Marketing Your Start Up

Last night at Google Campus we learnt about “Marketing your Start Up”. Dispensing their wisdom and top tips we had 3 seasoned marketers:  

Malcolm Bell, Co-founder & CEO, Zaggora

Sarah Wood, Co-founder & COO, Unruly

Toby Austin, founder, UKFunders & Bantr

Some trends emerged: they had all created success through non-traditional means (i.e. no press releases, mail shots) and by adding their original twists to the well-known methods of social and digital marketing.

Secondly, with Malcolm’s investment banking background, Sarah’s PHD in American History and Toby’s training in computer science and brief stint as a graduate recruiter, they typified the saying that entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. 

So what are the secrets to their success?

·         Forget the myth that creating great content will automatically go viral. It won’t. You normally have to pay to distribute it. Take Kony 2012 as an example. This was not an overnight success. The organisers had spent years connecting with the right people to ensure mass distribution.

·         People need to see an advert/brand 6 or 7 times before they buy. We see about 7 thousand adverts a day. To cut through this you must create great content which produces a high emotional reaction and psychological arousal. This could be emotional (moving, uplifting, nostalgic); cognitive (knowledge, confusion, surprise); primitive (fight, flight, sex). Altruism also still remains highly effective.

·         Email marketing campaigns do not work for acquiring customers. It can be a useful tool for maintaining your customers’ interest as long as it is engaging and fresh content

·         Freemium is a great way to build customers in B2C businesses, but much less effective in B2B businesses. Giving away products and getting people to post real reviews on Facebook was partly responsible for Zaggora’s staggering success in its first year.

·         As a new business you will have to go through a pain barrier of high bounce rates and low ROI. Large e-businesses (e.g. Amazon, ebay) have 30% conversion rates because of the quality of their traffic. This takes time to build.

·         Choose your marketing channel based on how you’ve articulated the problem you’re addressing and what response you want. Do you want Facebook posts? Referrals? Their details? Etc.

·         Ultimately, the best marketing tool is your product. Customer satisfaction is the biggest driver. Get your product right, treat your customers well and you can’t go far wrong.

And finally we asked these 3 entrepreneurs for one piece of advice:

·         “If you’re thinking you need to fire someone it’s probably too late. Trust your gut and go with it. As your own boss you don’t have time to sit and ponder” (Toby)

·         “Advice is over rated. Don’t wait for it. No one knows your business as well as you” (Sarah)

·         “You have to fail to learn. Embrace failure. And make notes.” (Malcolm)