How Good Is your Start-up’s Marketing Plan?

Are you unknowingly committing some of the more common marketing mistakes often made by small business owners? As a budding entrepreneur you may be defined by your energy, enthusiasm, expertise and passion for your start-up business idea. But is your marketing strategy (or lack of one) affecting the growth of your start-up business?

 To help guide you in marketing your product or service, here are 6 questions to consider:


1. Do you know who your customers are? You have created a stellar product or service, but how well have you researched your target market? Do you know who your prospective buyers are, and where to find them? Conducting proper research will help you best identify your target market and guide you in the best marketing methods to attract their attention to your business product or service.


2. Have you a proper marketing plan in place? Dedicating time and effort to draw up a well-thought out and focused marketing plan offers long-term value. Knowing how you will be promoting your business’s products or services is essential for building a start-up enterprise. All the various marketing campaigns – social media, web ads, print media, radio advertising, and sales promotions – should form part of a cohesive marketing strategy. No matter how excellently designed your PPC or Banner ad is, they need to be aligned with your advertising plan.


3. Have you used professionals to market your product? The guarantee of using a professional copywriter or web design business will protect your brand and worth the extra cost. Relying on inexperienced hands may prove to be more expensive if costly mistakes are made, such as not having your website indexed accurately for search engines. The best service providers will strive to promote your product or service in the best way possible.


4. Do you see marketing as a core business activity? Seeing advertising as just another expense is a major mistake small business owners make. Making use of inappropriate marketing strategies and using inexperienced service providers is another. A well-thought out plan together with a proper advertising budget will contribute to a higher success rate of your marketing efforts. Be specific in the details of your plan.

Drew Williams, who co-author the book, Feed the Start-up Beast provides the following guideline when drawing up a marketing budget: aim for 10 to 20 percent of your targeted gross revenue. This percentage can drop as your business becomes more established.

Small business owners can also take advantage of the various free or cost-effective marketing tactics available. One such method that should not be discounted is the importance of good customer service. These can include:

  •          client or customer referrals
  •          ensuring great customer satisfaction
  •          free business listings in local directories
  •          offer a free, no obligation demonstration or consultation
  •          social media platforms
  •          place high quality content on your website

5. Have you put measurement systems in place? An effective way to improving your marketing efforts is by measuring them. Without this vital source of information on your current performance, you will not know where the weak links are in your chain of marketing strategies, or where your strength lies so that you can continue those activities. Examples of marketing measurement systems are:

  •          Google analytics
  •          customer feedback or engagement
  •          email and social media tracking systems

6. Have you used your competition? It will be worth your while to study what the competition is doing to attract customers. Build on their weaknesses and deliver at a higher level.

Don’t miss out on seeing your start-up business grow. By handling your marketing strategy effectively and asking a few key questions, you can embrace the opportunities of improving your profit line and growing your business.

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