Most start-ups are time-poor. Often, there is not very much money available either. So, anything they can do to save both time and money helps a lot. Carefully assessing everything you do to make sure that it is viable in the long-term is a big part of setting up a business that is robust enough to grow. The bigger the task is the more important it is to employ strategies that do the job well while not being unnecessarily expensive or time-consuming to implement.
Marketing certainly falls into that category. It is recommended that start-ups plough around 20% of their income back into marketing. That is huge, so money must be spent wisely on strategies that convert, yet do not require a huge time commitment from staff who need to be focusing on delivering a good service to customers and growing the brand.
They need to take a minimalist approach to marketing. Not overcomplicate things or have too many activities and advertising streams to manage.
Our top tip is to set things up so that you can re-use your text, images, and videos across all of your marketing platforms. To demonstrate how that may be done let’s take as an example a start-up that sells physical products both on and offline. Specifically looking at marketing strategies using digital signs. All of what we outline below can also be used by other types of startups.
Digital display screens are essential for the owners of modern physical stores. They are an extremely versatile marketing tool. The fact that they can be used to display adverts, short videos, memes, gifs, or any form of visual marketing makes them powerful. Using the software, templates, and stock images that are usually provided with them, business owners can very quickly create their own marketing materials. This saves them a huge amount of money and gives them absolute control over what they say to their customers.
Because they know their customers best the advertising can also be finely tailored to appeal to them. It is also possible to use other free graphic design software packages that most people are already familiar with using.
It is a very nuanced way of marketing that is incredibly effective. With the added benefit that all the images, adverts, and videos can easily be resized to be used online or for paper advertising. Something that once again saves a huge amount of time and money.
Monitoring the impact of advertising is an extremely powerful way for a startup to learn more about its customers. Understanding which adverts convert and which ones do not is very informative. So, it is well worth a startup hiring someone to carry out A/B testing and heat mapping analysis.
That does not necessarily mean employing an expensive ad agency. Many of the tools that are available at relatively low prices include the necessary training. There are also a lot of experienced marketing freelancers out there that will happily work for a company as and when. Meaning that the startup does not need to be tied into paying an advertising agency a high monthly fee at times when they may not be running any campaigns.
Some forms of A/B testing are so simple that anyone can do it. Going back to the example of in store digital display screens, most packages track the date and time an advert is changed. Meaning that someone can simply look at whether sales for the item being advertised rose when during a marketing campaign for it. If a company promotes the same product using two different advert formats and carries out that same analysis on both, they know for sure which form of advertising works best.
As you can see none of the above is complicated. All of it can be done in-house and with a little bit of training most members of staff could carry out the necessary tasks to deploy and monitor the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Using simple strategies like this makes it far more likely that a startup will be consistent and persistent with your marketing efforts. Something that is key to success. Many startups spend huge sums on marketing in the first few months, only to drop the ball and stop dead when they run out of cash.