Be ready to jump
Over multiple economic cycles during the past 50 years, there has always been good evidence that companies who focus on marketing during economic downturns recover faster and stronger than their competition.
For start-up and early stage companies, this is particularly true. In this article, we’ll look at the aspects of marketing that can reduce your time to revenue once lockdown has eased.
But first, let’s acknowledge that any article written by a services company such as ours contains an element of “This is important, and we do it really, really well!”
And right now, we’re all receiving letters from companies we barely interact with, telling us they’re “there for you during the Covid-19 pandemic” and then trying to sell us something. There has been considerable backlash against these companies.
So we’re trying to get the tone of this article right. In all cases, we try to make sure our articles contain useful, relevant information. We hope this is true here.
Back to the topic at hand.
Comparing notes with other marketing services, we’ve discovered that most clients are delaying product or company launches until lockdown is eased. We say “eased”, not “over”, because many marketers believe we will all have to adjust to a new normal. But that’s another article.
Before a start-up launches, there is a two- or three-month process involved in making sure they are launching
- the right product,
- with the right messaging,
- targeted at the most influential decision-makers.
Now is an ideal time to conduct this process. It includes
- Market research on customers’ most pressing needs, competitive research and market gap analysis. This lets the company package their technology as a truly differentiated product, and identify the “low-hanging fruit” – the easiest customers to convert.
- Many companies focus their marketing toward more than one type of business, and more than one job role at each customer. Now is a good time to discover these various “personas”: for each type of business, you may need separate messaging for the buyer, the user, and other stakeholders.
- Creating a messaging framework that speaks to each persona.
- Creating web content and other marketing collateral (such as briefing decks for journalists and analysts), based on the messaging.
- Discovering the key influencers in your market niche. These include journalists, editors, specialist bloggers, investment bank analysts, market researchers and conference organisers. If a launch is three or more months away, it’s best practice for your communications rep to begin building relationships with these influencers now.
- Creating a launch strategy. What channels will you use? What kinds of social media are most useful in your niche? Will you launch with PR efforts only, or include analyst relations, contributed articles that demonstrate thought leadership and speaking engagements?
Let’s use this time well and come out faster and stronger than the competition.
If we got the tone of this article right, it is due to the gentle and humourous guidance of Ann Hawkins of Drive the Network. If we got it wrong, it is entirely the fault of Cambridge Go-to-Market.