It is good to be back on the Cofounderlab forums. I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to helping with some questions again. I have been away for 3 months while I buried my head in the keyboard to build my latest tech startup (launched this week).
During that time I contacted many marketing & pr agencies with a view to them doing the marketing for me. (I'm talking small ones as I'm not ready for BBDO just yet!).
What was interesting was that only 1 out of a large handful actually said "well before we begin we need to go through a 2 week deep-dive to understand the business, goals, etc and to work out what is actually the best type of marketing for you".
All the other agencies just wanted to push whatever particular form of marketing they happen to think they're best at. No other type mattered to them. Whether it was social, SEO, adwords, PR or whatever.
I am sure if you go to one of the big marketing houses and open up the cheque-book then this is all done the right way. But for us entrepreneurs launching on a shoe-string in a crowdfunding-style way, it seems to be hard to find good marketing agencies or individuals.
So firstly, my top tip is don't just take someone who says they are really good at "XYZ" [seo, adwords, pr, etc]. Find someone who wants to sit down and understand the business and discover what form of marketing, pr, social, etc may actually work best for you.
But secondly, when my agency comes back in 2 weeks and says "we think we need to do x, y and z" I am keen to have a benchmark before I agree. So as a rough guide, what forms of marketing have other b2b tech businesses generally found are the best (and worse) approaches for early stage startups working on a budget?
Marketing is based on Target customer, product or service on offer , you can use technology or start with one to one interactions to test markets
Your product seems to be compatible with marketing agencies, saying that because I work in one. Why not offer to the agencies directly either a % or some other form possible partnership to use your software and to recommend it to their clients.
To deliver locally-relevant information to those that are passing by your store, restaurant, car dealership etc...can be combined with digital media in a effective way.
I would go that route if I were you. You need to speak directly with marketing agencies about them using your product and recommending it to their clients.
Steve, the winning answer is: every type, that ever existed. And I'm serious about that. You can not determine the type of marketing or specific channels of communications, without analyzing the specific business niche of B2B company. What works for marketing agencies will not work for website developers, and definitely is not working for oil & gas.
I run a b2b marketing consultancy, and we tried pretty much everything and explored the effectiveness of all those trends, "professional marketing consultants" are talking about. There is no template solution. A strategy comes after the analysis of business and competitors is completed. And this i snot a matter of check, it's the way how company, who is claiming to do marketing on behalf of your company, should do.
People speak about stories and content. If I'm looking for my new supplier of drilling equipment, why would I care about something else, let's say, what CEO of Rioks eats for breakfast or "top10 mistakes in business"? Trust me, I saw those when I was looking for the company who can export Tesla from the USA...
So.. the key answer is - Inbound (seo+content), some ads, and it has to be RELEVANT. That's what I would start from. And PR. Because why not?
Get as much spotlight as you can in the community (your market) try getting featured on famous publishers and blogs.
While launching if your product is amazing enough then go for launching it on Product Hunt it gives the best traction upfront.
Since the rise of digital, social and mobile, various businesses and brands have now attempted to get closer and be more human with their customers. This fosters loyalty and trust with them, ensuring the growth of their business.
Savvy marketers understand that they can use digital marketing to transform processes and products using technology. Digital marketing technologies give them a marketing edge that can push a start-up above its competition. Digital marketing, especially social media marketing has the capacity to bring a start-up closer to its target audience.
Digital marketing is extremely cost-effective. This makes it a perfect marketing tool for start-ups and small businesses that may not have a big pool of resources or large injections of capital. Compared to traditional marketing, digital marketing is cheaper and often records better results.
Content Marketing as a Digital Strategy has become a game changer in the field of marketing because it establishes your brand as an authority.
Some call it a content marketing strategy, others a content strategy, and others a content plan. Whichever name you choose, it’s important to have a well-defined approach for your website content to help improve search ranking and grow traffic. Aimlessly creating content never generates enough traction and can be expensive. A clear, documented strategy provides direction, prepares you for potential challenges, and guarantees you’re budgeting enough to meet your objectives for your website marketing.
Content marketing is a powerful form of advertising for any business. Rather than pressuring your audience into buying, content marketing allows you to establish a strong connection with your target market and build relationships that lead to long-term business growth and profitability.
With content marketing, you can dramatically increase your online visibility, expand your audience, reach new customers and generate fresh leads, and develop a loyal following who will go on to market your business for you.
Build a strong foundation for content marketing and focus on generating quality content that will engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
Storytelling is the latest buzzword in B2B marketing. Everyone says they’re doing it, but it’s hard to find stories that truly resonate with audiences
1) Agencies are very cynical because of the grinding prospects have done to get them to generate concepts/ideas/content/data in a beauty contest that costs them real cash only to get shown the door. I have many agency friends who are done with that treatment. Your tip is applicable to any outside professional - if they cannot take the time to understand what you do and why you do it, give them a pass. By the same token, if you ask them to invest their time and resources, be a real prospect. 2) If crowdfunding your beacon is successful you will be the first B2B site to pull it off. Without knowing the economics outside the ₤99 per unit, my marketing response is default to enterprise for volume and usage. The obvious are large, multi-location retailers (a pilot with one will be significant). There you will likely need direct sales as they usually will not be searching the web for your product. I could be wrong, but it is unlikely any social media, including Linked In, will be effective. You can also market to the agencies you speak of that may have these enterprises as customers because the agency needs a special hook to keep their client happy. Finally, you have to really understand your role in GDPR - and be ready to discuss how you do comply or do not need to comply.
thanks for the response Chowdari. So what methods would you use to find target customers?
@Arsalan, great ideas there, thank you!!
If you want to develop your ideas and meet the right people, there’s no better community of private members clubs than at Haurun.I began by becoming a member of a new private club for entrepreneurs which might interest you and gain you interested contacts and investment. In fact, there are nine clubs, the first, known as your ‘Home Club’ is completely free to join then for each additional club, a membership fee of only £200 per year and each with different specialisms from, art, property, travel, events, entrepreneurs, investment, tech, fashion etc.I have additional interests so I joined at the membership level of - Honorary so I’m entitled to access to four clubs which you can visit here,
I hope this is helpful as it can often be frustrating to have ideas but no one to help. That’s why I’m promoting it so much as it’s been a godsend!
I believe you’ll enjoy this as much as I am and look forward to meeting you at one of their events.
If you are aiming to get featured on mayor publications. That part is easy, but you will need to have PR budget, $10,000 minimum for start and getting into publications should be easy. Hit me up if you need guideline for that.