Written By Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation
Startups need visibility to gain credibility and recognition. At what point in their growth should a startup begin marketing?
Here is what 10 thought-leaders had to say:
- When You Can Handle Customer Influx
- After Collecting Test Data
- Once You Find Product/Market Fit
- Ideally Within the First Two to Three Months
- Before You Build Your MVP
- After You Establish the Target Market
- Start With A Pre-launch
- Create Social Profile Before Launch
- Start at the Very Beginning
At the Point of Commitment to MVP
When You Can Handle Customer Influx
Startups should begin marketing their products/services as soon as they have the necessary systems to handle and deal with the potential influx of new customers. This is very important as the very early stage adopters will not only provide the necessary initial revenue, which will buy the startup more time. But – given their overall experience with the new company, they will provide word-of-mouth marketing to future prospective clients on the startup.
Mogale Modisane, ToolsGaloreHQ.com
After Collecting Test Data
All marketing should be based on data, which means that a start-up should only begin marketing when they have collected enough relevant test data to identify a starting point. This means that beyond just looking at basic demographics that encompass wide net categories such as age and income, it requires more specific data which will lead not only to your target market to, but where to reach them.
Collecting data, not solely on product interests, but initial purchases, analyzing any social media engagement, investigating start-up competition, collecting information from company website interaction, and conducting surveys through an email list on a small test group of purchases, will provide a starting point for an opening campaign. By spending time to collect data first, you can take the first step into narrowing your campaign to eventually reach the target audience you desire.
Cody Candee, Bounce
Once You Find Product/Market Fit
Startups can begin their marketing plan once their product has been tested and approved, and they find their product/market fit. To gain that credibility and recognition, they should focus on a digital marketing strategy. A virtual plan helps brands reach the widest audience in a short amount of time, due to the amount of users on social channels and the sharing opportunities social platforms offer. Working with micro-influencers or brands with similar values for a giveaway is the most effective in brand awareness and word of mouth referrals. Not only is this an effective strategy for visibility, but also allows businesses to connect with their target audience.
Dino Ha, Kaja Cosmetics
Ideally Within the First Two to Three Months
Once a brand or business is created, startups should quickly begin a marketing strategy, ideally within the first two to three months. A solid content marketing plan is a good place to start. Companies can create business profiles on social media to create hype around the brand or service, as well as a blog to improve SEO efforts and become a leader in the industry. Not only is this an effective way to gain credibility and recognition, but also creates a following to attract your target audience.
Corey Ashton Walters, Here
Before You Build Your MVP
Most start-ups and tech companies will take the time to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) before moving on to marketing. However, there is a great misconception that it’s better to wait until you have your product ready for market.
MVP should be something that is in line with your company’s goals and values. You should also consider how people will react to it and how it will affect them.
Marketing doesn’t happen by accident – it requires time and effort. It’s best to start building the community around your idea so that your potential customers are excited about the concept and want to share it with other people. Therefore, startups should begin marketing as soon as possible to start acquiring customers before their competition does!
Iryna Kutnyak, Quoleady
After You Establish the Target Market
You’re probably ready to start promoting your product after you can measure, learn, iterate, and repeat the process smoothly. Your product should provide a pleasant user experience and be well tested. You want to find out what customers are looking for and why they are buying what they are buying. If you start running advertising earlier in the lifecycle of your product, you’ll be able to uncover problem spots sooner and change your product or service to remedy them quickly.
Understanding and recognizing your target audience is the most important. The rest is a lot easier once you’ve established your target audience. After this process, you are ready to start promoting your product or service if you have proof that people are prepared to pay for it and that you can provide a positive experience for those customers.
Muskan Rai, Web Hosting Advices
Start With A Pre-launch
If you haven’t launched your business, before initiating a full-fledged marketing campaign, it is wise to start with a pre-launch. Marketing can never begin with a shot in the dark, which makes the pre-launch campaign critical, as it serves as both a data collection point to generate valuable leads, as well as a test group to provide feedback on your startup products and services.
The best pre-launch campaigns concentrate on designing an attractive and clear website landing page, an accessible newsletter signup portal, a lead generation collection point, while providing themselves complete and full access to web analytics. By planning and initiating an effective pre-launch campaign, you will be able to maximize your data collection, which will in turn, set you up for a more effective marketing campaign.
Zach Letter, Wonder Works
Create Social Profiles Before Launch
Startups should start marketing efforts before their launch. This builds excitement and intrigue for potential customers. It’s easy enough to create a social media profile – you can start with just one. Usually, Instagram is perfect for teasing a brand launch. Just plan how you will tell the story of the launch using the grid and maybe Stories as well. You can keep it simple and straightforward, but make sure the grid’s design sets the tone of the brand you’re building.
Alyssa Berman-Waugh, Level Home, Inc.
Start at the Very Beginning
Building brand awareness, brand recognition, and credibility takes time. That is why you have to start at the very beginning. Begin with your company pitch. You will need this as publications, podcasts, and other sources consider your company for their audience. Your pitch should include what problem you’re solving, why you care about solving this problem, what you do, and anticipated results for your customers or clients.
Leang Chung, Pelora Stack
At the Point of Commitment to MVP
The startup’s main goal is to develop and monetize innovations. Selling without marketing is virtually impossible. Startups sell the innovation to investors, companies, and customers.
Marketing kicks at the point of commitment to MVP development. That’s when the parallel work on the product begins to sell it. Things start with communication with potential investors. This is marketing, just targeted to a narrow group.
Extensive communication of the project kicks off as the product becomes available to a larger customer base – on the validation stage. This is when the marketing starts, driving sales of the innovation to many customers.
Mateusz Szarecki, Tidio
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