• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Getting it right with marketing strategies for startups

Local investors outperform foreign peers in Africa’s startup funding

It is not out of place to say that the advancement of information technology has impacted businesses and brands in more ways than ever. One of the fallouts of this is heightened entrepreneurship across the globe, including in the developing economies. This means that new businesses, also referred to as startups are increasing by the day. Infact, research affirms startups as one of the important offshoots of the digital age.

As good as this is, it is important to note that many startups never reach the height of their potentials before closing shop. Many factors can be responsible for this but proper and strategic branding or marketing is often the Achilles’ heel of many startups. Without proper marketing, it’s easy for a startup to be nothing more than a flash in the pan.
Let us go over some contemporary startup marketing strategies that do most of the important things―attract customers, retain them, and accomplish the first two tasks without taking up too much of your time. It’s important to have marketing strategies that work, but you also need to be sure that these marketing strategies are productive and you aren’t taking too much time away from working on the business itself.

Social Media Marketing
It isn’t enough to just have profiles on social media pages. You need to use those profiles to their fullest extent by engaging with the audience. Have a two-way communication―post about deals and information and also respond to customer feedback. Setting up personal relationships with people is a great way to do business. Try to start conversations about your product. Social media marketing is one of the cheapest ways of marketing for startups.

Read also: Fintech pushes funding in African startups to $1.4bn in Q3

Work Together
Many businesses can stand to benefit from outsourcing certain tasks to other companies. Finding ways to set up relationships with other businesses is just as valuable as relationships with customers, because nailing down good suppliers and partners is crucial to your workflow. Some startups are also business-to-business, so for them, building connections to businesses is even more important. A good way to cement a corporate relationship is with the exchange of corporate gifts. You may not know the impact of that table calendar, branded mug or clock displayed in another office or organization.

Think About the Audience
It is very important to consistently think about how your startup is fulfilling the needs of your potential customers at all times. If you are unable to make your product or service appealing to customers, that might be because of poor marketing or poor targeting. And, believe me, either can doom a campaign. Design a product only when you know that the need for such a product exists; alternatively, when you know that you can convince an audience that they can benefit from your product. Craft your marketing message to emphasise the value of your product, and aim it at the audience that values the product most.

Get Customers to Invest
Any business depends on repeat business, especially customers who will keep coming back to give you a core income stream. Getting a customer to that point can be a difficult or challenging process. A good way to do that is convince them to become more personally engaged with the company. For example, when you have a customer, offer them a free subscription to a weekly newsletter that you will write, or ask for their email address so you can email them special, exclusive deals. You don’t want customers who will buy once and forget. The secret is ‘work to keep the customers you have already.’

Avoid Overkill on Buzz
While the social media is a good way to reach people, treat it that way. Don’t go overboard on social media chatter among the anonymous masses at the expense of making real connections. Having thousands of people mentioning your brand will do you no good if none of them makes a purchase. Don’t just stir up leads. Do well to go the extra mile and convert them into customers. Many people overlook this, and feel that if people are discussing the brand, then the marketing campaign is paying off. Think of it this way, marketing does not really pay until the customers do.

When you are trying to grow a startup, making many strong customers is an important step. To that end, you need to craft a marketing strategy that will help your customers find you, and convince those customers of the value of your product. Whether online or offline, the goal is the same: build personal relationships with your customers in order to keep them coming back.

Last line
Startup is not a tag you want your business to wear ad infinitum. So leverage the different opportunities available especially that offered by information technology, and design the right message, deploy the right vehicle to drive it and attract the right disposition to your brand. With that, it is a matter of time before today’s startups become tomorrow’s giant.