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Startup Marketing: You need a marketing system

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Fewer than 5% of startups achieve their dream growth


Hiring your first marketing person is scary. What do you know about startup marketing? What do they know about startup marketing? All you know is that you need to juice your business – fast. And you need to trust somebody you may never have met before to help you do that. On a shoestring budget. Scary.

Startup MarketingUnfortunately, there are no “marketing dude” tattoos or haircuts to make a real marketer known to the rest of us. In fact, a fair number of marketers are like cab drivers – passing through the profession until they find the job they really want. As a result, a lot of entrepreneurs are disappointed by the results they get from their hired marketing guns. In fact, fewer than 5% of all startups ever achieve the growth they dream of. Something’s wrong.

So what are you, a small business owner, to do? Well here’s an idea. To achieve the growth that you dream of, you have to make sure that you know what works in startup marketing. And here it is: we call it mOS.

The 80-20 rule may well have been written with startup marketing in mind. There are few areas of business where so many options have such little effect. A “mOS” is a Marketing Operating System – a stripped-down marketing process that has been proven to deliver results. At its most basic, it can be represented as 4 ideas:Navigating the startup marketing process

1. Promise & Proof: What prospect pain are you promising to alleviate in such a way that your prospects will be willing to pay you for it? What’s your proof that you can deliver on your promise?

2. Validated Targeting: Do you know who your best prospects are, or are you kind of guessing? Do you know who your best, most profitable customers are? Might it make sense to go after more customers like your best customers? Can your best customers help you do that? They usually can. All you have to do is ask.

3. Breakthrough Approach: If you have #1 and #2 nailed, but you don’t get the attention of your prospects, you’re no further ahead. Did you know that text email from your CEO can pull as much as a 150 times more response than a regular HTML marketing email? And a billboard email (big graphic, almost no text) can produce response rates 400 times greater than a text email from your CEO? Oh. And direct mail can generate response rates 1,000 times greater than billboard email. (Find out more about email zigging here and intrigue marketing here.)

Getting the attention of your prospects applies to inbound marketing too (where social media gets to stretch its legs). You need to have a very focused, consistent point of view, lots of good, original content (usually wrapped in a blog), platforms like Twitter, Pinterest and/or LinkedIn, and plenty of patience to bang it all out there and make meaningful relationships with your tribe (click here and here to learn more).

4. Meaningful Incentive to Engage: Once you have your prospects’ attention, you need to engage them by offering them something that can make their lives easier. How do you do that? You need to understand their purchase decision cycle, and what information they need at each stage of that cycle. Then you need to have that information packaged-up and ready for them. If you pull the thorn out of their paw, they’ll be inclined to be grateful. Needless to say, that’s a great beginning to a relationship. (Find out more here.)

That’s it. These four elements in combination will account for 100% of your startup marketing success. To make sure the marketing wool isn’t pulled over your eyes, you need to know the “startup marketing” city streets so you can be sure your cab driver is on the right route.

A proven mOS will get you there.


Postscript and self-serving plug – Our new book “Feed The Startup Beast: 7 Steps to Big, Hairy, Outrageous Sales Growth” was written specifically to help you avoid all the startup marketing bear traps by giving you a repeatable marketing system that can turn anyone into a master marketer. If you’d like to know more, click here.

About Drew Williams

My name is Drew Williams. I’m an author and marketing entrepreneur. “A what?”, you say. I call someone who’s passionate about building businesses a marketing entrepreneur. So that’s me. Full Profile | Google+

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