The modern business context is dominated by an endless number of start-ups that emerge in the market every year. According to numbers from a GEM Global Report, a staggering 100 million businesses are launched annually; a number only likely to grow in the years to come.
Despite this exponential growth however, the number of companies that subsequently drop out of the market are equally numerous. With the estimation that nine out of ten start-ups fail, it’s important to examine the causes behind this. While the reasons behind their failure range across different sets of factors, poor marketing skills and weak strategies are often among the main culprits.
The article below takes a look at why this happens and how future start-ups can become more skilled in their marketing activities, thereby avoid falling prey to the same fate.
Traditional marketing just doesn’t work
Most start-ups enter that market with guns blazing. Having created unique products and services that would otherwise guarantee them long-term success, they don’t prioritise effective marketing, mistakenly believing that the most basic of activity will serve them well. Most believe that simply creating awareness of the product/service in question will do the trick. Certain experts in the field believe however, that this is generally the point at which most start-ups fail.
This includes either identifying the wrong audiences for your products or conducting your marketing on channels that are ill-suited for this purpose. Not only is this a serious failure to invest money smartly and a sign of ad-hoc planning, these kind of failures can seriously hurt a business. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world, if your marketing strategies aren’t effective. Targeting the wrong audience and the wrong channels can be fatal to success in a majority of cases.
A lack of strategy
As with just about any other aspect of a business, careful planning and strategy is required to ensure that marketing activity yields the highest rate of conversion and success. A failure to think through all aspects of a marketing campaign including messaging, timing, target audience, timeline and related areas, are sure to have a startup out on the curb in no time. Effective strategies need to be well thought out, targeted and a standout from the crowd.
Not making the most of available tools
With the growing spate of digital tools available to companies, failing to utilise these for your marketing activities is sure to make you fall short. With the availability of Facebook and Google ads, SEO optimisation tools and a range of other options, it has become increasingly easier to plan out and optimise marketing activity. Failing to use these is not just downright negligent, but also shows a lack of effort and creativity in executing what is easily one of the most important aspect of a successful business.
How can startups play it safe?
Certain experts in the field believe that the best way to overcome the ‘traditional marketing funnel’ discussed above, is to begin by creating products people want, instead of making people want your products. Bringing together a small group of people who love your product and giving them a feel of it, is one of the best ways to create organic awareness around your brand.
Targeting your marketing campaigns to the demographic segment more likely to embrace your product is equally crucial. By doing so, you can ensure that your product will organically infiltrate other markets and demographics more effectively than with any marketing material you come up with. Identifying the best platform and channel to conduct your activities is also a key task in this process.
In addition to coming up with effective strategies to meet your marketing needs, it’s also essential that you make the most of the tools available. In an increasingly digital age, undertaking basic social media marketing is not going to make the cut. Using the data and tools in hand, market your product or service with a personalised approach, compelling people to stop and consider what you’re offering.
Marketing ultimately boils down to making customers feel like they can’t live without your product. Entrepreneurs and businesses who dismiss such activities as trivial or something that can be done as and when required, are setting themselves up for almost immediate failure. Foresight, creativity and careful planning are critical markers of the success of any marketing plan; essential not just for the success of your startup, but its survival as well.