If you are a startup, you are likely more focused on raising money, prioritizing your next steps, prototyping and perfecting your product, figuring out business partners and sourcing, addressing operational issues and getting your idea in front of potential customers than on developing and executing marketing plans. And if you are trying to generate sales, you are likely to be more focused on selling approaches than on marketing. But even if you are thinking about marketing you may be considering what tactics to use including advertising, publicity and social media marketing. But until you have a deep understanding of your most likely customers and their motivations, choosing marketing tactics is premature.
If I were a startup, here is what I would consider first:
- Who is going to buy our product or service?
- Who is our best customer likely to be?
- What unmet needs are we fulfilling for them?
- What other products or services might they consider to meet the same needs?
- How is our product or service different from competitive offerings?
- Is our product or service different enough to give us a sales advantage over competitive products?
- What is our unique value proposition?
- In twelve words or less, what is our key message to potential customers?
- Where do those customers shop?
- What media do those customers consume?
- Where do they get their ideas of what to buy?