Last week I was fortunate enough to attend mesh marketing 13 in Toronto.
Mesh is Canada’s premier digital marketing conference and explores how the web is evolving, the emergence of new and emerging trends, and what’s just over the digital horizon.
In case you missed the conference, here are a few of the most insightful marketing lessons that startups and small businesses can take away from the day’s best speakers:
Startups are no strangers to outsourced services. As an entrepreneur, you've probably enlisted the help of a book keeper, an accountant, or a lawyer to help you run your business.
At VA Partners, we're also big believers that part-time sales and marketing assistance can be a big help for growing startups. Some consultants use the term outsourced sales and marketing, but we like to use the term part-time sales and marketing.
This is a conscious decision on our part. We feel that any sales and marketing effort needs to be looped into both the leadership and product development side of the business in ways that an 'outsourcing' model isn't capable of. This feedback can help startups pivot and tweak their solutions as required.
The benefits that part-time sales and marketing resources typically bring to startups include:
For any startup, generating revenue early in the business lifecycle can be difficult and oftentimes will take longer than you ever expected.
You'll see yourself go through numerous iterations of your product, your pricing model, and your go-to-market plan and still be working to close your first sale.
It's important not to be discouraged. You need to be prepared mentally and financially for the length of time it will take to close sales and for cash to start flowing. Be patient, persistent and focused and recognize that in most B2B sales scenarios, the sales cycle will vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the sale, selling price, or the budget of the customer.
Entrepreneurs tend to be busy people.
In the hustle and bustle of a startup environment, finding the time to focus on brand building can be a challenge. But the simple truth is that startup branding matters.
A startup’s brand is the space it is able to rent in their customers’ or prospects’ minds. It’s their reputation. It’s a promise. Often times, it’s why a startup wins with a customer or prospect.
Especially as a new business without much of (if any) a proven track record, a great brand can be the difference between “not interested” and “I want to learn more”.