a budget plan. For e.g., if your target audience demography is between 18-25, you might think of investing a lot more in social media marketing than any other media format.
If your audience is of CEO/CXO level, think of sorting the chunk of your fund towards email marketing campaigns and tools. Also, you may consult a team of professionals who can develop a successful marketing strategy for a start-up.
7. Develop and Analyze KPIs and Metrics
Gauging KPIs and success metrics is essential for all businesses, but this is a holy grailfor start-ups! Because for a newly launched business, it is super important to understand how it is performing with the consumers and what is its growth trajectory.
Key performance indicators are those baseline metrics that track the progress of your brand strategy and help a business owner make critical adjustments in the execution of these strategies. If a start-up has any hope to thrive and succeed, measuring its KPIs and making tweaks as needed is pivotal.
8. Roll out an Exclusive Beta Testing
Beta testing is important for start-ups because they do not have many funds to lose if everything goes south. Hence, it is always better and fair to test all products before making them live.
Because while testing, you can detect if any bug is there that needs immediate action. Also, in beta testing, you can ask for feedback from your early testers. Based on their user experience, you can make the required updates. And not just that, making your product beta, you can make it exclusive and get a huge flux of signing ups.
9. Make Sure You Have an Active Web-Presence
Even if you are a brick-and-mortar store, ensure you have a well-built web presence, viz, a business website or eCommerce store. The present digital era craves for everything online, and if you lack a multifunctional website for your brand, you might be losing a lot of prospects.
And not just a company website, start-ups should be all the more happening on social media, if possible across all leading social platforms. Don’t fall behind the technology race and embrace web presence for your brand.
10. Attempt to Reach Out to Communities on Social Media
This is probably the ultimate start-up marketing strategy for all entrepreneurs starting new. During the initial days of a start-up, fostering customer loyalty, growing customer relationships, and boosting customer retention, are prime goals. But how to accomplish these most competitively? By reaching out to communities beyond the usual local community. This tactic helps to build a user base rapidly.
One can do this easily on tools like LinkedIn, which allows building robust communities of like-minded people. So start-ups must reach out to more people to maximize their full potential. Community outreach is real, and every start-up marketing strategy should adopt it for regular execution. It is a must-have and should not be kept as an after-thought.
It’s not a secret that start-ups have limited funds and resources, making it extra vital for them to have a proper marketing plan. A well-developed business model, web presence, and content are all about these plans and strategies. An entrepreneur must ensure the best possible scope for growth without getting overwhelmed under the immense pressure of being a one-person show.
With all the data and tips mentioned above, create a marketing plan today if you are about to scope out your first start-up. Mix and match the tips and continue A/B testing, because the best strategy is the one that combines all the finest traits and derives success.
Think outside the box before spending all your bills on hackneyed schemes. That’s how you can expand your start-up and hit the marketing KPIs in a short time. And if you need any help in framing a custom inbound strategy or a start-up marketing plan for your newly launched business, let’s talk!