Sunday, 02 March 2014 00:00

10 Marketing Tips for Struggling Startups - Part 2

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A startups success is measured by the ability to drive customer acquisition growth.  Of course many startups are doomed to failure and can’t grow because they never reach product/market fit or have a clear strategy to market their product or business   But even with product/market fit, traction is tough. Startups are under extreme resource constraints and need to figure out how to break through the noise to let their target customers know they have a superior solution for a critical problem. Here in part 2 of our tips for struggling start-ups we provide more details of what things you can do to help set up a solid marketing plan

04 Set Objectives

After compiling you SWOT analysis you should have collected some useful information that will help guide the development of your objectives. One example is that if you have low customer retention, you can consider taking action early as you work on the rest of the marketing plan, knowing this is an area that you will need to increase and strengthen.

Your objectives need to have several qualities:
• Specific: Write your objectives in a manner that is clear about what you would like to achieve.
• Measurable: It doesn't matter what objective you set, you need to be able to ascertain whether you were successful. That involves quantifying each objective.
• Achievable: This step is tricky. It's about ensuring you have the resources to realize the objectives you've set. This usually means having the money or people to support your objectives. As a startup, you might be short on both. Keep in mind what resources you have (or lack) as you develop your objectives.
• Realistic: This might be one of the most difficult parts of developing objectives. You need to find the balance between challenging and obtainable. As a startup owner, it's natural to have the drive and passion to grow your business. But, one mistake people make is creating objectives that just aren't possible. This can be discouraging. Reach high, but don't set yourself up for failure.
• Time-sensitive: For each objective, set a deadline.

05 Determine Strategies and Tactics

Lay out your obejectives which will outline what you need to do to accomplish them. Your strategy and tactics will explain how you intend to tackle each process.

This is where you get into whether you'll choose to advertise, focus on engagement through social media, or run an email campaign. Make sure that the strategies you develop and tactics you choose align with the objectives you've set. In addition, make sure you put together specifics about how you're going to measure all of your activities. Metrics and reporting are an important part of the process.

06 Finalize Budget and Timeline

When you settle on the tactics you will use to market your business, You then need to investing costs for various activities. Create a budget and timeline section that lists the name of each activity as well as the cost and budgeted time. As a startup, this section may actually be more focused on time and human resources. Regardless of the tactics you've chosen and how they'll be funded or accomplished, lay out how much you plan to spend and develop a timeline. Having all this information in one place will help you revisit it in the future and reconcile how much time and money you planned to spend versus actual costs and time spent.

07 Evaluate, Review and Adjust

After you've completed your plan, your work isn't finished. It's up to you to monitor and adjust your plan as time goes on. Evaluate each marketing campaign you run. Figure out if you're meeting your objectives. If you're easily meeting your objectives, consider challenging yourself a bit more. If not, are you setting the bar too high? Is something amiss with your strategies or tactics? Your marketing plan shouldn't be something that you write and set aside. It's something designed to help and guide you, and it should be reviewed frequently and updated if new information is acquired.

08 Use good content in your marketing

In any marketing campaign you will more than likely need some content in the process. Content is king, and good content will grow legs and move in the market. Take pride and have ample quality control when creating your branded material. Make sure the content is relevant, interesting, and helpful, and trust your audience's tastes. If you find yourself creating content that you feel is redundant or bland, you can be sure that it will be a waste of time for you and your readers especially if creating promotional copy for advertising, products or services. The more that content marketing grows, the more options consumers will have. The competition will be tough. Stand out by making sure every single piece is good work.

09 Make it available and go where the fans are

Go to where the fans are. It's perfectly fine to have your own platform for publishing your branded content. Brands often find success in setting up their own websites as hubs to attract fans. Not every brand has the budget or resources to do that, but what every brand can do is at least make it available to fans. Don't just keep your media, articles on your corporate website in some hard-to-find drop down option. Use social and make your work available to readers.

10 Remember that the fan experience is 24/7

People who become a fan of a brand or a product can remain a fan for the rest of their lives. Once you've started a branded content strategy, it's something you will have to continue for a long time. Be prepared for that before you begin, and remember that people don't consume articles or scroll the web only from nine to five. The fan experience is 24/7, so be nimble and ready to cover topics at a moment's notice. Find out what's resonating with your fans, and gear your topics in that direction. There's no such thing as too much good content for fans that are eager for it.

Remember: There's really no wrong way to compile your plan. Just make sure you're gathering as much information as you can and putting your goals down on paper before launching your marketing efforts. Taking the time to do this is only going to help boost your chances for success!

Click here to read 10 Marketing Tips for Struggling Startups - Part 1

 

Read 817 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 March 2014 19:03
Mary Chan

Mary is the Senior Editor at fundedflow