Marketing That Pays Off

This was the topic of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal which probably embodies what many startups think.

We assume that you’ve got a product or service that is perceptually distinct from the competition as defined by your target market.

Even if you meet the big differentiation test, we, as is our custom, we have a few things to add:

1. Spend money on a classy web site. Don’t go for the bargain brands. Remember that the site is your window to the world. A blog is about the cheapest form of self promotion you can do (which is why we started this one), but have something to say in your industry and make it read and sound well.

2, We agree with not spending wasteful money on advertising. Really focus on what influences your target market the buy your product. Our blog is now second only to forbes.com as a source of business wisdom. in three years.

3. Even in view of number 2 above, remember that spending marketing dollars is an interative process, and you’ll waste some money.

4. Figure out the maximum you can spend on marketing, because, unless you’re spinning of from a previous employer in a field where you’re well known, not many will know your name.

5. Be patient: it takes the search engines as long as two months to get your search terms and your site indexed.

6, Free publicity, from media press releases, does have some benefits, but they’re becoming less and less, in our humble opinion. Print space is increasingly valuable, so expect that at least you’ll get an online mention.

8. Sprending money on marketing doesn’t make a lot of sense if you can’t close the prospects. Talk to my friend Mike DiCarlo about that.

7. And lastly, be prepared to spend your own time doing publicity. Perfect those elevator pitches. Don’t take more than five or ten minutes for your formal presentation. Focus on lines that make potential investor say ‘tell me more’.

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