Hi, my name is Noam Wild and I am a partner in the Wild-Kaufman advertising agency. I have been doing copy for the last 10 years in which I have written marketing plans, headlines, product names and catchy phrases for a range of clients. In the past, I have been surprised by the differences between the start-up and corporate communities in terms of the marketing approach. Curiously, a huge number of start-up folks tend to leave branding and marketing to the last stages and ultimately have a great idea that lacks marketing edge. Even the most brilliant invention must be designed and presented professionally. In today's competitive world, every product needs professional and innovative marketing and branding to ensure success.
Here are several tips for start-up companies to utilize in their marketing efforts:
The more specific you are the better. Make a marketing plan that you can mirco-manage! To get a general idea, a marketing plan should include about 30 slides in a PowerPoint format. A comprehensive plan will include a drilldown of what you are selling, who you are selling to, when you are selling it, and where. Then you can define how to sell the product.
Make a media plan. Prepare a document that describes your reach and expsosure objectives, resource allocation, media schedule and the channels you will use to reach your target audience. The best scenario, if you can afford it, is to find an independent Internet media agency that will supply you with a professional plan for a one-time fee.
Be emotionally creative! One of the most typical behaviors among start-ups is putting a huge emphasis on the technology and less on the emotional benefits the product brings the target audience. I have sold products that have no technological advantage at all, but did have an "emotional hook." This is what caused the product to sell and keep on selling! Be creative and think about the emotional benefit or your product. Finding this "sweet spot" can be a deal-breaker.
Public relations are the art of creative awareness about a product without using a direct sales approach. Having the right public relations angle is essential to start-up marketing tactics today. A carefully planned public relations approach is what made Apple the company we know today. Think about what will make people talk about your product with friends and colleagues. Your product should be able to spark lunch break talk!
Content is the king of social media. If you want to have major success in the social media world it is crucial to have a brand philosophy. Share plans and thoughts with your audience. Tell them how the product will enrich their lives.
Make an early stage advertising campaign. From an advertising perspective, there aren't any difference between big companies and start-up companies making a campaign to establish a fan base and get more users. The main difference is simple budget.
Research is a test of your commitment. Do your homework! One of the most important tasks and responsibilities as a start-up company or entrepreneur is to perform rigorous research and all the aspects relevant to your product. Ideally, you want to avoid finding out that a similar name, ideas, or business model exists in the market when you are pitching to a potential investor. Finally, you should be an expert on your start-up's field and should research and have answers to the following questions:
Do parallel business models exist?
How well do you know your target audience?
How well do you know your competition?
How well do you know your competitor's pricing and pitching methods?
Has a similar idea been pitched to your potential investor? If so, how did the investor respond?
Are there brands that would be interested in collaborating with you?
Finally, is the domain name you chose free to register?
The best and most creative marketing ideas come from careful planning, research, and hard work. In conclusion, the ideas above are just a short piece to try and convey the basics of start-up marketing. You are more than welcome to contact us if you have further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.