A jarring 90% of startups fail. Of course, we can attribute this failure to poor financial management, no need for the particular product or service in its market, or an inability to construct productive internal teams. Still, poor marketing is one of the main contributing factors to startup failure.
Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t prepared to treat marketing as an ongoing project. More importantly, many companies lack the direction and support needed to construct and deploy a robust marketing strategy. As a result, their companies go under because of meager marketing.
Don’t be one of those startups. Instead, effectively market your new startup business by first constructing a solid foundation for your business. This article aims to help you do exactly that. Here’s how to lay the groundwork to market your new startup business successfully.
Develop a Solid Business Plan
The first step to laying a solid foundation for your startup is developing a trustworthy business plan. You must have a definite vision for your startup and plan for growing it over the years to keep your marketing focused and effective.
Your business plan should have a section for:
- The executive summary
- The company description
- Market analysis
- Organization and management
- The service or product line
- Marketing and sales
- Funding requests
- Financial projections
- An appendix
Also, your business plan should detail any legal considerations you must navigate that will affect your marketing efforts as you build your startup. For instance, your name reservation, business registration, potential trademarks, copyrights, and trade dress documents.
Next, put together a team or support system to help you bring your business vision to life.
Put Together a Team
Don’t feel like you have to do this all on your own. If possible, put together a team of experts with varying specialties to ensure each part of your startup has effective leadership.
Even if you can’t hire employees right away, it’s still essential you construct a support system of some kind that you can collaborate and communicate openly with to help you build a business that’s easy to market. This support system could include:
- Family members who are business owners
- Friends that support your business vision
- An online network of other startup owners
- Websites that offer free resources for new startup owners
- Individuals willing to exchange their services for exposure
After developing a solid business plan and putting together your team, spend some time defining and learning your target audience.
Define Your Target Audience
If you don’t know who your target audience is, not only will your marketing suffer, but your business will overall. You must know who your company is for before you build it and market it. So, spend ample time defining and learning your target audience.
First, conduct market research. You can use existing resources or conduct direct research to find out about the specifics of your market, including its size, wealth, saturation, and if your value proposition is strong enough to last in it.
Next, get to know the specifics of the individuals in that market to narrow down your target audience. These specifics include:
- Buying behaviors
- Media preferences
- Demographic information
- Psychographic information
- Communication preferences
- Unique needs, pain points, and challenges
In addition to learning your target audience, study your competition.
Study Your Competition
Your competition is your competition for a reason. They’ve built something relatively successful, and you can learn from their success. Studying your competition can give you insight into building a solid foundation for your business and how to market your startup effectively.
To study your competition, do the following:
- Use social listening tools to keep track of the online conversation surrounding competing brands
- Visit their website, social media pages, and other digital platforms to experience their marketing tactics firsthand
- Find out more about their company leaders and internal teams
- Conduct self-led research about your competitors on the internet
- Sign up for their email newsletters, virtual events, and other activities that help you learn more about their brand and business
- Implement data analytics tools to study their behaviors
With a solid business vision, internal team, and target audience defined, it’s time to build your brand.
Build Your Brand
You know what your business is, why you’re building it, who you’re building it for, and how to differentiate yourself from your competition. With all of this information under your belt, you can start developing your brand.
Whether your startup has a brick-and-mortar location or you’re a mobile business on the go, a memorable brand is crucial to successful marketing. A unique brand helps you stand out further from your competition and make a name for yourself in your industry.
You can build your brand by addressing the following:
- Brand voice: the personality your brand has in all of its communications
- Brand awareness: how you’re going to make people aware of your brand
- Brand recognition: how you’re going to ensure your brand is recognized everywhere
- Brand identity: your visual branding elements
Lastly, with your brand intact, you can now create and roll out your marketing strategy.
Create and Roll Out Your Startup Marketing Strategy
When you solidify your startup’s foundation, you can then move forward with creating and launching your marketing strategy. Take the following steps to ensure you create and roll out your marketing strategy with ease:
- Outline your marketing goals
- Determine who will help you with marketing and what their specific roles are
- Define your marketing channels (i.e., website, email, social media)
- Choose your marketing types (i.e., content marketing, email marketing, emotional marketing, on and off-page SEO techniques)
- Create content for your marketing channels
- Build out a marketing content calendar
- Set up any marketing tools and platforms you’ll be using
- Ensure you’re data analytics tools are ready to go
- Launch your marketing strategies and monitor their performances
Take your time exploring the above tips for marketing a new startup business. Then, continue learning about how to successfully market your new startup business in digital and physical spaces to give your business the best chance at growth and longevity.