Monthly Archives: January 2018

6 Creative Strategies to Market Your Start-Up

Most start-ups don’t get easy funding. Many simply use their own savings, ask others or look for free information to help their business. The good news is you can still manage financing your ideas, but marketing it is something you won’t have much budget left for; don’t worry much. Even with the limited funds, you can share your vision with the world. Start-up Marketing is a science. You need to have the right mix of channels to make it effective. We bring you an exclusive list of the most powerful strategies that have placed many start-up businesses under the spotlight.

Ultimate Strategies to Market Your Start-up

1. Identify Your Demographic:

Start-ups founders are so passionate that they almost eat, sleep and breathe their products. It is very easy for them to believe that everyone in the world is going to love their idea or product but the reality is really harsh. Only a small proportion of the population are actually interested. So, rather than wasting your time and money in marketing your start-up to everyone, identify your target market and target demographic and then go after it aggressively.

A very good example of this can be Bizdaq. It is a SaaS start-up that facilitates business owners sell their business online for free. They dropped their entire pre-conceived notions to market themselves offline for a service that was offered online. Thus, they picked up phone and contacted their early adopters to understand the demographic. This led to 210% increase in their customer base.

2. Share the “why” of your Start-up:

When asked about your business, you have a big opportunity to generate word-of-mouth marketing. Create a story that clearly differentiates your startup from its competitors. If your business is supporting a certain cause, feel free to say so. If you came up with this idea during your struggle time, narrating it is surely going to inspire people around you, who in turn will recite your story to many others. In short, sharing the “why” of your startup makes it more memorable to others. Go ahead with that!

3. Engage with your Audience:

As a business owner, you may want to push the ales of your product and there is nothing wrong with it but rather than selling your product, focus more on engaging with your audience. Participate in discussions; show your support to followers in your niche. Don’t always flaunt or advertise your product or service but try to offer solutions to people looking for related products or services too. It will help you gain audience attention and establish your brand.

4. Build Credibility:

Carve your own niche and build credibility by providing an insider’s perspective to your audience. Share the insights of your trade through a blog or webinar which will project you as an expert in your field. Your audience will feel more confident and relatable to what you speak. This in turn will increase your network and can gain you fan following from a variety of people, journalists to aspiring entrepreneurs.

5. Be discoverable:

In the age of technological advancements, your startup is expected to maintain an online presence. It can be a website, a blog or social media presence, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your business is discoverable. You need to use specific keywords in your content so that it is easily searchable by the search engines. Engage with like-minded audience through keywords, hashtags, etc. Use proper SEO techniques in your content. Search out for appropriate focus keyword according to your business and include that on your title page. Have proper H1, H2 headings, increase your page loading speed, and always ensure you post only 100% unique and original content. Any plagiarism would only downrank your website.

6. Turn early customers into referrals:

Word of mouth is the best marketing any business can ever have. Turn you happy customers into your word of mouth referrals.

An example in this case can be Hotmail. Decades ago, Hotmail was the only company that came up with completely free email services. As a result, almost everyone had a Hotmail account. Every email has a text link encouraging the recipient of the email to get their own free account with Hotmail. They followed a very simple strategy but even that was enough to gain millions of users.

5 Steps to Understanding Customers in the Global Market

For an expanding international business, it is imperative to face customers overseas. But before you take the continental leap, it is vital for you understand your target audience. Thus, “Localization” becomes the primary key.

The very first thing you would probably think for localization is hiring a local. A local on the ground can definitely help you know your customers better but might not be affordable, especially if you are a start-up or a smaller company. So, what can the business owners do in such a situation? Fortunately, there is a way. If you have the right information, you can easily understand the requirements of your global customer base.

Here are the most important steps to help Businesses understand their Customers in the Foreign Market:

1. Study the Geographical Area

It is important for businesses to analyze and understand everything about the region you are targeting. Having sufficient information about your customers and country is vital to grow overseas. Do your homework and conduct a PEST analysis of the region you are penetrating into. Study the Political, Economic, Social and Technical standpoints of the new market well before you enter.

2. Know About the Cultural Differences

Every country has its own culture that defines the perception and preferences of its native. To be successful in a country, you need to understand that country first. This implies more specially to its people, its culture and its law. Culture nuances can greatly impact your business operations, so ensure you familiarize yourself with the local culture. The product or service you are launching should be in sync with the local culture. Only then your target customers will find your product or service relatable. “One size fits all” is a big NO when it comes to international customer base.

For Example, A very famous company, Pepsodent, overlooked the cultural effect and marketed its toothpaste in South East Asia with a promise of turning teeth white. This didn’t go well with its audience and failed to resonate with their expectations. In South East Asia, having black teeth are considered a status symbol. In fact, people chew betel in an attempt to blacken their teeth.

Thus, try to gather as much information as you can about your customers. There is a lot of information available on the internet. Try to go through the history, preferences and likings of the people there. You will get enough useful information that can help you infer generalizations at the least, if not specification.

3. Understand the Local Language

Apart from the regional and cultural differences, another factor that can have a make or break impact on a business is the linguistic effect. A business need to understand the local language of their customers in order to avoid any linguistic disaster. To the least, business owners should analyze their brand name, its meaning and pronunciation in the local market. At times the same spelling can mean different in different countries, which can change the entire essence of the brand.

For Example, HSBC Bank’s “Assume Nothing” tagline didn’t go well with most of the countries where it was deemed to convey the message “Do Nothing.” The bank finally had to rebrand its global operations and change the tagline to “the World’s Private Bank.” This change cost the bank a whopping $10 million.

4. Follow what is Tending Locally and Modify as per Requirement:

Take a survey of the target customer groups by offering samples of your product. Doing a pilot survey gives enough idea if the target customers like the product as it is or they want any alteration to it. You may need to change your packaging, distribution channel, etc. according to the preference of your sample audience. Simple changes in the marketing plan can be made on the basis of customer analysis.

5. Payment Method:

When going global, you may also try to find out the payment preference of your audience. Which international payment option would your target customers like to have, how would they like to pay, etc. You would then have to decide for a trusted online foreign exchange service accordingly. Providing the customers with an opportunity to pay in local currency helps in increasing the customer base.

Thus, by following the above steps and taking out proper time to gather information about their customers, a business can sustain itself for growth in a foreign land.