"We do not have enough budget for marketing."
Have you heard this statement before? If you are an owner of a digital marketing firm or a content writer or a content marketer who pitched a startup offering your services, this statement would be no stranger to you.
In my three years of content writing and marketing, I have worked with a lot of startups both as an employee and a freelancer. I owe a lot of my career to the startup culture. During my freelancing days, my friend and I used to pitch our services to different startups. A lot of them would reject us saying; we don’t have enough money for marketing. We can do that later, we are yet to put our product in the market, and we are yet to generate revenues. The base of such a thought process is marketing is a waste of money and time. Let us focus on building our product or come with an excellent service; the customers will automatically come in. In this era of digital marketing, having such a thought process stunts the growth of a lot of companies.
How will your company grow from where it is to where it wants to reach without a well-defined growth strategy? You are building a product, excellent but whom would you launch that for when you have no audience? Without putting in any marketing efforts, how would you let your audience know you are building something? So, if you are leading a startup, don’t ignore marketing just because your product isn’t ready. Go for marketing from the first day itself, here are four ways to make way for long-term growth and success.
1. Start marketing from Day one
From day 1, start marketing your brand rather than treating marketing as an outcast. You are building a great a product or are working on a service that will disrupt the market, fantastic. You are doing a great job but what if once the product is built and is launched, it finds no takers because people are not aware of it at all.
Every successful product launch needs persuasive, compelling marketing. You need to get the attention and gain a foothold as a brand in the market before you launch your product. To do that, you need to do some good introspection and let your audience know, why what you are making matters? It is in similar lines to what Simon Sinek says; People don’t buy from you for what you do but for why you do it.
Create a compelling story around your product, its need, and why it needs to be there in the market. Touch the pain point of your customers and sell them your solution as an idea before you sell it as a product.
2. Data is gold, use it wisely
In this digital age, data is gold, and you need to use it wisely. If you want to draft a successful marketing strategy, consumer behavioural data, customer needs, customer feedbacks can act as valuable insights to improve your product. You will get to know your customers well helping you serve them better. So, make your presence felt on different social media channels, propose your idea across all digital mediums, let the audience know who you are. Once you do that, interact with the audience, and they will share their thoughts with you.
It will help you get in sync with what the market needs and what you are making. Correct any mistakes if you are making any and come up with something that fulfils the parameters of the market.
3. Become a brand to get investment
Many CEO’s and leaders of startups think that once funding happens, they can put some of it to do their marketing. What they fail to realise is marketing isn’t an extracurricular event that can wait till you get some sponsorship. Instead, it should be a very part of your business and growth strategy. The better you market yourself, the more your chances of getting funded.
Investors will always like to see if you can grow beyond a particular product or service category and become a brand. Waiting for funding to go for full-fledged marketing can backfire because investors may like to know how many people are supporting your idea. An existing community that backs you and a plethora of impressions and engagement can create a strong impact on the minds of the investors.
At the end of the day, it is all about growth. As a startup, the market observes how fast you grow and thrive in this cut-throat competition. Building a product is important but making your presence is a necessity. If you expect to have great views, impressions, engagement, conversion, and booming sales without proper marketing, you are in for a rude awakening. Let marketing take the lead as you keep building the product at the backend. Keep making noise, get those impressions and views so that the day your product is launched, there are enough buyers to buy it.
Issac is the author of Something Between Him And Her- His First Kiss and co-author of The Growth Hacking book series. He loves dissecting SaaS tools and writing about SaaS. In his free time, he loves binge-watching Netflix and gorging on books. His BBN Times column will be about content marketing, SaaS, movies, writing, and life. If you want to know more about him, Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and connect with him on LinkedIn.