Startups are considered as an exciting place to work because of dynamic marketing strategy these companies take. These marketing strategies are a mash-up of creativity and innovation to bring up the desired result; which is profit maximization.
Actually, marketing tactics used in the startups are the most creative ones. It is the creative one because no one actually knows if the tactic is going to provide any value until it is implemented.
There is no hard & fast rule or a fixed road map for startup marketing as there is for optimizing your SEO strategy.
Startups generally possess so many parameters that matters; variables such as industry, execution, allusions of grandeur, timing, lucky breaks, funding, and quality of offerings.
For business owners and marketers, I am going to state few points that will help them to acquire their ‘first customers’ and also will aid them to attain the next lot of clients.
Definitions are important
It is extremely important for any business to define certain terms, goals and objectives of their company.
What are you offering?
For this, start thinking like a consumer and jot down the value you will acquire from your product/service. Think like them; think how you are helping the users.
Your product line or the offerings can change over time, but defining what you are rendering today is important.
A clear marketing goal is what most of the startups lack today.
“If you customer base is small, it will be easy for you to make promises. The best marketers ensure to promote tomorrow’s vision by making clear what can be delivered today”.
When you have a set definition for what you are offering, you are ready to take your networking to a higher level.
Reach the people of your network, who can give honest feedbacks about your product. Filter your colleague network too.
Tell them and discuss what are you offering and acquire all possible feedback regarding the product just like a product manager.
Always remember that each of them can be your customer as along with the feedbacks, these people may end up telling who exactly can benefit from your product/service.
Increase the Referrals
One of the most influential & used methods of customer acquisition, especially for the startups is a referral. It is been said that for every business mostly, 7 out 10 first customers come from the referrals.
Why is it so? It is obvious because past performance generates interest in future ventures.
The expertise and experience of the founder & the ‘first team’ play an important role, when the customer is deciding to make a purchase as the startup does not have previous business records.
Marketing should be consistent
There is two kinds of business any company would deal in; product or service. It often happens that Product business, owners generally thinks that product will sell by itself.
Similarly, the service brand owners feel the conflict between serving the customers and growing their businesses.
Whatever your business is, always remember that there is a face, from which your consumer is buying. So, never ever forget who you are!
When someone is starting a business, there is a reason behind it. Beyond the reason that opportunity in your industry is available, there must be another reason; personal reason; inspiration; or anything none of us have ever heard of.
Whatever that reason is market it. Market the real purpose, you have started the company. It can be framed as the vision of your company.
It’s important to retain your identity from time to time but it is also important to feel like the consumers, in order to tap them effectively.
Value is important
It is very easy to claim to a customer that “it will cost you more if you take the same offering from somewhere else”.
It’s not like if you lower your price, it won’t benefit your business, but in my opinion, only the value in your offering can create a long & prosperous relationship with your customers.
In order to increase the likelihood of your offering changing the prospect into a long-term and loyal customer, you need to quantify the value. This quantified value will be added to your customer’s business, in order to provide them benefit effectively.
Flaunt your customer success
Will it benefit in any way, if you acquire a million customers and there is no customer success? No, it won’t.
Testimonials from the customers are the purest form of word-of-mouth marketing you will get from the consumer side itself. It’s nothing but customer assuring your product works effectively. That all you want!
For startups, since it’s the beginning of the business, so every successful customer should be considered as a marketing asset.
You can think videos, public relation stories, organic unsolicited endorsements, sales enablement content, guest post blogs and demand generation content.
It is not less than a milestone for any business to acquire and serve a new customer. If you are a part of your customers accomplishing their business objectives, you are on the right path to grow your own brand.
It is the sum up of thousands of wrong steps, hundreds of right steps, fewer ideal steps and sheer will that takes your startup on the road to acquire customers.
In the process of customer acquisition, it is more important to know what ‘not to do’ than what to do.
Be it several mediums for promotions, or new tech advancements or ad spends companies are doing, it is the word-of-mouth marketing that matters most to the startups.
I hope to see more startups acquiring many more customers at their end using the tips I have shared above.
Let us see how many of actually turn up and say “hey, we did follow your suggestions and yes it worked”.
Till that time, Adios!