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Three Ways Startups Can Reinvent Their Marketing

The digital age has changed the landscape of business irrevocably, opening doors and creating opportunities where before there were none. Living in an era of technology has created a landscape that presents modern society with unique challenges, while also providing the tools to combat these challenges. This environment paved the way for the startup, a uniquely 21st century creation that focuses on providing a specific solution to a specific problem and bringing it to market. 

Previously on Startup Around, we talked about 'Top 5 User Intelligence Tools for Startups'. They are equipped to handle challenges and opportunities in ways that traditional businesses are not, which make them dynamic and attractive options for many investors. But while startups may be different from traditional businesses, there are occasions where they do face many of the same problems. One of these problems is how to stand out in a saturated market, especially when going up against more established names. Here are just a few ways startups can respond to that task.

Pay Attention to Competitors

True, there's never been a better time to establish a startup, but this period also comes with a downside — competitors. There are perhaps millions of startups around the world, with the Economic Times reporting at least 50,000 in India. Trying to figure out how to advertise your product or service may be harder than you think, simply because there's just so much competition.

Luckily, this competition could also prove to be your saving grace. Traditional marketing techniques may force you to fight a losing battle by trying to prove how much better you are than your competitors. But as a startup, you don't actually have to rely on what your competitors have, but rather on what they don't. Try to observe what other companies are bringing to the table — and then, instead of trying to one-up them, take note of what they aren't giving the market. Show consumers that you can provide products and services that other businesses can't and build your base by focusing on uniqueness and adaptability. 

Think Out of the Box

Sure, a startup may not have the resources that a bigger, more established company does, but you should see that as an opportunity, not a challenge. Without the constraints of traditional marketing, you're free to use options that are creative and out of the box. These options include guerilla marketing, which according to entrepreneur Basey Botticello is a low-cost solution to the high cost of advertising. 

Guerilla marketing is all about unconventionality. The key point is enabling your company to "stick" in people's minds through creative means. You can employ rarely used methods such as reverse graffiti, contextual marketing, and counter-campaigns. Guerilla marketing works best when you bring the marketing into people's lives in an organic and exciting way, and is more likely to have people talking about your brand for years to come.

 Go Traditional

If guerilla marketing isn't really your thing, you also have the option to go traditional — real traditional. And no, this doesn't involve buying out expensive ad space. Traditional marketing works best when it creates a personal relationship between you and your market, as this can motivate customers to respond back to you. One of the best, and lowest cost methods to do this is via direct mail marketing.

Direct mail marketing is often disregarded as a relic, but you might actually be surprised at how well it works. Triadex Services found that direct mail marketing could actually bring in a relatively higher ROI than other techniques — a 20% redemption rate, to be exact. More people are likely to respond to physical mail, and direct mail offers an opportunity for you to create unique materials to entice your customers. Sure, it's not the fanciest or most innovative option out there, but it absolutely gets the job done.

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