You can’t afford big budget agencies (that might low prioritize you anyway), but the risk of your startup receiving mediocre marketing results from freelancers is too high. How can we resolve this catch-22?
The startup world (let’s be honest, startups take up a planet of their own) is more fast-paced, challenging, and exciting, than it has ever been before. Startups in the current digital age are redefining the working world, and how we use the precious resources we have at our fingertips.
All startups are unique, yet share common ground in the experience of being challenged and pushed to high, often quite stressful, limits. As exciting as it is to be a part of your startup’s growth and prosperity, the startup culture comes with a myriad of challenges. With a limited budget, startups typically can’t hire in house marketing experts, yet they need to build a brand and invest money, which takes time and patience. At the same time, startups also need instant performance so they can grow.
So, where do we go from here? How do we ensure that your marketing strategy and marketing management styles are up to date and impactful? How can you focus your efforts on carefully building your brand, while reaping instant results at the same time? There may be no book to answer all of life’s questions (even though it would make the journey of life much easier), but we definitely have the answers and will provide guidance to help your startup succeed in all their marketing endeavors.
A Little History Goes a Long Way
Ted Rubin, a leading Social Marketing Strategist, introduced a concept that is vital to the current state of digital marketing: The Future of Marketing is the Past. He suggested that the answers to our current marketing questions, can be found in the past.
Think back in history, to the days when the digital world barely existed. You could easily walk into your neighborhood store, where all the workers would know your name and preferences. There was no screen separating and inhibiting people from forming a personable connection. However, as businesses grew, it became harder to provide personalized service. Customers took a back seat, while stocking the shelves with inventory and selling inexpensive items became a priority.
Learning from the Past
Human beings are social animals. Without connection, we cannot survive. We all want to feel heard and loved. To do this, your startup’s marketing strategy and marketing management tactics need to be thorough, intentional, and personal. We now know customers need to be numero uno. Even more important is the relationship formed between your startup and it’s consumers.
Where we are Now
As Ted Rubin said, we’ve come “full circle.” We’re back to where we started, and that’s a great thing! We’ve returned to our roots, being connection. Technology allows startups and well established businesses alike to connect with people on a whole new and revolutionary platform.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Technology is arguably the most powerful tool in today’s world. It is a great power, and with that comes great responsibility. Technology moves at the speed of light (not literally, but you get the point), and keeping up with it is a huge and pressing challenge. Data from all digital outlets pours in like a flood, and CMO’s are quickly learning how to process and what to do about the influx of information being received about their consumers. In fact, 60% of CMOs intend to utilize data-driven insight into their marketing campaigns over the next few years (it’s just that important). The data you gather will help you decide how to approach your marketing strategy and marketing management.
Let’s Talk about Data… Again (it’s just that important)
The bottom line when it comes to data… you need sharp and keen analysts. If you can afford to hire an in-house analytics team, great. Startups, however, have much smaller resources to invest in a data analytics team.
No need to fret if you are a startup. There are multiple resources out there to ensure that your data is being put to good use. Google Analytics is a great place to start! With Google Analytics, you can gather long-term data to show trends and other important information so you can make wise decisions moving forward. For example, tracking and analyzing visitor behavior, such as how long visitors stay on your website, will open up a whole new realm of possibilities for how you can continue to build and update your website.
Beyond data analysis, there are tons of other things to consider, it may even be difficult to know where to start. Lucky for you (and for us), you’re not alone!
Let me be your Guide
Lucky for all of us, there’s guidance. Here are a few hacks to make sure your startup has the best marketing strategy and marketing management.
Make it Personal
You have the data. You’ve conducted surveys, you’ve talked to your customers, you’ve analyzed the data. Your startup knows what your consumers wants and needs are. You have all the technological tools to track and influence. What’s missing, says Ted Rubin, is personalization. Customers don’t mind being tracked, as long as they are reaping benefits from the relationship as well. We have all these amazing tools at our fingertips in the digital world, yet none of it matters unless there’s a strong relationship to back it all up.
For example, in 2014, Coke introduced their then new campaign, “Share a Coke”. They wanted to reach a young audience, so they decided to release Coke bottles with 250 of the most popular names of that generation. Since then, the logos have expanded to terms of endearment, nicknames, etc. With this campaign, Coke saw its first increase in sales volume since 2000. Personalized marketing done right!
Fun fact: startups and businesses alike who use personalized marketing can see their total sales increase by 15-20%!
Above and Beyond Personalization for your Startup
Beyond personalization and data analysis, there are other key factors to keep in mind to ensure that you have the best marketing strategy and marketing management approach. Instead of delving right in and looking at the whole of your marketing efforts and strategies, it’s more manageable to be very methodological in creating your marketing plan.
Here are some methods that must be key components in creating your marketing strategy.
Before you can take your first big step, you must define your brand strategy. Your brand strategy asks you to clearly define the core values of your brand, making sure they align with what your customers find important, with your industry trends and competition, and finally making sure that your startups core values match the product you’re offering. For more detailed information on how to build your brand, click here.
Now that you’ve defined your brand strategy, onwards and upwards!
Once you’ve solidified your story, it’s time to create the best marketing strategy for your startup. This requires you to make business decisions about what message and brand you’re delivering, and to which audience.
Knowing your audience is KEY. First, you have to decide who you want your ideal audience to be, and who you want to inspire. You can find a list of questions to ask yourself when figuring out your target audience, here.
Here’s a fun fact: your product screams louder than anything else when it comes to people understanding and connecting to your brand. A good starting point to building a stellar marketing strategy is to make sure that you don’t just walk the walk, but you also talk the talk. Make sure that what you said about yourself matches your product and how consumers experience your product.
You have a Problem, we have the Solution
A Great Place to Start
Brand strategy and performance strategy must be aligned for your startup to receive optimal results. Startups have a huge advantage over large businesses, in that they get to build everything from the ground up. This is an incredible opportunity for startups to sync their brand and performance strategies from the very beginning stages.
Practically speaking though, you must scale your business for growth. As with everything else, this requires money money money (must be funny, in a rich man’s world). And startups (as we all painfully know) don’t begin their journey with stable finances or the ability to be flexible with how they spend their finances. This causes a dilemma. You want to grow your brand, which takes time, effort, and patience. Yet, you also need instant performance and results in order to grow your brand. You can’t afford big budget agencies (that might low prioritize you anyway), but the risk of receiving mediocre marketing results from freelancers is too high. How can we resolve this catch-22?
From Start to Finish
To gain real and valuable performance, you need high expertise matched with high operational flexibility, an agile approach to your marketing needs, and high expertise in startup growth processes. All this needs to happen without taking up too much management time.
After all, you can go ahead and work with a reputable marketing agency who will ensure positive marketing results. Downside? It’s likely you will be low priority, and the financial burden that can put on your startup might be too much to bare. On the other end, you can hire marketing freelancers. Financially speaking, this seems like the best bet. However, chances of getting mediocre marketing results are higher when you’re working with a freelancer, especially when there is no one managing the relationship between your startup and marketing freelancers. Neither option is optimal, and we’re back at square one.
The solution? Say hello to Mayple. Mayple is an end-to-end solution that secures and simplifies all aspects of the marketing service-provider management process. From matching and hiring to measurement and quality assurance, we help marketing managers be in control and assure high-performance from all the services they manage.
We allow businesses and marketers to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Businesses enjoy the high level of expertise & full flexibility of worldwide experts and the control and quality assurance of a closely managed team, so they can succeed in delivering their value to more customers.
Marketing independent experts enjoy the flexibility and freedom of independent work, while Mayple provides the security, professional guidance, and technology tools to ensure that all parties are receiving optimal results.
Go ahead, explore Mayple for yourself and speak with an expert today!