Ask any start-up if they have a marketing department. Most will say no. If they do have any marketing efforts in place, nearly every single person at the company is chipping in. In a start-up environment, a single department doesn’t define marketing; it is defined by the contributions of every team member.
Here are (5) building blocks to make your start-up shine without a traditional marketing team.
Read more on Upmarket by Squidoo.
It’s 7am. You wake up to a brief email with a subject line, “Please call me.”
The body of the email, “Your almost non-existent marketing budget has been just been suspended until further notice. But your monthly revenue targets, no change. Please email me your back-up plan.” My back-up plan? *@#!
That’s right, the back-up plan. The plan that makes the world keep ticking at ramming speed (to quote Ben Hur), but on less man power and less spending power.
As marketers, we hit this crossroad at one point or another. And especially if you are a small business marketer, it’s well, your mantra. It’s a form of survival that we must either lean in on or…find another line of work.
Over the past decade I have worked on all sorts of brands, F500 and start-up, and all ranges of budgets. But a common theme pervades – get scrappy. Call it a desire for accountability (necessary), or a lack of resources (quite common); but the call to make amazing things happen on less occurs frequently. And at this juncture many either excel or fail.
Getting scrappier asks us to do (3) things really well:
1. Dig deep. At risk of sounding philosophical, limited resources force us to do two things:
- Identify what we are really good at (are you an awesome copywriter? do you have an amazing background in analytics?)
- Consistently deliver marketing events/programs that drive (tangible) results (no results after 7-14 days? move on)
2. Start talking. Maybe you are new to a job? Or perhaps your small business doesn’t have a clearly defined target audience yet?
The Little Engine “I think I can” mentality – flip it on. But most importantly, start engaging in (online) conversations. That’s right, you will learn more out of blog posts, industry forums, and your social networking experiences in 30 days than anywhere else. You will learn who your competitors are, what they are talking about, what their customers (or your prospects) are asking for, and most importantly you will glean a lifetime experience of building a personal and professional brand from virtual networking by “tuning in” to cyber chatter.
3. Make lists. Some hate, some love. I love lists. For me, lists enable me to effectively prioritize everything from my life, to which marketing projects I must get done.
The purpose of lists is two-fold:
- The adage if you write something down, it will stick, is 100% true. Write it down, more likely to get done.
- It forces you to downsize. Think about it. How realistic is it to (re)define your messaging strategy, post original content 20 times on Twitter per day, set-up a new email campaign, and set-up a reporting dashboard for all inbound efforts you have live? In a week, doable. In a 24-48 hours, not likely. Take that one step further. What if you could only do one thing to deliver incremental results? You get the point – get scrappy.
Want to take the next step to creating simplified, effective marketing?
Download your FREE copy of Get Scrappier here. Or buy here to read on your favorite digital device. Do more on less. Get Scrappy.
It’s here! Get Scrappier is now live and FREE on Slideshare through Feb 11, 2012.
Results-oriented, conversational marketing. Do more on less. Get Scrappy.
Do you spend your hard-earned dollars on Facebook ads?
Huffington Post – Small Business challenges their value. Facebook Ads Help Some (But Not All) Small Businesses: Survey Says.
I say, it depends. What this article/survey does make us think about is whether every SMB gets an ROI out of it. Of course not. No one marketing tool benefits every single business/marketer that uses it.
But the why it doesn’t always work is a combination of many things:
- How compelling the messaging was (the ad itself)
- How well targeted the ad was (to the right people, or targeted at all)
- What the CTA (call-to-action) was intended to accomplish (or whether there even was a CTA)
- If the ROI expectations were even fair to what banners ads can do on an already noisy, crowded social network
But I say, don’t give up. But don’t splurge your dollars and be selective about when you use Facebook ads. For larger events/promotions or when you are first launching a Fan Page, they’re very useful to draw new followers and users. Outside of that, are you just trying to achieve popularity? You might be sorely disappointed with the results, if so.
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