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8 Step Guide For Startups To Weed Out ‘Maybes’ And ‘Nevers’

8 Step Guide For Startups To Weed Out ‘Maybes’ And ‘Nevers’

Being A Person With A Good Idea Is Vastly Different Than Knowing How To Lead A Brand To Greatness

While India has been seeing this increasing trajectory of entrepreneurs and new startups over the last five years, this has also immensely contributed to economic dynamism by spurring innovation and injecting competition. Enabled by strong demographics and an open commercial culture, new company registration has grown from 15,000 in the 1980s to almost 100,000 in the 2010s according to IBM Business Analytics.

Being a person with a good idea is vastly different than knowing how to lead a brand to greatness. It’s an enthralling experience to kick-start a venture, but it bubbles out if you don’t take the time to do proper research, study the marketplace and analyze the potential competition.

Today, most of the startups germinate from a simple thought, but the impediment comes in terms of subsequent outcome. The core reason being, not having long-term vision and lasting strategies to counter the hidden danger in creating a brand. Notwithstanding India’s entrepreneurial strength, around 90% of startups fail to take off within the first five years. This, however, doesn’t mean that startups have to pump in huge market spend to better connect with their audience.

The first step to draw an impactful marketing plan is to define your target market. Having a clear profile of your target customers will help you weed out the ‘maybes’ and ‘nevers’, and ensure that your marketing activities are targeted and cost-effective yet punching.

Making Technology And Big Data The Roadmap To Newer Revenue Streams

No marketing road-map is effective till the time there is an amalgamation of technology to the marketing road-map. Big Data is restructuring every aspect of the man-machine interface. The nature of marketing world, although not going completely technical and focused on data, the infusion of Big Data will certainly assist in decision making and automation can free up valuable executive time. Marketers have a plethora of tools at their disposal that facilitates true data-driven decision making. Big Data will certainly provide the vision to anticipate the subscribers’ unique needs at the right time and through the right channel, thus ensuring tailored made solutions as per the requirement of the customers.

Analyzing The Niche

Before preparing the marketing roadmap, the startups need to find and understand the niche – the precise demographic it plans to tap. Any startup today is just not a business, it’s about studying that group of individuals to understand their struggles and learn how the business can bridge the gap. Hence, it is inevitable to understand one’s own product or service type, as well as the customer base which is going to benefit the most.

Weigh Your Competition

Irrespective of the originality of the product or services, there is always competition in the market. Understanding what other people in your niche are doing, saying and how successful they are is crucial to personal branding success or your venture. The purpose of the competitive analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors within your market, strategies that will provide you with a distinct advantage, the barriers that can be developed in order to prevent competition from entering your market, and any weaknesses that can be exploited within the product development cycle.

Your Positioning Speaks For Your Brand

Ultimately, what your brand is and how it emotionally connects with the customers will rely on its competitive advantage. A tagline always defines what it intends to bring in for the customers and it has to deliver the message rightfully. Brand positioning helps product achieve a unique position that helps the product stand out from the crowd and give it a sort of exclusivity.

Positioning will often go a long way in helping to measure the real strength of the brand. It is a strategy or a plan to know where the product stands in the competition and how long it would take to reach the top. It will also help to know how the customer feels and judges the product and will help place product in such a way that it will not be affected by competition.

Building Community Of Followers/ Fans Of The Brand

Building or fostering community around business can serve many crucial functions. Having a strong community can help startups to develop the skills necessary to run the company more effectively. The community can help in finding beta testers or relevant users to assist in honing early versions or update product. Post-launch, the community can drive initial product traction by becoming early customers, using or testing the product, and by spreading the word. As the startup grows, the community can help find partners and other opportunities.

Here, social media enables to not only introduce a new brand to the public but if it’s carefully packaged it is supposed to get the audience excited about the company and products. It’s a powerful and effective way to create a unique experience that will get the audience engaged and share products or services with the rest of the world. Whether it’s a beauty brand selling makeup products, or a florist selling get well soon hampers, they can all use their unique brand vision and coin a story that’s going to attract clients and get them excited. This can boost popularity in a matter of days or even hours, which is a huge benefit for small startups who are on a tight budget and need to boost their status as soon as possible.

The growth of social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, forums, and blogs help startups or small business to look into specific platforms where they feel their potential customers visit the most. Thi, in turn, helps companies to map their customers with regard to their spending trends, be it time or money and accordingly prepare a content strategy and execute the same on the respective platforms.

Zoom In On The Needs Of Your Target Audience

Marketing tools help get a better understanding of what impacts the audience and what they actually need. It’s not just about forcing brand onto the audience and advertising product or service. Social media actually enables to understand what audience needs. It’s about providing them with the right information and solution to their problems. And by carefully monitoring analytics helps to exactly define what target customer might need from a brand.

Aiding From The Mobile Revolution

Mobile phone penetration in India is set to rise to 85-90% by 2020 from the current levels of 65-75%, according to a report issued by Omidyar Network

India’s mobile phone subscriber base has reached the one billion users’ mark currently, according to data released recently by the Telecom Tegulatory Authority of India (TRAI), country’s telecom regulator. India currently has a smartphone use base of over 300 million. AI and data analytics-driven marketing can be a useful ally for businesses. Platforms built on voice recognition and natural language understanding (NLU)/chat language understanding (CLU) can be used to identify the subscribers’ preferences by the utilization of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Content Is King

Develop valuable content, an attractive story and start building an audience. This millennium is all about quick and efficient communication, and selling and advertising on social media is an important part of any business strategy. In today’s digital world, content is inevitable be it in any kind- Video, Pictures, Blog. Content gives a window to connect with the like minded people and gradually build a community which works as a chain to spread the words.

Structuring a content and engaging audience basis the content can help build the trust for the brand and position the founder as a thought leader in the industry. Linking the content page to the website enables more people visiting the website and resulting in more traffic.

Getting your startup noticed is one thing, but it’s not the end of the story. Once the traffic is there, one then needs to convert it into paying customers who will help the business to grow and thrive. This is the true value of inbound marketing, since it gives the perfect opportunity to showcase what the startup has to offer. To start getting those conversions, an entrepreneur needs to encourage visitors to interact with the site. This could include getting potential customers subscribed to a mailing list, filling out forms, or adding blogs to their RSS feed.

Author

Amit Munjal

Community

Amit Munjal is the Co-founder & CEO of Doctor Insta and has been at helm of affairs since its inception. With an experience of more than a decade as CFO, Amit spearheaded Investments/Divestments at $120 Bn Division of CitiBank, USA, Ex-Senior Vice President at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, with prior stints at Deloitte Consulting (Clients: Yahoo, Google, Expedia.com etc.) and Johnson Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation & Kauffman Foundation.

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