Securing investment from either venture capitalists, angel investors, or from friends and family is a feat in itself. You have proven that your business model, product, and concept has the potential to become the next big thing, but what now?
According to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, approximately 20% of startups fail in their first year, and more than 50% fail within the first five years. There are many reasons why this is the case. It could be due to poor sales or lead generation, or lack of brand awareness and a bad market position. However, this doesn’t have to be you.
You may choose to spend the majority of the investment on upscaling your team, or further developing your solution. But, what you should also consider, is investing the funds in a marketing strategy. Here’s why:
To Get Ready to Go to Market
If you haven’t launched your brand yet, ensuring you have a marketing plan in place is the first step. Your go to market (GTM) strategy is a key part to your business’ success and will mean you don’t run the risk of wasting both valuable time and resources.
The basis of a good GTM strategy will identify:
From this you can build your marketing plan and sales strategy to create your breakthrough into the market. Having the foundations in place means that you level up your business and set yourself apart from the competition. The GTM strategy is how you bring your business to the market. It’s a roadmap that predicts your product or service’s performance based on market research, prior examples and competitive data.
So why should you have a GTM strategy? Simply put, to make sure your launch doesn’t flop. By understanding your target audience, what value you bring to the market, and what you can consistently deliver, you can place your business in front of the right people, and communicate in a way that appeals to them.
While a GTM plan isn’t fool proof, it helps you work out any issues before you launch your product. It will help you understand where you fit into a potentially saturated marketplace or if there is no product-market fit so that you can differentiate your business from your rivals to give you a competitive advantage.
To Build Credibility with Consistent Communications
Regardless of whether your business is established or just starting out, having a solid tone of voice and key messages across all your marketing channels is essential. This ensures that your audience gets a cohesive brand experience. If your communications seem disjointed and disconnected, your audience loses trust in your business and you appear less credible.
By defining your target audience, you know exactly who you are selling to. This means understanding their pain points, what’s important to them, and their decision making process. Recognising these parametres, you can communicate effectively with customers and prospects. You maximise your marketing efforts to people which will make a difference to your business.
Use words, imagery, and design to communicate your brand across your:
This accelerates you ahead of the competition and builds trust with your audience. They know what to expect from your brand. However, if you are constantly changing your look and messaging, your audience becomes confused and assumes they can’t trust you.
Getting your messaging right means you can concisely communicate the essence of what your brand provides. Your key messages represent the core of your values, what you’re about, and what your audience will benefit from by using your brand. Having key messages in place dials up your communication and can be the difference between converting your leads and seeing your competitors grow.
To Increase Brand Awareness and Drive Sales
When you have secured investment, your key focus is to grow your business. A marketing strategy that is results driven helps you show your investors that you are pushing ahead and can demonstrate direct return on investment.
When looking to solidify your business and take it to the next level, marketing should be your bread and butter. While you may have relied on referrals and word of mouth customers, that is not viable in the long run when you are growing. How will people know about your products and services, if you don’t have a presence both online and offline?
A good marketing strategy aligns with your overall business goals and every activity that you do, work towards achieving these. While you may want to do every different type of marketing under the sun, in reality, you will not be able to, unless you have a large team. Rather than spreading yourself too thinly, consider what you can do that will impact your business the most.
These may include:
When embarking on your marketing journey, it is important to have the basic foundations in place. Do you have a user-friendly website that you can send people to? Are your social media profiles optimised and clear on what your business does? Your online presence is similar to if you had a physical shop front. So, if your website and social media profiles don’t live up to your audience’s expectations, they are less likely to engage with your business.
It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Investing in a marketing strategy – regardless of whether your business is existing or just launching – means that you get in front of the right audience at the time. It also helps build your brand credibility, trust, and authority through consistently good experiences. Your marketing strategy will give your business longevity, and building your brand does not happen overnight. It is an investment for the long run that will support your business growth long into the future.