Marketing could be said to be the lifeblood of a new startup. Marketing should never be neglected.
No matter what the startup is, marketing’s mission is the same — to tell the world about the product. It’ll be much easier to set marketing goals for your company. In order to tell the world about your product, there are many important ingredients. Marketing’s responsibilities are as follows:
1. Position the product.
Easier said than done, but it’s a critical exercise that every startup should go through. Take Crea8Host, a hosting company I work with. The brand aims to position itself as “the hosting company run by you“. And that is what the customers get stuck to.
2. Define the target customer.
To properly position your product, you need to understand and define your target customer. Understand what makes them tick, spending time w/ them regularly, and acting as their voice.
3. Represent the customer/user voice.
Marketing can have an impact on key product and business decisions by representing the voice of the customer. In order to properly market a product, marketing MUST understand the ins and outs of the product and how it works.
4. Develop the company’s brand.
The beauty of marketing in this day and age is that, like building a company, it’s much easier and cost-efficient. So invest time into blogging, tweeting, Facebook pages, videos, external messaging (website copy, email marketing, basically anything your product touches).
5. Acquire customers.
Marketing should build the customer acquisition strategy (define key marketing channels), execute on them, track results, and constantly be testing and iterating. Think of it like a stove with pots and pans on each burner. You have to keep an eye on each one, turn down the heat when something’s overflowing, and turn up the heat when something’s not cooking fast enough. Marketing channels can be either organic to the product (ex. changing the colors and copy of your sign-up button), or external (ex. SEM/PPC, SEO, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc). Note that all of this is closely integrated with all bullets mentioned above. For example, blogging is part of building your company’s voice. However, it may also be an effective acquisition tool and you’ll need to figure out how to track users coming in via your blogging.
6. Keep customers happy
Call it customer retention or customer engagement – there is huge opportunity in marketing to your installed base. Get them to do more stuff, adopt more features, buy more, etc. Specific tactics may take the form of regular email communication, incentives to invite new customers (referral program), events and meetups, etc. Customer support also plays a huge role in customer happiness.
So, how do you market your startup ?