What You Can Learn About Marketing From Startup Companies

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Everyone loves a good startup story. Like the woman down the street who came from nothing but was able to turn her passion for baking into a successful business. Startup stories like these give the rest of us hope and inspiration that the same can happen in our own lives. They also remind us that everyone needs to start somewhere and that we all have the power to help. By supporting the business and buying its products and services, you’re directly benefiting sales and allowing the company to grow.

But there is another aspect to startup businesses that you can’t ignore. Startup companies are fresh, exciting and innovative! They have fierce competition in terms of small and large businesses, so they can’t skim by on mediocre marketing campaigns. No, they must think outside the box and deliver new products, new ideas and new marketing approaches that haven’t been seen before. This approach is what makes some startups immediately successful, demanding attention and capturing an audience.

Why the Startup Mentality Matters to You

So why do startup businesses matter to you? By adopting a startup-style marketing approach, you can create buzz for your business that warrants attention from old and new customers. This mentality will give you motivation for trying new things, exploring territory outside of your comfort zone and finding a niche within your industry. The rewards are plentiful. Not only are you looking at increased sales, visibility and ROI, but also you can also gain the competitive edge.

The startup-style marketing approach works for businesses that are new or well-established. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, what marketing techniques you’ve used in the past and how many people are employed, this new way of thinking will work when applied correctly. Let’s take a look at how you can be fresh, creative and engaging just like new startups have to be.

Be Approachable

One thing that many companies lose over time is their approachability. But it’s important to remember that customers aren’t just investing in your product or service, they’re investing in your brand too. Unless you are in your own lane, you have competition that your customers can go to at any time. Your approachability can prevent this from happening, so don’t let this go.

How can you be approachable? Relate to your customers. Let them know that they are investing in a company that employs genuine, hard-working people that care about the environment, community, etc. Give customers multiple ways to get in touch with you and ask them to share their feedback and experiences. Be available, easy to talk to, and grateful for the loyalty.

Be Engaging

 

You can appear approachable, but if you’re not there for your customers, they’ll learn quickly that it’s all an act. Startup companies are quick to be on social media and engage with their audience because they need to grow their customer base. You should do the same. Don’t take your customers for granted just because you have a lot of them. Communicate on social media by asking questions, responding to comments and requesting feedback.

Be Flexible

Over time, you realize what works and what doesn't. But you still need room to be flexible. Many businesses become too rigid in their marketing strategies because they think they know it all. Don’t fall into this trap. Things that didn’t work before could work today, and things you’ve never tried may not be so scary after all. Startups are dependent on that one thing that will click, so they’re happy to experiment with all types of techniques and approaches.

Be Risky

Part of being flexible is taking risks. Again, this is hard for many well-established businesses to do because they have carefully evaluated the effectiveness of various marketing techniques, but it’s important to step outside the comfort zone sometimes. Safe marketing approaches become redundant and expected; they rarely get anyone’s attention. Be confident that an entirely new approach could win you fame in your industry. Yes, there’s always a chance that the approach will fail, but if this happens, simply dust yourself off and try again.

Be Smart About Metrics

 

Every marketer wants to run to analytics to see how their campaign is doing, but be smart about what you’re measuring. You may want to measure quantitative data such as how many people have visited your page, but it’s more important to focus on the qualitative data instead. How much time are people spending on your website? What are your conversion rates?

Be Quick When Rolling Out Campaigns

Finally, don’t overthink your marketing campaigns too much. Not only will this halt your capability to be creative and original, but also it will take much longer to roll out campaigns. The market is fast-moving and people don’t have time to wait for your campaigns to be comfortable enough to be delivered. Stay ahead of your competition and your customers. Using templates and other streamlined practices will help you roll out campaigns faster.

Conclusion

Startup businesses don’t always get the same level of trust from experienced businesses, but hopefully this will change over time. Just because a business is long-established doesn’t make them experts on creativity, originality or excitement. In fact, their strict tried-and-true methods can put them behind in this department.

Startups have no choice but to be risky and exciting, so they often have to run with ideas that give them a good feeling, even if it’s far different from anything that’s ever been put out there. Thankfully, this approach often pays off and does an excellent job at capturing new audiences and taking startups to new territory.

The next time you plan a marketing campaign for your own business, think like a startup. How can you stand out and be different? How can you capture a fresh audience? How can you give your brand a crisp, new image that separates you from the competition? And don’t be afraid to go for it. Progressiveness is what keeps your brand current and leaves customers looking for more.

 

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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