How To Select Right Platforms to Promote Your Start-up
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Mangala is the promoter of a small-scale enterprise in the value-added food sector in the progressive city of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. With a staff strength of 20 women, she purchases fresh vegetables from the wholesale market, has these chopped/peeled/processed and then packed and supplied to various malls and retail vegetable vendors.
In a short span of just two years, she has won an award for being the most successful start-up in the processed fresh-food category due to the growth and level of her company’s sales, both in volume and value terms.
How is she so successful? Well, it’s because she’s extremely visible. Her brand, which is displayed on everything from her packaging and delivery van to the caps and aprons she hands out to women at various forums, has become very popular.
She puts up stalls at the annual parent-teachers’ meetings at schools and speaks on issues of health and nutrition at the Lion’s Club and other forums. She even appears on local radio and television channels, offering advice on a balanced diet. Most people recognise her. It’s apparent from her performance that all this time and effort is paying off.
Then there’s Sanjana, the wedding planner. She’s one of the best in her field, pan-India. Her approach is completely different. She’s got a gorgeous website that showcases her work and a robust social media strategy that enables her to network with her clients, who usually belong to the crème de la crème. She does make public appearances too, at inaugurals and glam events, but she knows that her business grows due to referrals, backed by her online presence.
So, what parameters can help you decide which the combination of online and offline platforms can get you the best mileage and best value for money?
Determine Who You are Targeting
Mangala knows that her target group comprises women in her broad neighbourhood or even city; Sanjana’s prospects must have a marriage in the family – either their own or that of their children. Having big-budget wedding plans is also a necessary characteristic but the family could hail from anywhere in India, or the world for that matter. Both Mangala and Sanjana are clear who they wanted to engage with and their choice of platforms reflected that.
What Kind of Message Will Attract your Prospects Sanjana’s business is based on creating a ‘wow’ factor at weddings. Her prospects are drawn to her by captivating audio-visuals and third-party narrations of her work. These testimonies can easily be captured and accessed on an online platform. Mangala’s business, on the other hand, is built on convenience, quality and trust. These objectives are better achieved through personal engagement. So, once again, the kind of message you need to send out will tell you which platform will suit you better.
What Sort of Resources do you Have:
Most start-ups heavily leverage their time, funds and support structures to grow their business. The time you can spare to launch and maintain your connect with your target group will determine your choice of platform. While Mangala was completely responsible for strategically planning how her business would run, she was not hands-on involved in the actual purchase, processing, packaging or delivery of her products. She could utilize her time to meet prospects. Sanjana had to be present at every event she organised to ensure that things went as planned; she could be required to travel anywhere in the country or abroad and stay there for limited periods of time. Using platforms which could be fuelled and maintained anytime-anywhere suited her better.
As a start-up, you are constantly in a state of evolution. Your choice of platforms and your commitment to each of these could vary as time goes by, in a planned manner. Set milestones, in terms of what you want to achieve with your current resources and platforms that are in use. Also plan ahead for the kind of resources you plan to dedicate to your future promotion strategy. This way, as you achieve each milestone, you could seamlessly move towards the next one.There are times when you may find it difficult to gauge what strategy will be most effective. The old-fashioned way would be to launch a trial and error mission. However, today, blogs and YouTube videos that share experiences and offer DIY advice could save you time and effort. However, if that confuses you further, you could always bring in an expert; it could be worth the time and effort saved