Marketing musts for start-ups

We’ve been working with some fabulous start-ups in the past month, Engine and Nspire Kids, which has motivated an article on the marketing must-haves before pushing the go-live button.

I’ve found two common truths when working with start-ups:

Truth 1 – Business owners starting up have a rare, explosive passion and drive

Truth 2 – Business owners starting up are usually utterly overwhelmed with how to identify and prioritise their marketing needs

Truth 1 is a beautiful driver while truth 2 can cause sleepless nights so let’s look at what’s essential from a marketing perspective to help alleviate potential stress.

Logo – This is something you need to carefully consider as it’s the visual representation of your business. It represents your brand and your values. This sets the tone and design for all your other marketing so it’s very important. It’s easy enough to get a $100 logo created offshore but what you don’t get is any thought or strategy behind the use of colour, competitor logo analysis etc. While you shouldn’t be paying thousands of dollars, make sure you work with an experienced designer or agency.

Website – A must-have for most businesses. This is where your customers come to find out about you! Again there are so many options for finding a website designer and developer.  While there are many cheap options available there are just as many pitfalls with taking this avenue. Specifically you could end up with a site full of bugs and vulnerable to hacking and when you try to contact the developer you get no response. Most developers require a deposit up front so do your research and document your expectations. Again this is an extension of your brand from both a visual and usability viewpoint so it’s essential it effectively reflect your business.

Business templates – Depending on your business, it’s likely you’ll need to create some templates to use once your business is up and running.  These could include quotes, proposals, briefs and PowerPoint templates.

A marketing strategy & plan –Let’s first define the difference between the strategy and the plan.  The plan is a cohesive document that identifies and documents facts about your business and the market you’re operating in.  The strategy is the marketing approach you will take to achieve your business objectives.  This is often not prioritised as it takes time with perceived questionable value. But there is significant value in both the plan and strategy.  It provides a roadmap for your business that clearly sets out your business objectives and the marketing initiatives you’ll use to assist in achieving these. It’s intended to be a fluid document but sets a marketing budget and scheduled activity to ensure you’re both regularly and cohesively communicating with your customers and there are no financial surprises.

Social media page/s – Social media is a simple and effective platform for building a customer base to regularly communicate with.  Most business will need a little guidance in terms of developing a simple strategy including content and frequency, as well as how to build a following.

Business copy – This is often overlooked yet it’s absolutely crucial.  You need to have succinct copy that explains the core proposition of your business, what you do, the customer benefits and your competitive advantage.  This will be used across all your communications with your customers.  Having a cohesive story about your business will create a clear message and identity.

Once you’ve got the basics in place, the sky‘s the limit for where you can go with your marketing material. There’s brochures, flyers, sales packs, videos, the list goes on and all your marketing material needs to have the same look and feel, telling the same brilliant story about your business.

To find out about our start-up services and packages drop us a line