This Summer, I held office hours with startup Founders at the Google Kings Cross office in London jointly with the Ex-Googler Xoogler community. The purpose of these speed mentoring sessions was to help Entrepreneurs scratch strong marketing ideas and start building a solid marketing plan for their business to grow. One question kept coming up:
"Does my startup need marketing at this early stage?" You do! They do! We do! Stage 1: Your Product or Service Idea Pops up
It is an exciting time when you realize your idea has a unique potential. How do you start to convert this idea into a concrete business project? You need to know if it has as much potential value on the market as it has in your eyes. Intuition motivates the move from an idea to a project but it won’t be enough to create an actual business out of it. In stage 1, before even starting to build your product, you need solid market research to help you understand what your idea’s related industry looks like, the demand for it (potential users) and the offers available (competitors). In other words, it is a diagnostic of your product’s growth potential and your chances to compete on that market. Frequent market researches lead to business growth. There is one undeniable guarantee here that you will then build a more valuable and suitable product avoiding redesigning costs and launch delays. On the other hand, if the market analysis proves the market is not fruitful and you decide not to pursue your business project, you will save money, time and even your investors’. Stage 2: Your Idea is Proofed, Take it to Launch
Once it is time to launch your product, a marketing plan will be your magic potion. When the time comes to launch and commercialize your product, you need to have a strong, organized and proven value proposition to be able to tell a clear story. Otherwise, your product will not be understood and the value will be lost in your message. You may also be looking for investors so be clear about the business value. An effective marketing plan will diagnose your current situation, define your audience and strategic positioning accordingly, and set the right tactics to reach your audience. With a data-proven plan, you are ready to pitch your business to potential investors and to develop an effective long term strategy.
Stage 3: Marketing Is Not about Designing Pink Icons on a Website
I know, you did not say it! This is actually what I heard in my first job as a Marketer several years ago about how marketing was perceived in the company. While I did design the company’s corporate graphic identity and logo, it was part of a bigger package. I launched Starts Consulting to put on the Modern Marketer’s cape and convince skeptical Entrepreneurs. Startups do need marketing throughout each business stage: market researches to design the best product, analytics to support business decisions and communications to elevate the company’s brand.
Lena Baudo | Digital Marketing Nomad helping companies and non-profit organizations grow their business through marketing intelligence and actionable plans. My motto is to begin with the end: no data analysis = no effective decision.