Jane Henry + Daisy Stapley-Bunten – The Startups Mag
Startups face massive challenges from day one. Starting on the momentous journey to achieve a founder’s vision, it’s exciting to keep focused on the big, disruptive dream and the innovative technology that’s going to get you there. But the reality is tht you’re also going to need to really focus on the marketing and PR fundamentals that will gain awareness, build a community, generate real leads and attract further investment to make sure your startup is one of the few that succeeds.
Protect Your Marketing Budget
Startups who skimp on the budget for professional internal or external marketing resources, will find they have no time to plan and implement professional brand strategy, content, SEO, social, PR, advertising, GDPR-compliance, email marketing, CRM and … the list goes on. And when budgets are under pressure from investors, fight hard to maintain the marketing and PR line items. Long after any budget is cut, investors will still want the business to deliver on new customers and PR-impact at launch and beyond and will forget that they told you to cut.
Quarterly Marketing Audit
Startups evolve, quickly. They pivot. Is the company narrative consistent across all channels? Does it even make sense anymore?
A marketing audit is a great way of assessing how effectively the brand is operating across all channels. See where the gaps are, where the messaging is unclear or out-of-date and fix it. Use key data points to benchmark, then optimise and model the successes to make marketing efficient.
Build a Strong Culture
Startup founders inspire the company culture, but marketing and PR are instrumental in embedding it throughout the organisation.
By communicating effectively and continuously the brand’s purpose and vision and the vital role your team is playing in building the success, they will bond and feel a massive sense of community and camaraderie that will help you all get through the late nights, the obstacles and yes, the rows!
And don’t forget the startup story. That’s the one that everybody in the team should be able to recite – with passion, as if for the first time, to their friends, family, business prospects and anyone else who’ll listen!
So when it comes to advice for startups; don’t be bullied into cutting marketing budgets; organise a full-scale marketing audit once a quarter and create a positive, founder-led company culture that celebrates success and is transparent about the challenges every business faces.
That way, you’ll not only build the company but enjoy the momentous journey you’ve embarked upon.