5 Tips For Tech Startup Marketing Plan To Guarantee Exponential Growth
by Mike Khorev
A tech startup’s success often rides on the marketing efforts. No matter how good your product is, there will be no buyer if no one is aware of it. On the other hand, if you have a bad product, no amount of marketing can help.
So, we should strive for the right balance, and on this guide, we will discuss some tips to develop a tech startup marketing plan, and how you can apply it.
Let us begin.
1. Let Your Product Market Itself
David Ogilvy, known as the ‘father of advertising’ once said, ” Great marketing only makes bad product fails faster”.
No matter how good your marketing is, it is far more beneficial to have a great product that answers your customer’s problems and needs. Let’s say the cure for AIDs is suddenly available tomorrow? We can be sure it won’t need any complicated marketing at all. It will simply sell.
So, before deciding on all the complicated tactics, methods, and strategies, the first mindset you should have is that your product or service should be able to market itself.
Snapchat and Dropbox are just two of many other tech startup examples that achieved widespread recognition without any advertising. Their products were simply so well-made and they answer their respective audiences’ problems at that time.
The basic principle here is simple: if your product and/or service is so good and relevant, there is a good chance your users will recommend it to others, and so you can achieve exponential growth. We call this the viral coefficient. A viral coefficient of one means every single user will generate a new user. If you can get above 1, you have achieved exponential growth.
Your product is a unique entity, and so there can be countless ways to achieve this. Yet, here are two key principles to follow:
You Should Understand Your Audience
Your product or service should be able to answer your ideal customer’s needs and demands. You should also understand how they make a purchase decision, how they shop (offline and online), and how they find information about new products. Use those channels accordingly: for example, if you are a tech startup producing a smart security camera, you can promote the product through WireCutter, CNet or other similar sites where your audience usually learn about new products.
Develop A Product Worth Advocating
Obviously, this is easier said than done. Use Net Promoter Score to check whether your product or service is already worth recommending. Also, consider starting a referral marketing program to encourage customers to recommend your product.
2. Targeting Early Adopters
According to the Diffusion of Innovation theory (see image), while the majority of the market (early and late) consists of 68 percent of the total market population, they are quite resistant to change. In general, they only adopt products only after early adopters(13.5%) and innovators (2.5%) have adopted and recommended it. This is why it is important to first target the early innovators and early adopters.
Innovators are the small number of people that will try a product before anyone else. In general, they are the ones belonging to the scientific discipline connected to the product.
Early adopters are often the influencers of your respective industry, commonly with high social status and education.
So, you should first identify the innovators and early adopters of your industry or niche. You can then position your brand to appeal to them, or you may contact them directly to try your product. Check out this guide, that might help you in reaching early adopters.
3. Optimizing Your Online Presence
In this digital age, obviously developing a strong online presence is very important to build awareness and authority. Here are the key areas to focus on:
At the very least, your site should have a reasonable (read: fast) loading speed, and responsive design. Put enough attention in developing the best possible user experience (UX).
Develop a proper content marketing plan and regularly publish valuable, relevant, high-quality contents.
Focus on the right social media channels according to your niche and audience. Use your social media platforms to distribute your contents, and also to interact with your prospects/customers. Attempt to answer every question and address every issue whenever possible.
Depending on the competition of your industry, sooner or later you might need to invest in online advertising. Keep in mind that online ads can be really expensive when not managed well, and check out this guide by Kissmetrics to help you get started.
4. Optimizing Conversion Rate
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is, as the name suggests, optimizing the chance of turning your leads/prospects into purchasing customers. Conversion is, obviously, the end goal of our marketing, so CRO is a very important aspect of the whole digital marketing strategy.
There are three keys to successful CRO: truly understanding your audience, knowing what to optimize on your site, and where you should optimize it. So, CRO is first and foremost, about collecting data. There are three main approaches to doing this:
Here, you can use user tests and surveys to gather data from your visitors. Social engineering will help you understand customer behavior better.
Quantitative Data Analysis
Here, we use web analytics tool such as Google Analytics to track conversion rate. You can get a lot of information with this method such as their devices or browsers, what brought them to visit your site, the part of your site they visited first, and where they abandoned the conversion process.
A/B testing is, essentially, comparing two different versions of a web page (or a part of it) to test which one performs better. Always choosing the version that performs better can dramatically improve conversion rate. Check out this guide by VWO on A/B testing here.
5. Competitive Analysis
On average, we see more than a thousand online ads in a single day. So, how can we compete in such a saturated market?
A strategy is essentially doing things differently than your competitors, but before we can do something different, we should first understand what our competitors are doing.
What type of contents are published by your competition? What keywords and topics are they focusing on? How do they fare with their advertising? Do your competitive analysis homework. If you can do something better, do it. If not, find other opportunities.
The initial marketing effort of a tech startup can make or break the business. Remember, you will need both a great product and great marketing expert to succeed.