I come into contact with many businesses who want marketing advice for startups. They look for startup marketing startegies simply because they’ve never done it before. After many a chat I find that there’s a common misconception held not just by start ups but newbies to marketing in general. The misconception is that a little time, effort and investment will give them the marketing results that they need but in reality you need quite a bit of each for marketing to pay off.
Being a small pre-startup they don’t have a large marketing budget but to be honest a cash investment might not be what you need. At the end of the day it’s up to you to put some real effort in and if necessary get creative with your marketing and do it guerrilla style to make up for the cash you’re not putting into it.
Why guerilla marketing?
Guerilla marketing is the premise of using energy and creativity to market your business as oppose to a big budget but the most noteworthy guerrilla campaigns do happen to be big budget campaigns.
These are great campaigns by big companies who can afford to splash out in return for some PR and brand awareness but as a startup you need a campaign that will bring in sales so the first thing you need to do is your research.
Research and a bit of creativity is something thats low budget because you can do it on your own. All it takes is a little time, persistence and maybe some creativity. Take it upon your own shoulders to go out there and find out what you need to know in order to market your business. Obviously each business is different and the variables will change according to the nature but this is what you need to know in general.
- Who are you?
- What you do?
- What makes you different (USP)?
Target audience, demographics and geographics
- Who are you targeting? (be specific……male, female, old, young, professionals, ethnicity, etc)
- Where are you located?
- Where are your customers located?
- Where are your competitors located?
- Whats around your location? (any potential customers? Office blocks, shops, town centre etc)
- How do they operate?
- Are they successful?
- When are they busy?
- What are their trends?
Maybe the most important question, how much do you have to play with?
Design plays a big part in guerrilla marketing because it is primarily a creative strategy that needs a creative finish. Apart from the actual delivery of the campaign, creative design is where you’ll want to spend your money.
After the initial research you should get some answers as to how, where and who to market to, so now you just need to get creative. Think out of the box and be resourceful.
What if Im not that creative?
Guerilla marketing is more of an attitude then it is anything else. Good design, creativity and a cash investment does help but the most important thing in a guerilla campaign is you.
You need to be able to go out there and deliver that campaign whether it be online or off, with accompanying materials and a fancy plan, or not.
Walking up to a potential customer and having a chat is more likely to make a sale then anything else so whether or not you have the might, creativity and cash flow of a big company doesn’t actually matter, what will matter is that your active in your marketing whatever method you use.
Need some inspiration? Check out these great camapaigns.
Do this and you’ll be a gorilla in no time. If you can’t do it then do what all the great business people do….get some help.