Starting a new business can be one of the most exciting times in the life of an entrepreneur. There’s the adrenaline rush that comes with getting everything up and running before the launch, but believe it or not, all those plans you’ve made and hard work you’ve put into it are the easy parts. The hardest part of launching a startup is marketing. Next, is a bit of advice from entrepreneurs who made it through the initial stages and have, over time, built a huge customer base.
1. Growth Isn’t Possible Without Successful Marketing
You may have the greatest product or service since the invention of the wheel, but if you can’t find an audience, you may be doomed to fail. In fact, most new businesses that don’t get the marketing thing down are the ones least likely to succeed. While it is understood that it can take up to, or even beyond, a year or two to begin realizing a profit, you must see gradual growth if you are to survive the startup stage.
2. Benefits Are More Important than Features!
One of the hardest lessons for entrepreneurs to learn is that people want to know how what you are selling them benefits them. They aren’t as impressed with features as they are with knowing that your product or your service is going to benefit them in some way.
3. Use Creative Marketing Strategies
The most successful marketing strategies are also the most creative. Some startups sink a good portion of their marketing budget into freebies. Everyone likes to get something for nothing and this is truly a great example of a sales promotion marketing strategy. Give them something useful. Remember, consumers always want something that benefits them in some way. However, make sure your promotional items are relevant to your business in some way. Realtors and car dealers may give away keyrings just as a new pharmacy in town would give imprinted daily pill boxes.
4. Customers Always Come First
Some startups are so busy telling people what they do that they forget to listen to what the customer is looking for. Marketing in today’s social environment means dialogue. You can talk until you are blue in the face, but if you aren’t getting at what the customer is looking for, you’ve lost them from the very beginning. A social media promotion may be just the place to start listening. If you are going to do any content marketing, always make comments available for questions.
5. Test Market Before Widening Your Reach
Finally, it is suggested that you test market in small areas before going big in your marketing efforts. This is a learning stage, so don’t put all your eggs in one basket until you know the basket will hold up well. As you expand your reach, you will begin seeing what it is your market is really looking for and that is where you focus your marketing budget. The key takeaway is tofocus. Focus on the customer and not your product for the most successful marketing strategy ever.