After getting a start up off the ground there may be little money left for marketing. Considering that an initial marketing strategy does not usually work out as planned, there is even more risk in spending precious dollars. Small business start up consulting experts have some recommendations on how to promote a start up without spending too much time or money on a comprehensive marketing strategy.
The popular “lean start up” concept advocates experimentation over planning. This serves as a useful approach when trying to develop an efficient marketing strategy. To apply it, begin by developing several marketing ideas and testing them in the marketplace. Break the marketing budget into small chunks, opting for two-week marketing tests on social media networks rather than six-month campaigns. Develop several different social media ads featuring different images and measure which drive the most traffic to the website and which increase conversion rate.
When an experiment proves unsuccessful, do not be discouraged. Even well-planned, comprehensive marketing strategies fail. Accept defeat, identify other channels such as pay-per-click advertising on search engines, and conduct new, short-term experiments. Or, post the ads and a related survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace. Provide a small amount of compensation in exchange for survey completion and tweak the ads based on the feedback.
Traditionally, marketing has involved one-way communication but start ups can use customer feedback to improve their marketing efforts. Initial advertising will result in customers who represent an excellent focus group. Find out what made them click an ad to make a purchase. Ask what would have made them make a purchase sooner. Learn why the advertising messages were effective with these consumers and do more of what worked.
Start up business owners must always be on their toes. They are often required to shift gears without any advanced notice. After gathering feedback from focus groups and customers, use this information to make incremental improvements to products or services. If customers respond in a more positive way to certain images, use more of these in advertising and test their effectiveness.
Firms that specialize in small business start up consulting can help with these and other efforts. Illumination Consulting is considered an expert in the skin care industry but our professionals are qualified to assist start ups in any industry. Learn more about the different ways we can help with everything from planning and strategizing to developing momentum for your start up.