How to put together a good marketing plan for start ups
– Tarunjeet Rattan, Founder, Nucleus PR
When you enter the world of ‘start ups’ you are either about to step into the making of a dream production or a dream life. It’s your call. However both of them require certain common and certain defining elements for it to be a success. But what is that one BIG factor that will single handedly make it an overnight success? What’s that I hear? Good marketing? Hoo boy! So not true. Agreed, that a good marketing plan can drive a start up towards success and rapid growth or completely decimate it. But how do you cull out a good marketing plan for your start up? What you say, how you say it and when you say it can make all the difference between failure and success. What are the elements that need to be defined to make a good and smart marketing plan that will propel your startup towards success? Budget? Reach? Medium? Soooo… not true. Yes, it is a contributing factor but not the core of your plan. Here are the five elements that you need to define to define the core of your marketing plan.
Idea: What’s the idea of the startup? Is it filling a unique need gap or are you just a different version to an existing idea? What is the USP of the venture? How relevant is it in this day and age and for how long? Good sustainable startups that will last and become legendary brands are those that fill a unique market need gap and solve a pressing issue with a kick ass idea. Today. And yet has the potential to expand and adapt to changing times.
Execution: Having an idea is great but unless it is planned and executed well there is not much it can do towards the contribution of your success. The market is abound with ‘good’ ideas that flop and ‘borrowed’ ideas that are super successful. The key being the execution of the idea.
Team: So you have a great idea and a good plan towards seamless execution to it as well. But how do you do it? As entrepreneurs we all seem to assume that we have some hidden super powers and burn the midnight oil…and ourselves with it … to get things done. This is a fact based on the assumption that ‘If it has to be done…then I have to do it myself.’ Not only is this time consuming but also inefficient. If you are trudging along with an oxygen mask by the time you launch the idea because of the time or the effort it took you to launch it… you are going to end up spending all that monetary success in your hospital bills. Having a good team in your start up is crucial to the success of your venture.
Intention: This will differentiate your start up from being just a dream production or a dream life. What drove you to start the venture? What is the motivation and intention of it? Once you gain clarity on this it will define your company and will influence every decision that you take for the company. Once the intention is defined it will always be the driving force for the growth of your company. And no, this is not something you can push off to deal with later. If you want your company to succeed then define this and put it into words as quickly as possible.
Commitment: Another important factor to the differentiation mix. Your commitment to your idea will define its success. Are you in it for the short term or longer? Whatever it is…define it and stick to it. This will again influence a lot of your decisions for your start up.
Bandwidth: Can you handle the attention marketing will get you? Do you have the bandwidth to quickly move to full capacity and more? This often becomes the key to initial success. The first series of customer experience is crucial to the very credible and essential word-of-mouth recommendation routine. If this is amazing then you are on your way to success else it has a cataclysmic domino effect on the whole marketing efforts which is very difficult to come back from. Once a customer moves on from your service or product s/he has lots of other options to choose from. Before you start any kind of marketing efforts ensure that you have the capability to handle more. Think of a number that you can handle and double it. Do a dry run before dipping your toes into marketing.
Only after you have defined all the above do you come to marketing. Yes, this will also be a huge differentiation factor that will set you apart from the rest. A smart marketing plan will have you be the talk-of-the-town in no time. You can either choose to create a huge buzz about nothing with a huge budget or use it to connect with your potential and existing customers and inculcate strong brand loyalty. It is the core of your marketing plan that will define this leading to failure or life-long success. The above six factors are crucial to it. It will make all the difference between your customer scratching their heads trying to recall and figure out what you offer to rooting for your success and become vested in it. Once that is set the marketing decisions compliment, refine and magnify the same and are driven by these parameters. Medium, budget, methodology are all defined by it. Remember, a marketing plan will amplify your core values and messaging so make sure that the core of it is in place.
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