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Minimum Viable Marketing for Startups

Posted by Allan Gates on Jul 14, 2014 1:35:00 PM

Startups are a rocket trip.

There’s the rush of liftoff as you bring your idea to life, fuelled by too much Red Bull and the belief your product is going to soar, change the world and make you rich in the process. In these early days, you’re pouring your heart and soul into building and shipping product.

So maybe it’s no surprise that marketing is often an afterthought. In fact, many startups think that marketing is something that “comes later.” You live and breathe the product and soon you’ll be fighting the customers off with a stick, right? Who needs marketing?

But it’s rarely that easy. You need to create awareness, build relationships, create leads and close sales – that doesn’t happen without marketing.

The reality is, marketing matters greatly to startups—even from the very earliest days of the company. No, you don’t need to spend big buckets of scarce dollars on ad campaigns or hyped-up parties. That's so Web 2.0. Now it’s all about being highly targeted and efficient.

MVM_Startup_Playbook

That means you need to truly understand who you are and what value you offer to your customers. Figure that out and you’ll be ready to go after those venture capital dollars you’re lusting after to fuel your company’s growth.

You need to look like a real, credible company. You’re a company that people want to buy from and are comfortable investing in—project that. If you don’t, even the most clever or disruptive technology might not save you.

If you’re following the lean startup approach, you are focused on building – and selling – that all important Minimum Viable Product. That MVP builds traction, refines the product while generating revenue and ultimately profits.

That’s where good marketing helps.

We know you don’t have a lot of time or cash to dump into marketing at this stage. You need to be smart, and focus on the things that do the most to support your company’s growth.

We call that Minimum Viable Marketing.

Minimum Viable Marketing (MVM) is the first round of things you need to do to tell your startup’s story and lead it firmly toward customers, partners and investors. MVM is a pragmatic approach to startup marketing: it recognizes the limits of your time and funding. This is a lean approach to marketing, one that echoes the way you’re developing the rest of your business.

Every startup is different, but for most there are five essential components to Minimum Viable Marketing, some strategic and some tactical:

  1. Positioning and Messaging
  2. Branding
  3. Pitch Decks
  4. Social media
  5. Web site

Find out more about putting Minimum Viable Marketing to work for your startup by downloading the FREE Bonfire eBook Minimum Viable Marketing: A Playbook for Startups.

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Topics: Brand, Startups, MVM

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