Creating a sustainable business
So you have the next big thing?
Having belief in your new product is a killer benefit when selling; your passion makes it that much easier to convince others of its worth. But how do you generate initial interest that will translate into a sustainable business? The reality is that the success of your startup will be attributed to the number of people who know about it and just 25% make it from launch to sustainable business.
Hoping word will travel fast about your great product just won’t cut it. Creating a sustainable business (no matter how good the product is) demands planning and consistency, that’s what will elevate you to become a market player to be reckoned with.
Whether you’re a startup, or trying to grow an established business, your first decision is whether to outsource your marketing, or do it yourself.
The obvious benefit of planning and executing your own marketing activity is cost. For a tight budget, it’s absolutely possible to market yourself using the tools and tactics mentioned further on.
I also recognise though, that there can be a hesitance to ‘hire help’. It may be a lack of trust in the unknown, will money be well-spent? Or there may be the intention to manage marketing yourself. If this is the case, get a grasp of just how much you can achieve as the business owner. Remember that consistency is the key to yield results. Lack of time and expertise will obstruct your ability to be consistent.
Hiring marketing experts brings two key advantages. Firstly, the required comprehension to put together a complex marketing strategy, using the right mix of online and offline tactics that will find your customers.
Having the strategy nailed is only part of the story, your marketing pro will then implement that plan at a speed dictated by you and your budget. Whatever that is, it’ll be consistent.
No matter what’s right for you, here are five fundamental marketing activities your startup must consider:
Branding is the very foundation of your marketing efforts. Get it right and you can expect customers to buy more, pay more, and stay loyal.
The role of your brand is two-fold. It’s the visual appearance of your logo and communications, consistency of which will aid recognition. It takes most of us around six or more times of seeing a brand before it even registers.
It is more than this, though. Your brand is effectively the business’ personality — your actions and communications will evoke a reaction in the consumer’s mind when they see your brand. Good or bad. You can’t afford to get this wrong. Find out more in our article: What is branding and why is it important?
2. Understand your audience
Without this, you’ll be fumbling in the dark. Establishing typical customer profiles will direct what you say and where you say it. You’ll need to uncover your prospect’s challenges/worries to lead messaging. Then get to know the audience to determine where you should focus comms.
If you don’t have a website, the likelihood is that digital savvy customers will take their business elsewhere. As well as providing a place for consumers to conduct research about you and your products, there are many other benefits to having a website.
If you sell physical products, having an e-commerce website allows you to take orders 24/7. Suddenly, your audience is much bigger than your immediate vicinity.
It’s also a place for you to have a voice, in the form of a company blog. This is another great way to get your messages out to a wider audience. Linking the website, products and services, and your blog to social media pages and posts will widen that even further.
There are a couple of ways you can get your website up and running. A quick and cost-effective solution is to use a template site where you can simply add your logo, colours and info. Alternatively you can create a unique website that is true to your brand and its offering by having a bespoke one built. The pros and cons of each can be found in our blog: Template vs bespoke website: which is best?
4. Digital marketing
Unfortunately, a website alone won’t draw that coveted audience. It’s the place that having found you online, consumers can land on to find out more. Being found online is an ongoing process, using many digital channels to connect with current and prospective clients. Your website will be at the centre of this.
We explained the basics of digital marketing in our recent article: What is digital marketing?, together with a summary of the most common digital marketing activities.
5. Graphic design
Whether you’re communicating digitally or in print, you’ll need great design to bring those comms to life. Remember that different people prefer different methods of communication. While one person may prefer to sit and quietly read your blog, another may prefer to see the highlights in an infographic. Don’t waste the potential of each piece of communication you painstakingly create, use it and share it in as many different ways as possible to reach its maximum potential.
When creating your marketing assets (and this applies to design and content), refer back to your brand regularly; does what you’re saying in your graphics and words fit with your values, tone of voice and agreed visual appearance? I come back to my earlier point about consistency: it’s the key to yield results and it’s magnified here. You need your visual comms to be obviously yours, so over time your audience easily recognise your communications, helping you to build brand trust and loyalty.
How WONDROUS can help?
As a multi communication marketing agency, we can help with your branding, design and marketing needs. We regularly run workshops to help generate ideas and establish marketing and content strategies, which we’ll also help you to implement. Give us a call to find out how we can help you create a sustainable business and become a key market player.