The seven ages of business marketing: From startup to exit

These can be broken down into seven ages, each one of which demands a different approach to communications. In this series of blogs, we explore each age, its challenges, and the steps to take to ensure communications success.

Age One: Startup

Let’s start with the startup!

It’s the Brave New World moment. You all feel great, the business plan is agreed and initial funding is in place. It’s an exciting time, but money is tight. You are sharing an office with other companies and you are working all hours.

What are your priorities right now? In a nutshell, they are to get attention in your market and win some sales. Easier said than done. You have a great product or service, but zero credibility. And you are up against established and trusted brands. People love what you offer, but maybe you are just too much of a risk for them. After all, you might not be around in a year’s time.

How do you deal with this when you have so little money to play with? How do you overcome this challenge and make a mark when you have so little money to play with? Start simple, and force yourself to be as focused as possible. Agree a simple set of core messages and then pinpoint the most important channels for reaching that audience.

It could be traditional media, social media, running an event or some direct marketing. But in an online world, search is crucial. Select a few core search terms and optimise all communications around them. SEO is not just for websites; everything should be optimised. If all outbound content contains selected key search terms, the net result: sales traffic coming to your website.

And when they get there? What impression does it give potential customers? Do you look like a credible supplier who is going to be around for a long time? Is it easy for them to engage with you?  

This simple, very focused yet integrated approach to communications will generate maximum value from your communications budget. So that’s one fewer reason to keep the midnight oil burning.

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