Marketing Challenges for Start-ups

Marketing a start-up is a whole different animal than marketing a traditional business or corporation.

For starters, you don’t have any brand recognition to get you in the door, your budget is usually limited and a lot of times you’re dealing with your potential customers in a completely digital atmosphere.

The most common marketing challenges for Start-ups, along with actionable solutions.

Marketing Challenge 1: Competition. Even if you’ve got a truly ground-breaking business idea that’s never been thought of before, you’ve still got other businesses vying for the attention and money of your target market. How do you stand out with so many competing businesses vying for attention?

Solution: Research your competitors’ websites and social media pages to figure out what they’re not saying or doing instead. Your unique selling proposition always lies in what you have on offer that your competitors don’t. Or if you can’t offer something different, at least communicate what you have in a different way. Find a way to be different or at least market yourself in a different way and you’ll win some of the market share.

Marketing Challenge 2: A barrage of marketing options. For start-up business owners the myriad of marketing options can be overwhelming and confusing.

Solution: Focus on finding out who your target audience is and where they hang out. Bottom line: Target market. Find it. Study it. Live it. Breathe it. Dominate it.

Marketing Challenge 3: Staying focused. Marketing challenges aren’t limited to nailing down the best marketing strategy. Even the best marketing strategies can fail, if your team is distracted by other obligations or opportunities. Jumping on every potential collaboration opportunity for the new startup can also add to this distraction. Failure to focus AND take action on your marketing will leave your startup dead in the water.

Solution: Outsource your time and learn to say no. Thanks to technology marketing automation tools are abundant. Automating can save you time, money and a whole lot of stress. Always consider whether or not the opportunities really align with your target market and your branding guidelines before you jump in.

Marketing Challenge 4: Limited Marketing Budget. Start-ups usually operate on a shoestring budget, and even start-ups with massive funding have investors to report back to on every single penny spent. The problem is that start-up founders perceive this to be a disadvantage when it comes to implementing a viable marketing strategy.

Solution: Focus on lean marketing and free resources. Meaning, paid advertisements on and offline were not in the for-seeable future. Take advantage of all the free tools available to promote your company. If you don’t know how and if you don’t have time to do it yourself, rethink on getting laser focused on your target market.