First of all, kudos to you for having the courage to start your startup venture. But building a startup company from the ground up is not an easy task. It requires a lot of determination and hard work, but above all will power.
Once you have launched your startup by developing a strong business idea, now you require a robust business model, that includes all the essential aspects of a good business to make your startup successful.
A good market strategy can help a business to achieve significant revenues. Thus it is imperative to build a strong market strategy in the beginning phase of your startup. Regardless of the level of experience and knowledge you and your team may have, you can utilize these following points to include in your market plan.
- Target Audience
No marketing plan can be built without considering who the marketing is being done for. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you identify your target audience to create a solid marketing strategy. A good marketing plan caters to the client’s needs. There are a few approaches through which you can analyze and identify your specific target audience. These approaches are Geographical, Behavioral, Demographic, and psychographic. Out of these the most effective ones are:
Geographical: This approach sets your target audience on the basis of their geographical conditions like location, weather, culture and social aspects. For example country, city, population, climate, political conditions, area region etc.
Demographic: This approach takes a more in-depth look at your target audience’s lives. For example: Age, nationality, race, religion, income, education, gender etc.
- Market Research
After finalizing your target audience to whom the marketing will be done. Now before developing a marketing plan you should analyze the actual needs and practical challenges which you will face while getting your product to the client. A market research is essential to get to know what the client really wants and how their current needs can be influenced.
Most companies try to do market research in two ways:
- Quantitative Research
- Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research: It involves getting the knowledge about the customers through the process of data collection. This data should be random information collected through various surveys and questionnaires. This data is then analyzed statistically with the help of graphs and mathematics to determine various trends and shortcomings.
Qualitative Research: This type of market research revolves around the psychology and the customer’s point of view. The information collected in this research is mostly written, verbal and non-numeric. The data in a qualitative analysis is collected through performing interviews, focus groups, sampling and feedbacks.
By analyzing the above data you can cater your product and marketing plan to fulfill the customers and to better serve them.
- Competition Analysis
The only thing that can come between you and the clients is the presence of other competitors and their similar products. The presence of competition is a challenge in any business, it is important to keep tabs on their new developments and continuously updating your own strategy in order to not lose clients and maintain growth.
There is hardly any business or company who has not got any competition in the market. No matter what your product or service is, in 99.9% of the case you will face tough competition from the competitors in the starting phases before you build a name for your brand.
The most basic tool you can use to analyze your competitors in through a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis can be the easiest and most effective method in order to get results in any field. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. In a SWOT analysis you have to list out all the aspects of the subject of analysis, there are its strengths, its weaknesses, opportunities which can be utilized and the threats it faces. After listing all the point, this can be then utilized to form an effective plan of action.
No matter how strong of a marketing plan you build or how good your business idea is, the hard truth is money a major deciding of how you will execute your ideas. Since most startups do not have a stable financial backing, it important to cater all your plans with respect to the money which will be required to execute them.
Thus having an elaborate and realistic budget is very important for the smooth functioning of the company. Make a cost effective marketing strategy which aims for the long run and ensures that the company does not run out of cash by spending too much on unnecessary marketing campaigns.
- Social Distribution Channels
With the emergence of social media as a major mode of reaching new potential customers, having a well established online social media presence is a major aspect of a good marketing plan.
After creating a fancy looking website, you should now look towards ways to bring traffic on your website, this can be done with the help of Social Media Marketing. Since every social media platform servers a different demographic of people, you must have a solid presence on each of these platforms or the ones which are the most relevant to you depending on the product which you have developed. The most famous and used social media platforms in todays age are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube.
Marketing on social media is preferred is because it is relatively cheaper and targets a larger potential customer base. It can be utilised to spread brand awareness through paid campaigns and by approaching the various influencers for promotions.
Setup a SEO and SMO team to manage these platforms regularly and effectively to attract the most amount of traffic to your website and to help ranking it among the top sites on the search engines.
6. Personal Branding
Use your social media presence to establish yourself like any other big brand. A branding perception increases the customers trust. Maintain a blog and regularly publish contents and articles which is related to the field of your startup. This will attract organic traffic and a customer base who is genuinely interested in the product.
One of the oldest ways of marketing is through the word of mouth. People tend to believe the reference of their peers. Devise a plan through which you can make your customers refer your product or website to their friends and colleagues through their own goodwill or through some attractive incentive program. This will definitely increase the amount of traffic you will get on your website.
Apart from these there are some other factors as well which effectively enhance your marketing plan such as email marketing, content marketing and brand message. But no matter how you start, as the business grows with the inflow of more money your marketing strategy needs to adapt to always be up to date.