3 Key Marketing Areas to Focus on for Startup Growth

Starting up your own business can be very exciting, but you must know that the startup survival rate is not very high. According to the Small Business Administration, only 50% of the startups make it up to five years, while more than 20% fail right in in the first year.

Well, it may seem discouraging, but being a startup founder you should take these stats as a lesson and make sure not to repeat the mistakes that failed startups have made. Keeping other factors aside, let’s take marketing & advertising alone because it contributes more than 70% in startup success.

This article will discuss three important areas to focus on, so you can enhance your marketing & advertising efforts right from the beginning. Doing so will surely give your startup a strong foundation with which it can not only survive the startup phase successfully but will also grow at a better pace.

1- Invest in graphic design as a top priority; your startup website serves as a passive lead generation/sales tool, and so it needs to be attractive, responsive, fast to load, optimized for search engines and high performance. Moreover, graphic design is also an integral part of your marketing material (both online and offline), i.e. brochures, flyers, images for social media campaigns, PPC ads and so on. So, it is crucial to send not just the right message to the target audience, but also to send it in the most attractive and effective way.

Having an in-house graphic design team is awesome, however, being a startup on a tight budget, this may not sound a realistic idea, so the best way is to outsource tasks to a reliable graphic design agency with hands on experience in working for startups.

2- Go out of the way to get connected to the customers; even before you have a product/package to sell, you need to start making it known to find potential customers who are going to be the backbone of your business. Though it requires a detailed marketing plan with actionable items to acquire users, I will discuss the strategy points to get connected to the potential customers.

  • Maximize your online potential, because more and more people are online now and even if they do not buy online, they do online research before an in-store purchase. Depending upon your business model, 50% to 80% of your marketing/advertising budget should go for online media.
  • Target specifically the areas where your customers are, i.e. find high traffic blogs, Facebook groups, forums or other places where people with the interests your products are online. Similarly, target your offline ads where potential customers hang out. For instance, if you are selling female hygiene products, the best place to put your ads can be female restrooms in the malls.
  • Co-promote your products with potential strategic partners, i.e. if you sell makeup/skin care products, partnering up with the local salons can be a good idea.

Think outside the box, you will find tons of ideas to get connected to your customers more strategically.

3- Build a strong professional network; marketing & advertising efforts multiply when you have a strong network, consisting of influential people from the industry, i.e. your message will travel farther if you are well connected with people and organizations whose words matter. In order to grow a strong network for your startup growth you may:

  • Join a professional organization for your industry.
  • Join local communities in case of a startup targeting local audience.
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Find and join business innovation labs, startup accelerators, and incubation centers.
  • Get connected to a pool of startup journalists.
  • Get connected to key people/investors online using LinkedIn, Meetup.com, Co-Founders Lab, and other similar platforms.

The Bottom Line:

There can be various factors contributing to the success/failure of a startup, but strong marketing and advertising can ensure the chances of success, even if you do not have a unique business idea!

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