Starting with a random array of marketing tactics is never a good idea, no matter how free or exciting the tools are. Diving into marketing without understanding your niche in the market or where your competition stands in comparison could end up costing you greatly down the line.
This month’s #MillennialTreps Twitter chat with the U.S. Small Business Administration on “How to Market Your Startup” was packed with advice about what questions you should have answered before you even begin to think about marketing and the different resources that can help out a Millennial entrepreneur.
The funds are usually low or nonexistent when starting a new company. That’s why it’s important you don’t blow the little budget you have on willy-nilly marketing tactics without a plan for what you are trying to accomplish. Planning is crucial. As participants in this month’s chat told us, a good plan can be the difference between a successfully branded company with an audience that cares about it and, well, nothing.
These were just a few of the responses. Here are some more of our favorites.
Q1: Before you begin marketing, what questions should you have answered about your business? #MillennialTreps
who is your target audience? what exactly is the ROI on the marketing tactic? @SBAgov #MillennialTreps — AWP Network! (@AfricWomenPower) September 29, 2015
A1 #millennialtreps - Know what problem your product and/or service is helping to solve and who has that issue — Glenn Muske (@gmuske) September 29, 2015
A1: Who is your target audience, and how does this marketing plan address their needs and our business' problems? #MillennialTreps — Kauffman Foundation (@KauffmanFDN) September 29, 2015
Q2: What’s the first step in creating a marketing strategy? #MillennialTreps
A2: Outline marketing campaign dates to understand timeline before filling in any pertinent strategies & tactics #MillennialTreps — Kim Wallace (@kimberlyloc) September 29, 2015
A2: Setting long-term & short-term #goals is a critical first step in creating a marketing strategy: http://t.co/9SqLPTVhJV #MillennialTreps — The UPS Store (@TheUPSStore) September 29, 2015
A2: Create a marketing calendar. We offer a calendar template: http://t.co/VURY9vtZQc #MillennialTreps — SCORE Mentors (@SCOREMentors) September 29, 2015
Q3: How do you learn and understand your customers' wants and needs? #MillennialTreps
A3 #millennialtreps - don't forget to clearly understand if it is a want or a need. Wants can disappear in a second. — Glenn Muske (@gmuske) September 29, 2015
A3: Pay attention to your analytics. They can provide great insight into who your audience is & when you can connect. #MillennialTreps — 1millioncups (@1millioncups) September 29, 2015
A3: Talk to customers. Pinpoint different aspects of their daily routine & where to best intercept them w/ what they need. #MillennialTreps — Amanda Schnieders (@Am_Chaos) September 29, 2015
Q4: How do you determine your marketing budget? #MillennialTreps
@SBAgov never be afraid to ask them, to try new things, and seek relationships with your customer base #MillennialTreps — GROW (@GROWGrandRapids) September 29, 2015
@SBAgov A4: It goes back to what your goals are. You should have an idea of how your marketing efforts will effect KPIs. #MillennialTreps — Nicholas L. Norfolk (@absolut_zer0) September 29, 2015
Exactly! Most social platforms are free to use. Great way for entrepreneurs to save some $ early on #MillennialTreps https://t.co/gZ7pFt2yQo — 1millioncups (@1millioncups) September 29, 2015
Q5: How do you execute smart marketing on a small budget? #MillennialTreps
A5: Start small & don't forget about the basics! Here are 5 collateral pieces to make a big impact: http://t.co/lKCl4WaBek #MillennialTreps — The UPS Store (@TheUPSStore) September 29, 2015
A5: An avenue for marketing your company that can be kept low-budget if thinking creatively http://t.co/3Jc4uaVVDZ #MillennialTreps — Entrepreneurship.org (@eshiporg) September 29, 2015
A5 cont’d: Referrals and reviews are free and a great tool for spreading the word about your business #MillennialTreps — SBA (@SBAgov) September 29, 2015
Q6: What are the best resources to learn about marketing your startup? #MillennialTreps
A6: .@Kissmetrics has a nice guide http://t.co/N33BngbY22. | Another list of resources http://t.co/gmbFLd5CsO #MillennialTreps — Founders School (@KauffmanFS) September 29, 2015
@SBAgov we teach a monthly course to help startups get their marketing plan on track #MillennialTreps — GROW (@GROWGrandRapids) September 29, 2015
@SBAgov A6: I suggest seeking out a mentor that's been involved in marketing a startup or a marketing professional. #MillennialTreps — Nicholas L. Norfolk (@absolut_zer0) September 29, 2015
Thanks for everyone’s participation, and we look forward to hearing from you more in future Twitter chats. To see the full list of tweets, check out #MillennialTreps on Twitter and follow @KauffmanFS to see when we’ll be having our chat next month and what topic we'll be discussing.
Want to see what happened during our last Twitter chats? Check out:
Active Pursuit Proves Key in Finding Your Startup Community [Twitter Chat Recap]
Challenges in Finding a Mentor, Creating a Mutually Beneficial Relationship Surface in Twitter Chat
Pitfalls in Hiring, Ways to Motivate a Team Arise in Twitter Chat
Millennials Twitter Chat Raises Questions of Credibility, Preparation and Hurdles When It Comes to Financing a Venture
Millennials Twitter Chat Discusses Relevance of Business Plans, Whether to Co-Found or Not
Twitter Chat Ignites Discussion Obstacles Facing Millennial Entrepreneurs