Marketing Tips for Startups

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Brand recognition is powerful. Many large companies use brand recognition as a valuable marketing tool, and they have gained that brand recognition through a great deal of momentum over a long period of time.

Startup companies are at a disadvantage, since hardly anyone knows they exist yet. They are a new company, after all. Here are a few tips to help market your startup company.

Remember word-of-mouth

It is inevitable that you’ll have to work with people, so be sure to invest in developing customer service skills. Word-of-mouth is particularly useful (and potentially detrimental) to marketing a brand. Many people even consider word-of-mouth recommendations to be “above all other forms of advertising.” Similarly, negative word-of-mouth can be problematic.

While keeping the customer happy is an important way to foster goodwill among your consumer base, keep in mind that excessive catering to customers may not be helpful. While it is likely that many people who patronize your business come forward with legitimate concerns, the adage “the customer is always right” is misleading and taking its advice can be detrimental.

Dealing with patrons of your business is not always a desirable task, but it is an effective way of making a business’ brand known.

Don’t discount traditional media

When deciding how to advertise, be sure to look for ways to market to a specific audience if you can, but don’t be afraid to advertise wherever it would help. Advertising through physical media like magazines may not be the single best way to do so, but it is helpful nonetheless. The printed word may not be as ubiquitous as it once was, but it tends to be helpful when advertising for things that cannot be made easier by simply using the internet.

Similarly, another good way to advertise is to talk to organizers at local gatherings and events to see if they will let you sponsor them. A local fitness event like a triathlon would be a good place to advertise nutrition supplements if you’re sourcing from, for example. Spending too much money on advertising is a common mistake though, so be sure to advertise where it counts.

Keep up with social media

Utilizing technology to better market a company is another, and cultivating a social media presence is one good way to do this. While it might require a fair amount of effort to interact with social media users and maintain an active social media page, doing so gives your startup company a valuable tool in an environment where like minded individuals can communicate very easily (potentially even about your brand).

Consider telemarketing

Telemarketing is also a potentially useful tool that is capable of getting your startup’s name out there. There are companies like Stratics Networks that provide automated voicemail services, allowing small businesses to communicate with a relatively large number of people.

Email lists are also a useful yet simple tool that can help keep a customer base informed. It’s fairly trivial to send emails to a large number of people using modern email accounts, though sending an extremely large number of emails may not be entirely straightforward.

For example, Google’s free email domain, Gmail, only allows someone to send up to 500 emails over a 24 hour period. So if you plan for your company’s mailing list to grow larger than that, be sure to stay informed of potential ways to expand your mailing list. And stay informed of local telemarketing laws.

It can take some time, but building brand recognition and a customer base is an important task. Marketing is more than just advertising, it involves everything to do with making your brand known. Guaranteeing a specific audience will see advertisements is not always guaranteed, but taking a calculated risk is sometimes the best option. 

Nola Blanton researches, organizes, and delivers high-level and impactful strategic content that helps OI's readers understand, discuss, and prepare for emerging trends in business and marketing.

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