By Earl Jonathan Tech
Founding a startup takes hard work and a lot of time and effort. As an entrepreneur, you have to learn to attract people and be able to work with not just the top players of the industry you’re in but more importantly, with the finest people who share your vision, goals, and values. You also need to be able to pick out and target your niche market, all while differentiating your business from every other competition you have.
If you’re the founder of a digital marketing startup, for example, you have multiple jobs to get your business running. You are the leader, and at the same time, you’re the product developer, marketer, fundraiser, recruiter, overseer, and cheerleader of your trade. The list goes on, and the job only gets tougher if you’re a young entrepreneur. With notably less experience than the veterans in the business, you’d have to work extra hard to do more than what was mentioned in the list. Among these things, let’s tackle how a young entrepreneur should accomplish a marketing plan to ensure success in the industry further.
Creating the Marketing Plan
Marketing is about growing people’s awareness of the services or products you are offering and eventually translating this knowledge into business sales. An essential part of any marketing plan is to answer questions concerning what needs to be done to make your business attractive to your niche market. Freelancers and budding entrepreneurs will have to consider what to do carefully and exactly how much to shell out to have a guaranteed ROI.
At the beginning of any startup, we have to engage ourselves in full blown marketing plans to get our business on solid ground. To get the number of sales we need to determine our success, we’d have to succeed first in increasing people’s awareness of our brand and services. Hence, the road to triumph entails a sound marketing plan.
What’s in a Marketing Plan?
Marketing plans have to be thorough and realistic. It shouldn’t take more than a day’s work to formulate the plan. It should be simple and clear enough to explain how you will go about marketing your business and should just provide you some measures to examine the efficacy of the plan. What’s significant about this document is that you can recheck and update it over time as you learn which processes or steps work well for you and your business and which don’t at all. Any marketing plan generally entails the following.
Understanding potential customers’ profile
Identify and list who your products and services will cater to and who will likely purchase them. Write what your target and potential clients do and include their typical needs or wants that your business will address. Even include the kind of language they use so you’ll know how your style of communication will be that will make your business relatable to your clients. Remember that effective communication is a key to achieving your business goals.
Drafting your unique selling proposition
You know full well that to get your business recognized by consumers and people in the industry is to make it stand out from all other the competitors. People want something fresh and new, but they also prefer anything that’s better, cost-effective, and faster than the products they previously used. Try identifying what you can present to the table that will make clients approach you rather than going to your competitors.
Selecting your primary marketing method
Again, we can’t stress this enough, but any entrepreneur that’s still starting with organizing and operating a business will have to decide how to let people know about the services they offer. Consider doing digital marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), or telemarketing. You can also do social media promotions. Just some quick tip, though. If it’s your first stint, try concentrating on getting better at one method of marketing rather than using numerous types all at once and just failing at them. Once you get the hang of one method, then you can begin with the next. Also, for starters, the advisable thing to do is to start with a process that will bring you the quickest results. Marketing with those on your personal network works and so does the use of social media platforms and SEM. Your goal is to build a good client base to support your business.
Creating the perfect promotions and marketing materials
To initially promote your business you may begin by offering discount coupons to attract potential customers. Or if you’re into app and software development, you may promote free versions to give people a try and eventually encourage them to purchase your product. You can also opt to do business with advertisers by letting them do the promotions while they get, say, free use of your product. These advertisers might offer you promotional packages involving materials that efficiently carry your brand’s name and logo, and are useful or compelling enough for customers to keep and use instead of just throwing them away the moment they receive the items.
Aside from using promo items, there are also some marketing materials you can choose to create or have designed by people from your marketing team. Printed materials like brochures, business cards, flyers, etc. should be useful to market any startup companies locally. When you have the right material that holds the right information about your business, then chances are people will remember your brand and the products and services you offer.
Just make sure to have these materials valued, so you don’t go over your budget. Like in all other aspects of running a business, you have to be certain that every decision you make is cost-effective. There are times when you’ll have to take risks; that’s no surprise. But then you have to be able to calculate any foreseeable gains and losses. So when deciding on your first marketing materials, side with what’s really worth your time and money.