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Marketing for Startups: It’s like warfare,You need to fight to survive

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Mar 5, 2012

If someone asks you what will you do for your startup-marketing or branding? You might think this person may be wrongfully differentiating marketing and branding. But, if he clears the point that marketing is activity for achieving short term goal like as to carry customers to the shops or selling the products/ services more frequently and for this motive all advertising, promotional and managerial activities are considered as marketing; and consequently if the marketing activities become consistent and can build trust on customers mind then the total process will be considered as ‘Branding’.

Then you can get the point that marketing is a type of day to day activity to survive in the market and you try to keep in mind when a marketer arranges any marketing activity he/she tries to consider whether it is branding itself (its brand product/firm), they think so because customers want value, expected services and commitment consistently from their service and thus they require to arrange all marketing activities consistently that goes with their brand image.

Now come to the mentioned question what will you do for your startup-marketing or branding? The answer can be branding oriented marketing. But, will you be able to do this? Do you know marketing for startup is like warfare? So be ready for the fight to survive!

Why marketing is warfare?

Startup marketing is considered as warfare because a startup from its very early days needs to fight with the existing competitors from different perspective. They have to fight on product orientation, innovation, quality and so on. The fight sometimes becomes vigorous as the startups need to compete with the experienced marketing fighters who might have enough weapons/resources and market power to control the market. Here, some reasons are cited why marketing becomes warfare:

  • Price Competition & Economic Change: The very early periods of the startups are threatened by price competition by the competitors, because the competitor tries to bar the newcomer penetration in this market through lowering/discounting price initially. So as a startup marketer you should keep in mind of getting ‘much more competitive advantage’ than the competitors. Sometimes, Economic conditions change the consumption pattern of the consumers and startups needs to adapt the condition. But, they can’t do so because it’s really tough for startups to change its policies within a short period where the experienced competitors can.
  • Frequent changes in product offering: Most of the cases competitors change product offering and do continuous improvement of their product/service. Sometimes existing firms push variety of products to beat the startups. Here, startups can’t change their product offering very often because after establishing a product in the market launching another variety of product is almost impossible.
  • New competitors inflowing: Day by day many more competitors enter in to the market. Then the total market becomes much more competitive for all. If two or more startup enters in to the market at a time then the marketing goes much more ballistic.
  • Changes in culture, rituals or lifestyles: These changes happen very slowly but actively and it helps to converts the consumer’s perception and consumption style. Most of the cases the startups can’t adapt the changes because of less observation power. So, startups need to more proactive!
  • Generation changes through technological improvement: As day’s passes by the views of the people of any time changes and the people count same thing differently, it is considered as changes in generation and such changes carry changes in choice, values and perception. Technology brings such changes both in marketing and product offering patterns of firms. Today’s marketing is followed by the latest tech and startups need to fight to grasp the opportunities from this.

How can you get prepared to fight the warfare?

Now the question is how you can get prepared for this warfare. As a startup marketer firstly you should try to provide value to your customers, don't just sell product/service. Provide reliable & necessary information to them about yourself and your product/service. This can gives you extra power in this warfare. Moreover, you can follow:

  • Get frequent information about competition: For every startup it is necessary to observe the competitors activity and motives of marketing activities. So, have keen attention on the competitors and try to get frequent information on product offering/price changes/their value addition.
  • Deeply understand customer insights & customer product choice: Try to find out what value customer wants and make strong effort to understand the core demands and most importantly fulfill it. If you can do so you will be forefront on the warfare.
  • Reduce cost to get more efficiency: Reducing the channel/managing/promotional cost can be the best effort to get more profit margins. As a startup marketer it is a great challenge for you, but you can make effort on it to fight on the warfare.
  • Generate new product idea & do continuous improvement: Today’s market changes very fast and consumers’ choices also changes very promptly. They always search for new tastes. Startups should search for generating very new products or should try to improve existing offering to have advantage on the fight.
  • Measure your marketing communication programs & See whether ‘brand building strategy is working’: Most importantly a startup marketer should regularly evaluate his/her marketing strategies and marketing communication programs. Marketing programs build brands, so evaluate it whether it is helping to build strong brand. Strong brands get enormous advantage in the marketing warfare.

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