Learn how to develop a stronger marketing strategy for your startup

Did you know that the success of your startup directly links to your marketing strategy? Marketing is a lot more than just posting on social media. It takes some time and dedication to develop a great marketing strategy for your business but it’s really worthwhile. 

If you’re a marketing novice, don’t worry; we’ve put together resources to guide you through developing a marketing strategy to give you the best chance of startup success. 

What is a marketing strategy?

Firstly, you’ll need to understand what a marketing strategy is and why it’s so important to the development of your startup. 

In simple terms, a marketing strategy is a long-term plan that will help you achieve your startups business goals. When it comes to developing a marketing strategy, you should outline how you plan to achieve your business goals – but more on that later. 

Before you get to the developing stage of your strategy, you should consider the 4 Ps of marketing:

Product

This is the product or service that you will market to your target audience. Remember, some of the best ideas are those that fill a gap in the market. If you can position your startup as niche or solve a unique problem, chances are it’ll see more demand. This will also make the marketing process a little easier too.  

Some questions to consider while working on your product:

  • What is your product?
  • How is your product different from other products?
  • Who is your product’s target audience?

Price

Pricing will have a significant impact on the overall success of your product. It’s crucial that you take some time to really understand your product and set a realistic price point that both reflects the product accurately and is still accessible to your target market. 

Place 

You’ll need to do some research on where your target market spends their time. That way you’ll be able to market your product or services in all the right places and produce more sales. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Where does your target audience usually shop?
  • What distribution channels are best to reach your specific target audience?
  • Where will you sell your product or services?

Promotion 

Promotion refers to how you’ll advertise your product or service. Through promotion, you’ll put your product or services directly in front of existing and potential customers, through multiple marketing channels to increase brand awareness.

Once you have established the 4 Ps of marketing, you’re ready to start planning. All marketing strategies will circle back to the 4Ps of marketing, so it’s essential to spend some time on this before you do anything else.

Why is it so important to have a marketing strategy as a startup?

A solid marketing strategy is key to any successful business. Developing a strategic marketing plan will help you determine your goals, keep an eye on the final objective and help you work out what you need to do to get there.

You’ll struggle to hit the ground running without a clear marketing plan. Make sure to set aside some time to develop your vision and plan out a strategy that works for your business. The more time you dedicate to developing your marketing strategy, the more you will gain from it. 

What are some of the benefits?

Without marketing, your product or services would struggle to reach your intended customer base. As a result, you may miss out on opportunities and struggle to meet those sales targets.

Marketing will bridge that gap and enable your business to reach new customers and harness existing ones. This is why marketing is so important for your startup. 

If you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons why developing a marketing strategy will be the best thing you do for your business.

  • It puts your business in front of potential customers
  • It helps you boost your sales
  • You can gain and retain customers
  • It improves and enhances your reputation
  • It’ll save you time and help you reach your goals

How do I build a marketing strategy?

Building a marketing strategy that works for your startup takes time; if you’re new to the game, it can be difficult to know where to begin. We’ve outlined the three main steps to help you get started. 

1. Make a plan

Without a clear outline, you’ll find it difficult to market your business properly. Every business is different and their marketing strategies will differ according to business goals, but the key components will always remain the same. 

Setting goals

For startups, goals will usually fall into one of two categories: raising brand awareness or acquiring new customers. Both categories are equally important in the developmental stages of your startup, but it can be more helpful to prioritise the goals that make the most sense for your business. 

Raise brand awareness: If you choose to prioritise brand awareness, your goals and your marketing strategy will revolve around getting people to recognise your brand name, logo or products. You’ll need to tell people who you are, what you do and what sets you apart from everyone else. 

Acquire new customers: If acquiring new customers is your top priority, you’ll need to develop a marketing strategy that uses effective design, copy and calls to action. These need to grab your target market, and make them want to engage with your content and learn more about your business.

Understanding your audience

It’s crucial for your marketing to reach the right people with the right message. As you’re developing a marketing strategy, take time to think about who your ideal audience is or who you’d want your audience to be.

Here are a few questions you might ask yourself as you’re deciding which audience to target with your marketing:

  • What are you offering your potential customers?
  • What makes you unique?
  • Why would a customer choose you over your competitors?

Market research

According to a study by CB Insights, 35% of startups fail because of lack of demand in the marketplace. There are many reasons why a startup may find it difficult to find its place in the market. Perhaps your business idea is too similar to existing businesses or maybe your customer base isn’t large enough to build and scale your startup. 

To give your startup the best chance of success, take some time to thoroughly research other products on the market and gauge interest from your potential customers. 

If you discover there’s a gap in the market and there’s enough demand for your product, you can go ahead and launch. If you’re struggling to see demand for your product or services it might be worth rethinking your concept.

Budget

When starting your business you’ll need to set budgets and determine the best use for your funds. You may not be able to set money aside for marketing in the early days but when it comes to it, it’s important you’re prepared. 

Focus your marketing budget on the channels that work best for you and don’t be afraid to make changes along the way. If something isn’t working as well as you’d hope, it’s worth switching things up; as your startup grows, you can start allocating more money towards your marketing.

If you’re new to the game when it comes to developing a marketing budget, check out our article on how to set a budget, and manage and set your expenses.

2. Determine which channels you’ll use

You should utilise channels that you know will work best for you. There’s no point in investing time and money into resources that you know won’t pay off. If you’re not sure what you should use, here are the top four options most businesses use.

A company website

Consider your website as the hub of your startup. A website is usually where the customer learns more about your business or product and where they decide if they’ll invest in your product. A website can help you showcase your products and services, share customer feedback, deliver your brand’s mission statement and much more.

According to ThemeIsle, 84% of consumers believe that having a website makes a business more credible than just a social media page. Potential customers are far more likely to trust a business if it has a well-designed website.

Websites are one of the top-used marketing tools that work around the clock to help you communicate with your customers and grow your business.

Alternatively, if you’re not ready or don’t have the budget for a full website, consider building a landing page. Landing pages are a great way to collect email addresses, sell your services or products or provide people with a quick overview of your business and what you offer.

Email

According to OptinMonster, 80% of small and medium-size businesses say that email marketing is their most important online tool for customer retention. 

Email marketing ensures that your startup always stays connected with your customer base. Not only that, email marketing is affordable and it’s a lot easier to measure your results. According to Hubspot, 91% of consumers use emails, so it’s no wonder email marketing is a great marketing tool.

Using email marketing will provide a direct link to your customer base. You can even segment your audience based on preferences which will allow you to target your audience better.

Social media 

Social media is often a go to for most businesses. It’s easily accessible and free to use, so unsurprisingly, it’s a popular choice amongst founders that are just starting out. 

Whether you’re creating and scheduling posts across various channels, posting directly or creating ads, social media can help you communicate with your existing customer base quickly and easily. It can also help you reach new customers and encourage people to check out your products or services.

Content marketing

Content marketing focuses on creating content in different formats such as blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts and infographics. You should create content that provides value to ensure your audience is engaged and gaining value from your content.

A great way of maximising your content’s potential is repurposing your existing content across various channels. You could turn your blog posts into carousel posts that display the top tips from the blog or even create a reel. The possibilities are endless and it’ll help you build your content list. 

3. Measuring success of your campaigns

As a startup, chances are you’ll have limited funds and resources for your marketing strategy, so it’s important to make every effort count. Here’s how you can measure the success of your marketing efforts.

KPIs

KPIs or key performance indicators are metrics used to track the progress you’ve made toward your marketing and business goals. Your KPIs will change depending on what you want to achieve and the goals you’ve set for your business.

If you want to raise brand awareness, choose KPIs like website traffic, social shares and new contacts to measure growth in your audience. If your goal is to build your customer base and increase sales, measure your KPIs against daily or monthly sales and conversion rates.

If you’re still a little unsure on how to set KPIs for your business, check out this article, How to set KPIs when you’re building a startup to learn more

Test your ideas and learn what works for your audience

Listening to your audience and their feedback is key to a successful marketing strategy. You should make adjustments accordingly. With each marketing campaign you create, you learn more about your audience, how they operate and what excites them. 

Although many of your marketing efforts will be trial and error, you can test your email strategy with the use of A/B and multiverse testing. These methods are also referred to as split tests. Essentially, you’ll develop different variants of similar content to determine which works best with your audience. Just another reason why we love email marketing at The Pitch!


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Author
Karina Kundzina
Karina is the Content and Marketing Assistant at Inkwell, the company behind The Pitch.

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