Tips for companies approaching marketing for the first time, and a good reminder for MNCs as well!

When founders launch their new company they are usually full of enthusiasm and expectations. Often the very first thing they want to do is to start promoting their business and start seeing it grow. However, they might forget some critical steps…

1) Start from the basics: get your strategy right.
This is where branding plays a crucial role. Not as marketing or as a logo, but as business strategy. Like any company, to succeed you need to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve as a business, know what your value proposition is, what your strengths are, what you stand for, and what differentiates you from the competitors.

Importantly, you need to be able to articulate it clearly.

Your (future) employees must be able to understand and embrace your company strategy, so that they can deliver it accordingly. And your target audience must be exposed to the same clear brand at any touch point: from your company brochure to the experience with your sales guys, from your website to the product or service that you offer.

Without a clear brand strategy, there will never be clear marketing tactics.

2) Understand your target audience
“Buyer personas” might just sound like buzz words but they are not. Some companies are extremely diligent with their personas, giving them names, personalities, etc…, others don’t even believe in creating one. But whatever your position is, you need to know who you are targeting. How can you create a successful marketing campaign if you don’t know who your customers are, what problems they are faced with, and what goals they want to achieve?

Check out this great article from Hubspot for some useful insights on buyer personas How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business

3) Create an appropriate look for your company and stick to it
Would you ever drink from a can of soda that seems it was made in the basement of someone’s house? Would you trust its content? Its source? Probably not. And guess what? The same way you wouldn’t open an email from an unknown shabby looking company, your potential clients won’t either. So, once you have done your diligent work with your brand strategy, once you can clearly articulate what your brand is and what it stands for, once you know your target audience, take the time to invest in a professional look. It doesn’t matter if you are B2C or B2B, and you don’t even have to invest billions on it as there are many free/extremely affordable solutions online. All you need is someone that understands your brand and can create a reputable look and feel for it.

Then, once you have your look and feel, stick to it! Nothing can affect the credibility of your brand like inconsistency.

4) Give your audience something useful, or funny
Content marketing has proved to be more effective yet cheaper than traditional marketing. However, the quality of what you share is critical. Too may times you see “free” webinars or whitepapers that are just company advertising. Not to mention those catchy titles for articles that then turn up to be just a re-hash of already well-known information. If you are going to create an informative type of content, make sure that you don’t waste your audience’s time by sharing irrelevant or already largely available information; your piece must add value to your audience.

And while some updates about your company might be relevant and indeed useful to share, a company that mostly focuses on itself won’t gain much traction with its target audience.

On the other hand, providing material that can be useful, interesting, and engaging will ensure that people read it and will create a positive image about your brand. And even if you are in B2B, sometimes a good laugh goes a long way, so don’t be shy and do share funny stories, but always in an appropriate and non-offensive way.

5) Stop the social media frenzy (and start paying)
Don’t get me wrong, social media is a crucial marketing tool and should be included in any marketing plan. However, nowadays many companies invest a lot of energies in social media for very little returns, why? Working with different companies I found 5 main reasons:

  1. Trying to be anywhere, anyway, anyhow.
  2. Same message everywhere, but inconsistent brand
  3. Only playing for free
  4. Forgetting the call to action!
  5. Underestimating social media

To find out more about this you can read my previous article: Stop the Social Media Frenzy and start paying

Once you have these steps clear in your mind you are ready for action! Get your brand right, engage the right stakeholders, define your audience, create your style and start planning your marketing. Remember, you will need a clear marketing plan, with objectives, accountability, and timelines. In marketing, you simply can’t play things by ear. But more on this on one of my next articles….

If you are launching your new company and need help with branding, website, and digital marketing strategy, I’ll be happy to help you.

And even if you are an established company but struggling to create a strong brand don’t hesitate to contact me.

Checkout 5 marketing must-dos for startups infographic

5 must infographic

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