Marketing Strategy For Technology Startups
Imagine having a groundbreaking software or technology-based solution for an issue faced by a particular market segment. The issue is costing the segment millions in inconvenience.
Additionally, it is also taking a toll on their general well-being and professional growth. Well, of course, you would want to take it to them so not only they can benefit from it with their pain points catered to but in return, you also grow as a business and start developing a niche for yourself in the.
You must be saying that this is an ideal scenario, and it is easier said than done because it’s not that easy to go up to someone and say hey I have a solution to your problem. This is exactly where marketing strategies specially for tech-based startups come into the picture given the competitive landscape of the industry itself.
You might have the most advanced and once-in-a-lifetime product of service ever made. But, if you are not able to market it to the right market segment in the right way then it’s not worth it. You need it to appeal to their needs and desires.
If you fail to do so, you will receive a loss in terms of financial impact. Also given how quickly the market evolves and how well-connected users are on social media platforms, the response might be in the form of a negative backlash.
This is why marketing is important. Therefore, in this guide, we shall cover why a comprehensive marketing strategy is imperative for your tech startup and how to develop one focused on your product-market fit.
We shall also highlight the best marketing channels that you should use to reach out to your target segment as well as who you should reach out to in terms of seeking professional help based on market-based research and insight, to drive tangible results.
What is a Marketing Strategy and Why it is important for Tech Startups?
A marketing strategy in simple words is an all-inclusive framework that is developed to drive and achieve an organization’s marketing targets and objectives. It is designed keeping in view a company’s product-market fit, insightful market research, company’s resources, its future strategic direction as well as the industry dynamic. Without a marketing strategy no matter which industry you are operating in, which market you’re targeting, or even the nature of your product, you cannot succeed or grow as an organization. After all, it is the road map for you to reach your customers, generate demand, and eventually increase sales. Especially in case you do not have a product marketing strategy for your software product, survival is difficult. This means that if you do not have the framework or the blueprint to reach out to the people to whom you want to sell your product or service, then, of course, all your other efforts, even the quality of the service you might be offering, take a back seat. Always remember that a comprehensive marketing strategy will not only start with you defining your product-market fit and customer segment but will also incorporate the use of the marketing mix as well as the different sub-campaigns that you have to run under the overall umbrella of marketing strategy.
We do understand that marketing strategies specially for tech startups can not only be very challenging to develop but also be costly at the same time due to the competitive nature of the sector as well as how quickly the technology industry evolves sometimes overnight. But these characteristics do not distract from the importance of a comprehensive marketing strategy for tech startups because after all, the right route to market towards your customer’s needs to be motivated by concrete market research as well as positive outcomes. An individually crafted marketing strategy is the need of the hour for any tech startup business for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, of course, you want the tech startup to have its direction already paved for it to effectively tap into its market segment, generate demand, and make customers. Secondly, the marketing strategy exercise will help you in reflecting that for a tech startup, traditional marketing methods such as using outdoor advertising are not suitable because today over 4.5 billion users of tech-based software and solutions have a strong online presence. Therefore, the marketing plans for your startup business would require a digital blueprint.
Find The Product-Market Fit Before Starting to Create a Marketing Campaign for Your Startup
For a startup business, the earliest achievement is discovering their product-market fit. Once you have found your product-market fit, not only will you have a direction two develop a show marketing strategy but also you would be destined for exponential growth that will be mutually beneficial to you as well as all relevant stakeholders. In simple words, product-market fit translates as the ideal scenario where your product or service and its value proposition satisfy your target market’s needs and pain points. The process of finding the right product-market fit is not as easy as it seems rather it is an ongoing process in which you must develop certain models, test them in the market, and then finally after constant improvements and inclusion of market research you’d come across a model that seems like the most appropriate match for your tech startup at the market segment. Not only will the product-market fit open avenues for you to foresee creative ways to market your business but will also help you in further developing a marketing plan for startup business.
A product-market fit is the core of your technology business’ startup marketing and in the general development of marketing ideas for startups and established businesses alike. The reason behind this is that the product-market fit as it is made of two main marketing blocks which are your value proposition and its match with your target market segment, both of which are the reason as well as the motivation behind your existence and future growth. Because after all if you have a product that is groundbreaking and has never been made before, but you do not have a target segment in the market to serve it to or push it towards then what is the product good to you for. Similarly, if you have an amazing product but its value proposition does not completely satisfy your target market, especially in comparison to your competitors, then again, you’ll find yourself at the losing end.
Therefore, you should not just directly jump to finding and executing creative ways to market your technology startup, rather you should put in all the requisite effort and more in developing your product-market fit and then building the rest of your software marketing strategy along with other marketing experiences around your product-market fit. Your product-market fit is like the foundation of a building. If it’s placed in the right direction using the right materials, thought process, and appropriateness in relevance to its location then the structure that would be constructed upon it could not only be strong and stable but will also last during the test of time. Therefore, when applying a similar concept in developing marketing campaigns for startups, especially technology-based startups you will experience that because you have laid down a strong foundation i-e product-market fit, that is concrete in terms of market research, your marketing strategies, and marketing campaigns for startups especially those relevant to technology, will also be directed in the right direction and it will ensure achievement of strategic goals and objectives.
Marketing Plan for Startup Businesses
To ensure that your startup marketing ideas are executed the way you want them to be, and they produce results that ensure tangible ROI then you must start firstly with a marketing plan for your startup business instead of directly jumping onto exciting and interesting ideas. A marketing plan streamlines your marketing efforts and activities along with ensuring that it aligns with your product-market fit and the overall marketing strategy. Let us now look at some of the major components of a marketing plan in relevance to startup businesses, especially those operating in the technology industry, and how and when you should bring professionals on board to help you with drawing up the most perfectly matched marketing plan for your business based on investigative market insights and industry dynamics.
The first and foremost step that you should do when developing your marketing plan for your startup business is that you should determine your end goal and objective. Once you have determined your goal you can then ensure that all the efforts that you will be putting into your business, especially in terms of marketing are directed towards achieving that goal and are focused instead of being all over the place. Research has proven that focused efforts that target a certain niche end of an overall objective are more effective in driving results as well as ensuring proper optimization of finances and increased customer satisfaction.
The Right Team
Now that you have an end goal and objective in mind you need the right human resource to drive it till the end in collaboration with your vision. Ensure that the team members you bring on board agree with what you want to achieve for the startup business and share the same ideology and similar work ethics. This is compulsory in ensuring right at the start of the startup journey because in case there’s a diversion business ideology it can cause rifts in the business which may damage the startup in the shorter and long run as well. But a hardworking and well-aligned team that is passionate about your objective is not enough. You need experts that are aware of the market dynamics as well as the competitive environment of the industry. Professionals who specialize in developing marketing strategies for tech-based startup businesses should be the kind of people you want to bring on board to help you develop your marketing plan in alignment with your strategic marketing goals. Industry professionals such as those with years of experience and proven results at Chasm will not only help you in identifying your competitors but will also aid in developing a product-market fit, which of course as we’ve discussed earlier, is the core of any marketing tactic, plan or even the overall strategy.
If you’re not aware of who you want to sell your product or service to or who do you want the value proposition of your offering to appeal to, then of course it makes no sense in even developing the product to be taken to market. As a critical part of the marketing plan for any tech startup, we recommend that you identify your target market right at the start of the process itself. Find a segment within the available total market whose needs will be best satisfied with what you have to offer. Develop customer personas including their demographics, psychographics, ideologies, financial limitations, etc., because the clearer and crisper the buyer persona is the easier it is for you to appeal to their needs using different marketing tactics and tools.
Market and Keyword Research
No marketing plan can just be based on intuitions and what knowledge you might have gathered from your experience in the industry. Always remember that research, especially market-focused research, is the backbone of any marketing strategy or marketing plan. Whether it comes to developing the product-market fit or looking at how effective a marketing tool might be in driving results, market-based insights are always the backbone. The same applies when you are trying to deploy marketing tools, on a digital platform based on the nature of your tech-based startup. For this most definitely you need to do thorough keyword research in terms of SEO to ensure that not only are you listed on the top when a customer is searching for a certain value-based product but also your digital marketing plan is top-notch and competitive enough to survive.
Metrics And KPIs
Ideas and plans when supported by professional market research and help might be brilliant in driving results and achieving the objectives but how can we know objectively whether your marketing plan has been able to achieve its end objective or not. Therefore, when developing your marketing plan for your tech-based startup you should also set in certain metrics and key performance indicators based on which you will judge the success of your marketing campaigns and the overall effectiveness of your marketing plan, which will of course translate into how well your product-market fit was designed to start with and then further incorporated in your overall marketing strategy. Ensure to include both quantitative and qualitative metrics into your marketing performance management system because marketing analysis has revealed over years that certain aspects of the success of marketing campaigns are psychological and therefore cannot be translated when using numbers or percentages.
Determining The Budget
Marketing ideas for startups when initially conceived might come off as very extravagant or standoffish, but once you try to place them within your budgetary constraints of course they’re toned down and mellowed to suit more appropriately. When developing your marketing plan always remember to include your budgetary constraints and how far you can stretch them. Once you have determined your budget then only can you have a clear picture of how many of the ideas and on what scale you can execute keeping in view the ROI and importance of each idea, to begin with.
Determining The Right Online Presence
For any tech startup given the nature of the industry, an online presence and choosing the right channel for that online presence is critical. Therefore, when developing your marketing plan for your startup, always ensure to direct a majority of your marketing campaigns to an online platform where your target segment is not only present but active as well. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc. all seem to offer interesting packages and advertisement options to lure you in using them as your platform of choice. But always remember that not every platform is suitable for your product or service and therefore based on market research and intelligence you need to choose the most effective channel to drive your message.
Focusing On Word of Mouth
With the advancement in marketing tools and tactics and increasing focus on digital content marketing, the importance of word of mouth still stands strong. Your target segment at the end of the day consists of humans with emotional and psychological needs. These needs incline them in believing the more human part of marketing tools. Therefore, creating a buzz with the help of influencers and asking your satisfied customers to leave reviews for you on social media platforms and discussion forums should also be made a critical pillar of your marketing strategy. This step might not be that capital intensive but the results that it produces are not only organic but as research has proven sustainable as well in the longer run.
Always remember that when it comes to marketing plans and marketing strategies, consistency is the key, not only in the terms of how well your product-market fit aligns with what you are trying to deliver with your marketing plan but also how consistency is observed across different marketing tactics and campaigns that you deploy to attract your market segment. Inconsistent messages confuse customers and sometimes result in a severe negative backlash. Therefore, when developing your marketing plan ensure that all facets are aligned on delivering a single consistent message that puts out the best of your value proposition.
Measuring The Results
Last but not least always put in a timeline and sequential setting for you to measure the results of your marketing plan based on the metrics and KPIs and of course the decided budget which you had set in the earlier steps. This is the last but critical step of the plan because this puts everything in perspective both in qualitative and quantitative terms.
What Channels Can You Use to Advertise, Promote, and Grow Your Startup?
Earlier we had talked about using different channels to advertise and promote as well as grow your startup in the long run. Let us now look at some of the available channels that you can use to achieve these objectives for your technology startup business based on its suitability for your product-market fit.
An online presence in the form of a website can prove very effective especially if the content that you put on the website is using the best SEO practices and is a part of your content-based marketing strategy.
Email marketing works great in not only acting as a reminder to nurture your leads but also in providing a sense of personalization to a prospective customer or client.
Unlike traditional marketing, community building as a marketing tool focuses on using your customers to be marketing representatives by creating a buzz of mouth or engaging in group discussions across their peer circle to broaden your customer base.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing, especially would the likes of Instagram and Twitter, has seen a growing trend in the past few years and has become a tool of choice for a lot of tech-based startups.
Paid marketing channels such as the use of Google ads, Facebook ads, and even LinkedIn in cases have shown promising results and helped in collecting customer insights along the way.
In recent times PR campaigns have come out as one of the most effective tools to be used as a part of your marketing plan. This is major since PR campaigns are not focused on selling a product or service but rather on increasing awareness about the product and ensuring that its reputation is upheld.
9 Startup Marketing Strategies to Boost your Startup QUICKLY
Let us now look at some marketing strategies that will help you take your starter towards the growth trajectory in no time.
- Introduce your product with the beta version.
- Participate in trade shows that are relevant to your product.
- Introduce a referral program for your product or service.
- Try converting the users of your competitor’s product.
- Work in partnership with the complementing brand or product.
- Hold contests that require customer interaction and inputs.
- Try to get featured in the press and famous news outlets (positively of course)
- Offer personal branding to your first thousand customers.
- Go viral with an interesting video that delivers your value proposition.
Which Is the Best Strategy to Focus on When Starting a Startup Business?
When entering the market, a startup business has a multitude of options available to choose from as its preferred mode of strategy. You might think that there must be one perfect answer or choice to use for a tech startup business, that is not the case. You can choose to collaborate or even compete with your competitors, enter a new segment or try to take away customers from your competitor’s segment but what you must realize as a tech startup enthusiast or business owner is that no one strategy is a fit for all and the best way to go about in choosing the best strategy for your startup business is to use a combination of different tactics that are well aligned and appropriate for your business goal, strategic direction and as well as suitable to your budgetary constraints.
What is the Best Way to Quickly Scale a Startup?
One of the few thoughts that come into the mind of startup owners, especially technology-based startup owners, is which tools and tactics we can use to quickly grow and scale their startup. Engaging investors and having a free hand in terms of finances might seem to be the answer but research has proven otherwise. No matter the number of finances or investments you were able to secure especially from funding rounds, experts and industry top heads always recommend taking the help of marketing professionals, especially those working in the tech startup ecosystem to not only guide you towards the right strategic direction but also help you in scaling your startup. As a startup business owner, you must realize that despite you being the brainchild of a wonderful idea, product, or service you are under constraints and therefore you need individuals from the industry such as those at Chasm, who have not only built but scaled startups to heights that you aspire. Therefore, never hesitate to bring professionals on to your team and make the use of their expertise and insights to grow in this competitive environment.
For any start-up specifically, those operating in the technology industry, the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy that is well-aligned with the overall strategic goal of the organization and its product-market fit is essential to its success and sustained growth. As a startup business owner always remember that no one marketing strategy or plan is suitable to startup businesses, as each business has its dynamics and objectives. Therefore, with an open mind try to develop a comprehensive tailor-made marketing strategy for your tech-based startup by bringing marketing strategists on board who will not only help you in making the plan but will also ensure that it is executed to drive tangible results.