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Marketing Intelligence, The Science Of Decision Making For Startups

Marketing Intelligence, The Science Of Decision Making For Startups

Quite a few reports are unanimous on the startup failure rate being 90% in the first 5 years

In order to stay relevant, startups need to maintain financial health and innovate

A lot of energy, money, research and caffeine goes into branding but a wrong positioning can kill a good one badly

Marketing is among the topmost requisites for a revenue yielding startup even if it is in its elementary stage. Among the different buckets to fill, PR and Marketing is one which has to be inclusive in the business model. It is highly important that it is part of the operating cost from day one. And if that is decided upon, we need to ensure that each rupee spent is the right investment. Marketing Intelligence is our Oracle but backed with science.

I recently was reached out by a startup founder based out of Uttarakhand with a rather brilliant business model which mainly empowers the local folk and generates employment. The founder himself is an example of a reverse brain drain who’d quit his job for the cause and the opportunity cost. He’s worked hard, sorted out the elements of manufacturing, logistics, channels with Amazon and Flipkart, manpower, initial finance and has even run a successful pilot. He has considered everything except ‘Marketing’ which was supposed to enter later after taking a cut from the profits. My founder friend is fighting this vicious circle currently.

Another startup founder was recently saved from making the wrong decision of heavy investment in a travel and realty based business model. The assumptions made were biased and easily countered by running a few Marketing Intelligence tests.

Quite a few reports are unanimous on the startup failure rate being 90% in the first 5 years. We do not want the startups to be perishable. The efforts, the passion and the grit should yield a long-lasting life. But, we know the reality of this space. There is a handful that is acquired or merged and even rarely go public and enter an IPO or become a unicorn.

Put candidly, in order to stay relevant, maintain financial health and innovate, one needs to incorporate marketing intelligence into the business strategy. To stimulate and create demand among the right target audience is a full-time job. As a startup founder, you may not be a perfect ten in marketing, yet you can make the right decisions. Marketing Intelligence enables the founders to disrupt, dominate, and even lead a market. Through the internet, it collects, assesses and brings insights using millions of signals floating across every day.

With the input of Marketing Intelligence founders can analyse customer data to make predictions about buying behavior and the business forecasts. They can create the aptest narrative by comprehending the success rates of different brand campaigns and communication. These insights present a scientific and fool-proof decision making when applied to marketing strategies and tactics.

Foolproof Branding

A lot of energy, money, research and caffeine goes into branding but a wrong positioning can kill a good one badly. Many brands lost their purpose by taking decisions which were based on intuition and not backed by insights. In the marketing beehive of 2020 – 21, we will begin to hear many buzz words such as Social Listening, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Mining and others. Truth is, they provide startups with an accurate understanding of the customer requirements and their minutest characteristics.

Carrying out a machine-led approach reduces the human scope of error which could be a bias, misinformation or even ignorance. By investing in the tools of marketing Intelligence, the marketers can continuously review their latest conversion campaigns and promotions, even when they’re live. Pragmatically the founders can statistically gauge customer perception about the brand and reputation management.

Get Swept By A Serendipity

Apple is synonymous for innovation and R&D. It is this aspiration of being the one who ‘Thinks Different’ that clicks with the brand’s loyalists. Yet, if Apple’s product experiments fail it is alright because they can afford it. A startup thriving on an investor’s funding has to take pragmatic business decisions.

Strategic decisions such as competitors’ messaging, positioning, brand elements, pricing, new market entry and packaging is based on several factors that may vary as per different markets. MI answers those sensibilities and allows us to change beforehand.

The marketers in the startup can also spot competition trends quickly and find the volume of attention metrics to gauge the channels in which it is promoting the brand. We can even understand the latest developments of the competitor by simply running an analysis on its HR postings. This also suggests where the industry is turning.

Keep The Budget Issues At Bay

Larger organisations comprise an expert strategy team for all marketing solutions. But to the startups, it is a Catch 22 situation to make that investment. Plus, as a founder, your core area may not be Marketing. Once the trends are known by running an analysis, we can choose from the avenues of Programmatic Advertising to reach the customer directly on the platform she or he consumes.

India’s had a lot of young Tech stalwarts who have created unicorns as large as Zomato, Paytm, Ola, Flipkart among others. Their growth has been highly accelerated in consumer and market adoption. How did they ensure to take all the important decisions right? To the startups of today, an investment in the tools of Marketing Intelligence gives startups an edge to capitalize at the right places at the right time.

Prepare For The Future

There are over 40 Mn Indians who use laptops and desktops, but a massive majority of 400 million uses only the smartphone. With the repercussion of the lockdown, this growth has been exponential in the non-metro cities. This is a new market for most of the new class of marketers.

Covid 19’s impact on SaaS companies has led them to revamp and become mobile-first to stay relevant to the times. As more and more customer’s find their online habitat it is all the more important for startups to give their services and products a digital alignment. A radical emphasis on implementing Marketing Intelligence will give our startups a boost to become the flag-bearer of innovation.

Among the thousands, we have had only 5 unicorns this year, RazorPay, Unacademy, Postman, Nykaa and Pine Labs. All five are in a space that is highly progressive and massively relevant; they use technology as their core and connect with their stakeholders with the strongest messaging. With Marketing Intelligence backed by the Digital, we know, for sure, where the TG is heading and hope that the number of unicorns keeps doubling in the years to come. That is the virtue a leader has to be consistent in – ‘taking the right decisions all the time’.

Note: The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views held by Inc42, its creators or employees. Inc42 is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by guest bloggers.