Marketing: Did you do your homework?

Market PriceEntrepreneurs see marketing as an independent and separate activity that comes into picture only after one has developed one's product or service and goes to the customers. They loose a good opportunity to prepare their marketing groundwork well before the launch. And then suddenly, at the point of launch, they find themselves bogged down by a number of things they are supposed to do to get their marketing on full throttle. This creates a significant period of low customer activity even when the product is ready for the market.

Marketing begins early

The solution to the problem above is to treat marketing as an integral aspect of your startup creation. Start building a base for marketing right from the day you start working on your startup. Let's see a couple of things that can be done parallel to your development activities, so that, by the time you finish your development, you would already have your marketing engine started. You can easily include these practices in your routine social media activities, and it would not add any overhead to the busy schedule of your development days.

Evolve your personal network

When it comes to finding the first customers, everybody suggestsSocial Media to first trying one's own network of friends, family and acquaintances. But most of the times, it will not be necessary that our own network would have a significant number of people who would be relevant as customers or prospect contacts. So, here is the solution:

  • As soon as you start working on a startup, start evolving your network into the context of your startup. Go to conferences, events and start meeting people who deal around the domain of your startup.
  • Join online communities, Facebook groups and on twitter, follow people - all who are talking about the things relevant to your startup. For example you can use the online tool 'socialmetion.com' to find people on social media who are talking about some particular keywords of your choice.
  • Don't just get into these online networks as a mute spectator, start getting involved in the conversations, posts etc. Whenever a small conversation takes place nicely with somebody, use the opportunity to send a friend request or an email exchange etc.

Soon, you'll see your network growing with exactly the kind of people who can be your best resources and contacts when you'll start marketing.

Follow the marketing of your competition

Market WatchOur competitors are a great source of learning, not only to be used in marketing but for a lot of other purposes. Again, you can use this early period to develop a good understanding of your competitors to get a head start at the time of your marketing.

  • Use your own online social accounts or create some fake accounts and like all the Facebook pages of your competitors, follow them on twitter, visit their website at least once a week etc.
  • Normally your competitors would be using their website or social media to engage customers or promote their special offers or for other marketing tactics. You can readily learn a lot from these observations and use them to your own advantage like deciding your pricing, which features to highlight in you marketing etc.
  • You can also make a lot of observations about your prospect customers from these sources. Give heed to what do the customers like, dislike about your competitors or what more do they demand or wish on the social media through their comments, likes etc. You can pick some keen insights of your customers, which will not only help you in marketing but at times help you inlcude a new feature or offering into your product development.

Follow these techniques and you'll be able to cash in on them hugely when you start your marketing activities. Now it's your turn, share with us any other techniques that you knew or followed on similar lines above, which helped you when it came to marketing. Let us know through a comment below.

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