Marketing-Plans Marketing in a crowded target market takes lots of resources, and you may not have that kind of funds to take your new business to market. But all the same you have to market your product or service. You can still get the word about your new business out there with little or no funds to create about what you have to offer. As a matter of fact, in a new bootstrapped startup every dollar counts and you can do “more with less”. An actionable lean budget strategy cannot be overemphasized. You have to be sure every strategy will deliver and be prepared to commit to the marketing plan you have created.

Create actionable plans

You need to create a strategic actionable plan. You have  to spell out the specific actions you will have to take to achieve your goal. You plan must have timelines and milestones and they have to be realistic and measurable right from the beginning.

Target customers

Identify your target customer and create a list of possible ways to reach them. One of your jobs as a marketer is to decide which of all the possible methods of communication will give you the most exposure for the least cost in money or time. Start with your best option and measure it’s effectiveness in the process.

Create a compelling marketing story

Take advantage of your product or service differentiation and create a story that sells. How does your startup differ from the competition’s strong and weak points. Take a critical look at your product or service from the customer’s perspective and offer what your competitors are not offering. The message about your product should be obvious and it should be easy to understand.

Stay informed about marketing trends

Identify the marketing trends in your industry and make the most of it. Many industries  have cycles of growth and decline often based on outside factors such as taste, trends or technology. Identify them and use them to your advantage.

Share knowledge for FREE

Contribute how-to articles in your industry to targeted blogs and  resources sites. Write and  follow up on your submissions. Most blogs receive lots of emails and they usually publish only the most useful ones. Find out who writes for those blogs, who owns them and  make an impressive introduction that cannot be ignored. Write a comprehensive timeless article that cannot be refused. You could write on how to  solve an industry problem. Create  and distribute  content that can be shared, downloaded or embedded across social channels.

Combine both social and direct marketing tools

Your most effective tool will be a combination of some social media and direct marketing. Since you are running on a lean budget, your best bet are relevant and targeted social platforms. You don’t have to be everywhere, focus on what can achieve maximum impact. Time is of great importance, focus on what can get you results and platforms that can deliver. Social media is definitely your best bet to keep costs low.

Take advantage of LinkedIn Communities.

You have an excellent opportunity to use inbound marketing techniques to bring in new business through targeted LinkedIn communities. Most communities are active with thousands of members. Participate in discussions and share with members. Answer questions that relate to your industry.

Measure results!

The most important key is to constantly measure results and to fine tune campaigns as and when is necessary. Based on the response you can decide to scale it, tweak it, or drop it.

Look out for IDEAS in other industries

Look outside of your own industry and see what others are doing. How can you adapt and adopt some of their marketing  strategies to make you stand out in your own industry?