The stats are staggering: Nine out of 10 startups fail.
But you already knew that.
The why, on the other hand, is a lesser-known fact: poor marketing.
If there’s one piece of advice every new entrepreneur needs to hear, it’s to avoid high-impression/low-conversion marketing strategies. New business owners often feel like they need to do everything -- Facebook ads, local advertising and email campaigns. But do-it-all plans yield few results for early-stage entrepreneurs and cost them money they don’t have to spare.
While trial and error is inherent to figuring out what types of marketing will work, a focused approach earns far better results than a scattershot social media campaign. Choosing a few solid strategies to get off the ground -- and forgoing the vanity metrics -- is best, strategies that focuses on customer value, engagement and retention.
To adopt a successful dynamic multichannel marketing strategy, check out these proven-to-work steps:
1. Leverage industry influencers
Brands that captivate industry leaders earn visibility and ROI.
Some do it by offering them shares, hiring them as consultants or using other creative means of engagement. At our company, we invited a handful of influencers from around the world to sit on our advisory board, and all of them have at least a decade of experience in their spheres. We also work with social media influencers who post content about our business.
2. Use tracking tools
Brands need to know where every single click, download and install was earned.
Services such as TUNE and Mixpanel enable companies to track everything about their users. We maintain nearly a gigabyte of data on every user, including in-depth analyses on behaviors and online profiles. This data informs when and how we market to different segments of our user base. The more intimately a company knows its customers, the more it can customize their experiences and become indispensable to them.
3. Promote multichannel engagement
Users value having control over how they interact with brands.
Our customers can download our app, find us on Google, sign up for emails or push notifications, call us on our toll-free number or text our team members. Businesses earn trust by letting customers engage on their terms, and the same goes for marketing. We promote our brand through high-visibility placements, such as celebrity events, social media and the promoters and nightlife moguls on our advisory board.
4. Establish an effective CRM your way
A lot of startups miss out on marketing opportunities because they’re using third-party CRM systems that are out-of-sync with their needs rather than smart, efficient systems.
We use a custom CRM with algorithms that ensure our entire team sees the exact data it needs to do a great job and automate any repetitive tasks. When we get a booking, our concierge team can access a custom dashboard with all the relevant information needed to follow up with clients. Startups that aren’t in a position to build their own CRMs can use services such as Infusionsoft or Salesforce to track and manage customer relations.
5. Assess customer value
Successful companies distinguish between paying users, qualified users and potential users to determine how much time and money to invest in each type. We determine the lifetime value of current or potential customers by assessing their net worth, spending patterns, market fluctuations, seasonal potential and timelines for using our product. We give special attention to qualified users -- individuals who may not spend much on our product themselves but amplify our brand by association.
6. Show appreciation
Building delight into every aspect of the customer relationship earns companies user loyalty and great word-of-mouth marketing.
We cater to high-end, well-connected customers, so we extend ultra-experiences (think trips on private jets and events on yachts) to our VIPs to thank them for their loyalty. Not every startup has access to $50 million mansions for client appreciation events, but they can always find the means to acknowledge customers in meaningful ways.
Companies expand marketing strategies to include social media and other types of advertising as operations grow. But beginning with deep metrics and a focus on customer engagement is key for building solid, sustainable growth and industry leadership.