Startup marketing strategy is a thing, about which every founder or product-involved person should think about carefully. Startup, unlike a usual company, is an innovative idea based on new technologies. It offers previously undiscovered solutions and translates it into a business. Like any company, one of the startups’ main goal is to build demand for its products and services. And usually, it should be done as quickly and creatively as possible. How to deal with that? You need a good plan. No, a good plan is not enough. You need a great strategy for your startup. And even better promotion.
Promoting a startup is a pretty complex operation. It may consist of many marketing activities. Where to start? The answer is a startup marketing strategy. It’s essential to devote your precious time to that because eventually it will save more time. Strategy is a basis on which the choice of channels and methods of communication will depend. It will help you to precise the objectives, stand out from the rest and respond to market needs. The strategy will make your startup act coordinated, consistent and bring expected results.
Startup marketing strategy – key elements
Research your market
It’s nothing more than gathering information about processes, trends and reasons for their existence in a branch or environment you want to be a part of. The key is the ability to ask the right questions and to search for the answers creatively.
Researching the internet, talking to experts from your business environment, surveys or even creating and pre-selling your MVP to collect opinions – all of these are ways to see how your product interacts with the market. That’s similar to how Kickstarter operates! The creators present there their ideas and products, while other portal users have the opportunity to express their opinion and support with their funds.
All these activities will allow you to gain information about your business environment and will influence key decisions: from designing the product itself and the choice of the target group, through marketing goals and methods of promotion. Every business idea is different, so market research will be different every time … Good market research should, however, always answer key “what” questions such as:
- What is specific about your market?
- What could affect your product or service now and in the future?
- What are the market segmentation and competitive environment?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What opportunities and threats are on the market and how will you use them?
If you don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable with researching the market yourself, just ask an external company to do that for you. It will enrich the analysis with specific development recommendations.
Don’t forget to analyze competitors in your startup marketing strategy
Thanks to completing the first element you should already know who your competitors are. Don’t fail into the trap of thinking, that you’re so innovative that there’s no competition for your startup. If you think so look at this issue more broadly. Competitors are not only similar companies, but also companies operating in a completely different area of the market, but meeting the same need. It’s called indirect competition. Probably you’ve heard about it yet.
Once you define who your competition is, gather as much information as possible about its size, level of development, offer and ways of behaving in the market. Think if there is a place for you and at this stage consider what can you offer that others don’t.
Define your target group
Marketing makes sense only when you know who is a recipient of your offer. And who may consider using and buying your stuff. That’s why you need to define a target group.
These are important questions. Find answers!
Define your target group by concluding from market and competition analyses. A well-defined group includes geographical, demographical, social, financial and even psychological factors. If you pay attention to details it’s more likely to properly adapt your communication way. Therefore you’ll make conscious decisions on advertising and selling. And ultimately increase the possibility someone will purchase your product or service. Seems pretty reasonable, huh?
Obviously, the definition of your target group isn’t constant. When your product becomes recognizable, you’ll have the website and so on, analytical tools will help you define precisely, who your client is in fact.
The most popular analytical tool is Google Analytics. If you’re a newbie our article about what is Google Analytics and how to start using it.
Value proposition and unique features
As you already know the specification of the market and business environment, as well as who are your competitors and target group let’s move to a value proposition.
The value proposition is nothing more than an answer to the question: Why should I buy from you and not from the competition?
Alexander Osterwalder has developed a tool (the so-called Value Proposition Canvas) that will help you generate value propositions in line with your target group. According to his theory, the company’s or brand’s values should come from the pains and benefits your customers have.
For example: Your target group are programmers who don’t like to leave home? Offer them a mobile version of your service that they can use quickly and conveniently.
However, make sure that the values you choose are unique and do not overlap with what the competition offers. Your startup is innovative, so use it as a strenght that distinguishes you from the market.
Define goals in your startup marketing strategy
Only the right goals give a chance to be achieved. Thanks to that the entire team has a chance to find out what is the direction of startup development. Marketing goals are not the same as visions or concepts – they should be:
- specific – it is not enough to say: We want to be number one. It’s too ambiguous. Does being number one mean being the most recognizable brand on the market? Or maybe a company with the best sales results? Specify!
- measurable – their value can be quantified and embedded in time,
- possible to be embedded in a hierarchy in relation to other goals,
Ways of promotion
Once you have a marketing strategy in place, you can start considering channels for promotion and reaching your target audience. Before that, take care of visual identification. Fonts, colors, signs and logos should be in accordance with your strategy.
At this stage, you should already know whether the loyalty program, presence in social media, participation in events, non-standard promotional campaigns or other activities will be compatible with your strategy. If you wish to find some ideas on how to promote a startup read our article.
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