Getting Creative with Startup Marketing!

Mar 08, 2011

Marketers market a business. Maintenance marketing, we’ll call it.

A startup founder has to market a startup. Traction marketing, we call this.  It’s creating traction.  Creating initial traction requires you to be smooth, cool, creative, imaginative, and takes a ton of energy.

Kinda hard to pay a marketer (the good one’s are expensive), when you have a startup isn’t it?  There’s no money to pay a marketer yet! light of that…here are 5 tips to market a startup:

1.  Focus on Profits, not Sales

Sales mean nothing when you’re spending $100 a day in Google Adwords.  Do the math.  Even the highest conversion rate almost never produces a profit with some marketing methods.  If you’re a startup, you can’t afford this kind of startup marketing.  It’s a waste of money.

Profits are different than sales.  If you’re spending over (and almost near) what your sales are, then it’s bogus marketing.

2.  Focus on Relationships, not Transactions

Another key to market a startup, a startup doesn’t focus on transactions.  An Entrepreneur, business owner, founder, whatever you want to call yourself…doesn’t focus on transactions.  Maybe at one time you did, likely when you worked for someone else, but not anymore!  Your focus is on the big fish, no longer the little fish.  Big fish require relationships.

3.  Focus on Imagination, not Numbers

Creative imagination, time, and energy will take you much farther than any number spreadsheet or ROI calculation ever will.  And behold…the numbers take care of themselves.  Funny how that works…

How do you get creative with startup marketing?  Easy.  It’s cool, cheap tricks that engage your customers.  For instance, part of our marketing plan targets university students.  Instead of attacking them on Facebook like everyone else, we’re going straight to their environment and engaging with them.  That’s right..those cardboard coffee cup holders that can be produced for as little as 2 cents each.  We give them free to the coffee places (with our website address of course)’s like joint marketing.

4.  Focus on Yourself, Not on Competition

Sometimes I get paranoid when I see competition.  And yes, what Entrepreneur doesn’t spy on their competition?  But I’m smart enough to know if I just focus on what my startup is, and my vision for it, then I have a natural competitive advantage.

Focusing on your startup, and not the competition, gives you something everyone is looking for: uniqueness.  Focus on the competition, and you’ll wind up just like them. You’ll be the same as everyone else.  Avoid that.

5.  Focus on Your Customers, not on the Business’s a great idea: when customers are happy & your product fulfills them..customers pay.  Not the other way around.  Yes, revenue is important.  Yes, it is the lifeline of any business.  But here’s the thing, people know and appreciate value.  Customers love it when you truly understand them as a person, not just their buying habits or demographics.

Bottom line: CONNECT with your customer.  If you don’t know what it means to have a “real” connection with someone…you’re a traditional marketer, and kindly exit my blog ;).

Stop using the words “marketing copy” too.  Hate that…