Gaining Traction in Startup Marketing

By Tahmid Sadman

When it comes to marketing, the stakes are understandably high. The need to manifest creativity, capture mind share, gain loyalty, stand out from the crowd are always pressing and in the ever connected of world of ours, palpable. Proper marketing yields an appropriate degree of exposure, coupled with the right dose of brand equity. It is a consistent process which plays an instrumental role in deterring the charm of competitors and help marshal the forces of retention.

Startups, like any other businesses, need to leverage the marketing channels to cultivate a solid base from which to kick-start the growth trajectory.Providing the lift to a new product/service along the lines of a generation of users with access to reliable information can be an arduous task.This calls for certain principles to come to the fore- consistency, clarity, risk taking and hard work.

Here are few tips which any startup can use to bolster their marketing game.

  1. Nail the Segmenting, targeting, and positioning exercises-In segmentation, it is important to make sure that the segments must be substantial, measurable, penetrable, differentiable and accessible. Target segment cautiously cautiously- Will serving them be profitable? Can their wants be fulfilled by you? How do they purchase? What affects their purchasing decisions? Consider these extremely carefully. Also when positioning, know your competitors well, identify Points of Parity and Points of difference within the competitive set and develop a positioning statement based on the USP.
  2. Leverage Social Media- Improve your startup’s exposure by tapping the channels of social media. Besides easy visibility, social media provides an avenue for effective interaction with the target market. Startups can also harness the power of social media in the pre-launch phase. In this phase, buzz can be built by threads of surprise, also the strings of interaction can also be pulled to fine tune the product/service before the launching of it. Don’t forget to use Instagram, Slide share and twitter to promote causes and share content.
  3. Build a great website- A great website will definitely generate buzz and therefore be a huge boost to PR.
  4. Exploit the opportunities laid bare by important occasions- It is important to be on the lookout for events that a business can use to reflect its positioning vision and mission.
  5. Use the power of “surprise”- A surprising yet positive marketing stunt will catch many off-guard but it will also bolster perception regarding the brand and propagate WOM.
  6. Focus on your value proposition- Send consistent messages across different channels centering your value proposition. This helps the development of mind and heart share. Use emotion if possible.
  7. Embrace Digital Marketing- Digital marketing will enable startups to measure reach, engagement levels, conversions and ROI. These critical metrics will help startups gauge their online marketing strategies and improve their status quo.
  8. Reward loyal customers- Rewarding loyal customers via discounts, exclusive products or free services can further boost not only a business’s reputation but also a consumer’s perception of it.
  9. Target experts in your target market- By targeting experts in the target segment, a business can easily bolster its standing with the customers. Experts tend to have a lot of influence on consumers, so it is important to leverage their viewpoints to drum up sales, etc.
  10. Scale up as business grows- Switch to the lines of TV, billboard advertising or radio advertising as the business grows. If there are sufficient financial buffers diversify or broaden your product line, inject oomph by embellishing your office space. Develop sophisticated CRM systems to deliver an enriching system to consumers. Invest to improve the augmented product and ultimately add new dimensions to the potential product.

Tahmid Sadman is a guest contributor to Gradinsights, the career research service of GradConnect. He can be reached at More articles from Tahmid and the GradInsights team can be found at

SD Asia Desk