TIPS & TRICKS

Five habits for successful start-up marketing

Joshua Cook, Chief Branding Navigator
08 April 2017

Whether you are new to owning a business or you have some successes under your belt, it can be difficult to attract new customers. Everyone has a different opinion on how to market a company, but the truth is that there is no one solution to solve your marketing challenges. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another.

But there are some fundamental habits that help lead to marketing success that don’t require a budget or marketing savvy. Following them will help you make informed decisions when considering how to market your company, and the best part is that you can start doing them today!

Here are our five habits for successful start-up marketing.

1. Listen to Your Customer

While this may be obvious, it is the most overlooked habit in all of marketing.

Quality marketing and communications speak in a language that the customer will understand, and convey a message that the customer will care about. But before you can accomplish quality marketing, you must define your ideal customers.

This practice is referred to as creating “Buyer Personas”, and should be the first step of every marketing strategy.

Are your customers predominantly male or female? How old are they? What are their values? What challenges do they look to you to solve? How do you solve those challenges better than your competitors?

Go into as much detail as you can. Be specific, and don’t worry about leaving someone out – you can create as many Buyer Personas as you think you need, but it is important to determine if you have a niche market that you can focus on.

Here is the secret rule of Buyer Personas:

If you try to be everything to everyone,
you will become nothing to anyone.

A great resource for this exercise is your current clientele. Who are they, and what do they say about you? Also, don’t be afraid to break the mould – you may have ideas for untapped markets to target. Be ambitious but, again, be specific! Find your niche.

What to do right now?
Create your first Buyer Persona, and schedule one hour each month to re-evaluate your ideas. If you’ve never created a Buyer Persona before, check out our free Buyer Persona template.

2. Be Consistent

When I was in college, I had a professor who taught me what is still the most valuable marketing lesson I’ve ever learned. It is this:

Repetition is the essence of learning.
Repetition is the essence of learning.
Repetition is the essence of learning.

There is no shortage of statistics that back this up. When I was a shady advertising sales person, I’d upsell clients using the stat that ‘it takes an average of many impressions before someone remembers your advertisement’. I may have been shady, but it was true. No one will remember you after hearing one ad.

What to do right now?
Find ways to be consistent. If you are on social media, post every day. If you advertise on the radio or in the newspaper, advertise regularly.

After all, repetition is the essence of learning.
(Thanks Jeff!)

3. Invest in Your People

A challenge I see time and time again is that business owners don’t appreciate the time and effort that goes into successful marketing campaigns. It is very difficult for one person to manage it all, and that goes double if you are the person trying to run everything else.

Consider social media: great social media campaigns often involve a dedicated person, or team, engaging with your audience multiple times each day. After all, social media is designed to be instant – your audience expects what they want, when they want it. Can you live up to that task?

It isn’t just time that can be problematic – there are many tools that help marketers do great work, but you need to invest in them. Graphic designers need software, SEO experts need research tools, and the list goes on.

And, of course, there are tools to help your marketing efforts get off the ground. There is no one list of tools that fit every business, but here is a great list of free digital marketing tools to get you started.

What to do right now?
If you are trying to do everything yourself, take steps to delegate ownership of parts of your marketing campaign.

For example: Do you have a trustworthy employee that is savvy with social media? Entrust them to manage your Facebook page, and work with them to ensure a consistent brand image.

Once you’ve delegated what you can, be willing to invest in developing your employees. Give them time to research new marketing efforts. Consider a subscription to Lynda.com, which offers nearly 6,000 high-quality online courses on a variety of business, technology, and creative subjects.

4. Listen to the Data

Whether you are a newcomer to data analytics or a grizzled veteran, data analytics can help guide your marketing decisions. Learn how to use the free information available to you. There is a lot of it, from website traffic to social media analytics, and most of it is free. You just need to go get it.

The largest example of data you should be considering comes from Google Analytics, a free tool used to track user activity on your website, from the number of people who visited your website, to what keywords were used in Google to find your site in the first place. You just need to set it up and add it to your website.

Social media also offers incredible data on how your posts are performing, including how many people they’ve reached and how many people engaged (i.e. clicked, shared, retweeted, etc.) with them.

What to do right now?
This is a two-parter:

First, if you haven’t yet, install Google Analytics on your website. Not sure how to install Google Analytics? No worries – we have you covered:

Here is a walk-through of how to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website, and…
Here is a walk-through of how to add Google Analytics to your HTML website.

Second, start monitoring the basics. How many visitors did you get on your website this month? Which social media posts had the highest engagement? Over time, you will begin to see trends that help you make better decisions.

5. Involve your team

The last habit is short and sweet: fresh perspectives can make a tremendous difference in your marketing efforts.

What to do right now?
Schedule both one-to-one and group sessions with your team, ask them for opinions and share your strategies with them. Keep an open mind, and be willing to try new things. You may stumble upon something amazing from the most unlikely of sources.

 

Remember, not everything that works for one business will work for another, but by including these habits into your schedule will help you make better marketing decisions.

About the Author

Joshua Cook
Chief Branding Navigator

Josh is a passionate marketer, founder of Creative Compass, and general caffeine addict. Building on 13 years of experience working with brands like Toyota, Samsung, and The Macallan scotch, Josh aims to provide entrepreneurs with marketing materials to help them build their own something amazing.

Looking for help with marketing fundamentals? Shoot Josh an email!

About the Author

Joshua Cook
Chief Branding Navigator

Josh is a passionate marketer, founder of Creative Compass, and general caffeine addict. Building on 13 years of experience working with brands like Toyota, Samsung, and The Macallan scotch, Josh aims to provide entrepreneurs with marketing materials to help them build their own something amazing.

Looking for help with marketing fundamentals? Shoot Josh an email!

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