Tag Archives: Marketing Strategy

Lifehacks

Why Your Marketing Strategies Suck (And How to Fix Them)

EntrepreneurFinesse.com - Good To Great Marketing Strategies

Who likes to be proven wrong?

Nobody wants to fail, especially not enthusiastic start-up entrepreneurs.

Often the best way to find out what works in marketing is to analyze what does not work.  In my business consulting firm I have helped many successful companies and some failures too. While there are many reasons for business failure, these marketing blunders are an all too common factor in startup demise. A great startup knows how to utilize technology in the best interests of the people in their company and their bottom line. For example, a local chiropractor would do well by positioning themselves on Google search with SEO (Get found online with Hari Menon Digital).

These are the worst marketing tactics I have observed small businesses use most often which result in money loss, weak sales and most critically the loss of the entrepreneur’s confidence and drive.

Learn from others entrepreneurs marketing mistakes and spare yourself a business failure.

EntrepreneurFinesse.com - Good To Great Marketing Strategies

Failing Marketing Strategies and How To Correct

More Is Better

Often called the “spray and pray” marketing program. The premise is that if you make ten sales presentations and nobody buys then you should make a hundred more of the same flawed sales presentation.  The concept is if you work extra hard success will naturally follow. However, doing more of the same failing activities will only bring you more business failure. People fall into this trap because working super hard gives them the perception of progress, but it is only an illusion.

 

How to Correct

Instead, after those ten bad sales presentations, take a step back and review the why’s of your failure. Be humble and open to learning the truth. Ask yourself these fact-finding questions:

  • Are these the wrong type of target customers for your product or service?
  • Is your presentation compelling enough demonstrating the benefits of purchase?
  • Do you need additional sales training,? Are you selling in the right manner, i.e., in person or online?

Time spent in this manner will yield valuable information to adjust your marketing strategy for greater success – while ultimately spending less time and energy for better results.

 

Word-of-Mouth

Some entrepreneurs wrongly think that because they are so excited about their product that the world will be too. Immediately when the world hears about their new product, they will beat a path to their door with money.  You think that if your Facebook followers, friends and family spread the word about your product, your cash register will start ringing.  Wishful thinking that almost never happens.

Today, everybody is so saturated with information and busy with their lives and activities that they will hardly notice that your new product has arrived in the marketplace. Also, your loving family and friends may not be your target customer, nor are influencers in your industry. Thus their support will generate no buzz.

 

How to Correct

Before your product launches, spend time creating a community of people, both online and off-line, which are your target customers and industry influencers that have active lines of communication the public.

Then at launch time hire marketing professionals and graphic artists to create compelling, funny, and share-worthy graphics, videos, and audio about your product. Share those interesting items with your newly-created community, and your influencer contacts to get the buzz started and make sales.

 

All I Need Are Ads

Many new entrepreneurs take this easy, but expensive, route of advertising online, on Facebook or Google, without any other marketing strategies to launch their products. After they had spent thousands of dollars and got little results, many are so discouraged and broke that they quit and close their company. Don’t let this happen to you.

Because major sites such as Facebook and Google have made it easy to set up ad campaigns, new entrepreneurs are led to believe that they have set it up correctly. That is very far from the truth. Many of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable online entrepreneurs that I know hire dedicated specialists to set up their advertising campaigns on these sites. Unless you are an online advertising professional, you will overspend and underachieve with these types of ad campaigns.

 

How to Correct

A far more effective marketing strategy is to connect via social media, search engines, forums and your website with your target customers groups, called “tribes.”  A great way to get started is with PlacementSEO. Your tribe is a group of your target customers with common interests and a desire for your new product. A particularly effective way to tap into your tribe is on Groups on Facebook and Linkedin.com 

Certainly, this process will take more time, legwork and effort, but less cash than clicking a few buttons and advertising. Beginning entrepreneurs need to conserve their cash as much as possible for those expenses that no amount of legwork will buy. For more information on how to find and connect with your Tribe, read, or listen to the MP3, the marketing guru Seth Godin’s book, Tribes – We need you to lead us.  

 

Entrepreneurs have some fun and get great startup ideas with this cool Business Idea Generator.

Read More
Books

Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers

Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers Header

Traction is an awesome book for entrepreneurs and a key complement to The Lean Startup by Eric Ries for startups. Far too often it seems like startups focus on the same marketing channels when sharing their products. It is also difficult to tell which channel is the best one for right now. The book has also changed its name from, “Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers” to “Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth” written by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares. I have the first edition which I originally purchased in 2014, but they both should be essentially the same book.

Traction is a great read that helps you find a promising traction channel to focus on, and discover powerful marketing strategies with that channel. The book is a manifesto on how startups can build traction for customer growth in key stages of their development. It offers a “lean” approach to tackling marketing channels and achieving traction intelligently through the use of tools, the Bullseye Framework and Critical Path. The book is an essential marketing reference guide for the modern entrepreneur and is a great way to explore all of your marketing options in a smart, efficient manner.

Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg, Justin MaresThe Bullseye Framework is a lean approach towards narrowing down the numerous choices of marketing channels to the vital few that really matter. The methodology is based on clustering of priority along with constant experimentation. Achieving a sophisticated Bullseye requires tactics that mesh traction development with product development (where The Lean Startup comes in). For startups, the bullseye framework is quite possibly the most effective method for pinpointing the best marketing channel out of all available choices quickly.

Download the Bullseye template here.

A Critical Path is the path to reaching your traction goal with the fewest number of steps. A traction goal could be 1,000 paying customers, 100 new daily users, or 10% of your market for instance and is highly dependent on your business. These are the milestones you need to do to get to where you want to go. After reaching your milestone, reassess the newfound knowledge against your bullseye framework for improvements. By this point you should be seeing traction in one of your channels and traction trumps everything. This is the point where you invest more resources into this channel and experiment with new ideas over flailing channels.

The traction methods

Viral Marketing – This can happen when your content is extremely shareable and noteworthy. Virality can also be built into the functionality of the product, marketing or customer service.

Public Relations – Excellent Public Relations is the art of getting your name out there via media outlets like newspapers, websites, magazines, e-zines, social media, and TV. Reaching out to online news aggregate sites such as TechCrunch, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, Life Hacker are great places to start for PR exposure.

Unconventional Public Relations – Unconventional PR constitutes activities that generate media attention but aren’t necessarily considered normal forms of marketing. Publicity stunts and great customer service are also forms of unconventional public relations.

Search Engine Marketing – This mainly means advertising on Google, but it would serve you well to experiment with marketing on other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. Finding an effective SEO strategist and web design expert would serve you well for attracting new leads and clients.

Social & Display Ads – This category is for advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. There are also display advertising networks such as Google Display Network which can increase your ad reach to blogs and content sites.

Offline Ads  – Include TV spots, radio commercials, billboards, infomercials, newspaper and magazine ads. Remnant advertising can be an economical source of advertising.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Building a website optimized for target traffic through search engines with great content and link building is a long-term approach to marketing. Success with SEO will require a healthy combination of content marketing, public relations, and blog post swapping.

Content Marketing – Creating blog content can reap dividends when it comes to branding, ranking for SEO, gaining viral traction and obtaining subscribers. It can be an easy way to educate your audience on topics that interest them.

Email Marketing – One of the best ways to convert prospects while retaining and monetizing existing ones. To optimize this channel, continue to test the AARR metrics (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue) in your marketing funnel.

Engineering As Marketing – Engineering tools for customers is an intuitive way of reaching your target market directly. By providing them with a free tool you are essentially showing them that you are trustworthy enough to build a good product.

Targeting Blogs – Targeting other blogs can have the effect of cross-pollination of audiences. By being a guest on other blogs it makes you seem like a trusted friend. This is a great strategy for early-stage startups.

Business Development – The process of creating strategic relationships that benefit both your startup and your partner. Partnerships can be as simple as partnering with a dominant pizza shop such as Domino’s because you sell fire ovens, and in return, you help bring each other business.

Sales – Perfect for high priced products and products requiring 1 on 1 consultation such as life insurance, auto sales, accounting, etc. Sales is great for creating processes to directly exchange the product for dollars.

Affiliate Programs – Leveraging affiliate networks can have huge positive effects on the audience you reach with your product. Clickbank, Commission Junction, and PepperJam are incredible affiliate networks. Furthermore, creating your own affiliate network could be a great way to drive referrals.

Existing Platforms – Marketing for existing platforms means focusing your growth efforts on an ultra-platform like Facebook, Twitter or an App store. Oftentimes being one of the first to market on a platform can be the key driver for the success of the entire app.

Trade Shows – A superb way of reaching your customers, competitors, evangelists, media and potential suppliers at the same time. A well located and design trade show booth could be one of the main attractions at the show! Trade shows can reap the benefits of long-lasting relationships with the people you meet.

Offline Events – Sponsoring or running an offline event can be a key driver of traction. Whether it is a small meetup event or a full-scale conference (or even a party), it is possible to position yourself as an authority figure and scale up to larger events.

Speaking Engagements – Speaking is the old school method of directly reaching your audience. It can be extremely effective as a source of customer attention and personal brand building. As a founder use a site like Clarity to find relevant successful entrepreneurs for speaking engagements. Leverage your talks by recording them, asking the audience to perform engagement on social media and ending your talks with a call to action.

Community Building – Building an audience can be as simple as fostering a community. To achieve this, first establish a powerful mission for your community. What are you hoping to achieve through manifesting this community? Foster critical connections in your community and communicate with your biggest evangelists. They can be your biggest assets in product development and even inbound hiring. Startups with a strong, core mission would do themselves well by building traction through community building.

Finally, check out my video review of the traction system here:

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

Authors: ,
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Portfolio
Publication Year: 2015
ASIN: 1591848369
ISBN: 1591848369

Most startups don’t fail because they can’t build a product. Most startups fail because they can’t get traction. Startup advice tends to be a lot of platitudes repackaged with new buzzwords, but Traction is something else entirely.  As Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares learned from their own...

Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Amazon
About the Book

Most startups don’t fail because they can’t build a product.
Most startups fail because they can’t get traction. 

Startup advice tends to be a lot of platitudes repackaged with new buzzwords, but Traction is something else entirely.

As Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares learned from their own experiences, building a successful company is hard. For every startup that grows to the point where it can go public or be profitably acquired, hundreds of others sputter and die.

Smart entrepreneurs know that the key to success isn’t the originality of your offering, the brilliance of your team, or how much money you raise. It’s how consistently you can grow and acquire new customers (or, for a free service, users). That’s called traction, and it makes everything else easier—fund-raising, hiring, press, partnerships, acquisitions. Talk is cheap, but traction is hard evidence that you’re on the right path.

Traction will teach you the nineteen channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. It draws on inter-views with more than forty successful founders, including Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Alexis Ohanian (reddit), Paul English (Kayak), and Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot). You’ll learn, for example, how to:

·Find and use offline ads and other channels your competitors probably aren’t using
·Get targeted media coverage that will help you reach more customers
·Boost the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns by automating staggered sets of prompts and updates
·Improve your search engine rankings and advertising through online tools and research

Weinberg and Mares know that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution; every startup faces unique challenges and will benefit from a blend of these nineteen traction channels. They offer a three-step framework (called Bullseye) to figure out which ones will work best for your business. But no matter how you apply them, the lessons and examples in Traction will help you create and sustain the growth your business desperately needs.

email
Look Inside

(Disclaimer: Affiliate Link)

Traction: A Startup Guide To Getting Customers by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

Read More