Your start-up needs a good marketing campaign: that’s not up for discussion. However, what can be debated is how much time you spend on it, and whether your current campaign tactics are working. As a start-up founder, your time is precious. Every minute of your day needs to be meaningful and somehow add value to your business.

So, you need to be ruthless when it comes to tasks. If you’re not from a marketing background, it’s hard to know what to choose and what to do. However, if you tried to do everything that articles suggest, you’d never have any time left! So, you need to find ways and services that speed things up, and let you do more – with less.

Know exactly who you’re talking to

So much marketing time and budget is wasted when you don’t know who your audience is. You need to know what they want, why they want it, and how you can help them. You need to know what platforms they use and how they absorb information. You need to know what they read and how they communicate. Most importantly, you need to know where they are.

Once you know all of this, you can put in place strong marketing campaigns that are likely to score good results. If you go in blind, all your efforts and money will be wasted. If you’re not speaking to your audience in the right way, about the right topics, and in the right place, you may as well not send any marketing collateral out at all.

Automate your marketing

Marketing automation is helping start-ups all over the world do more with less. You can put together all your collateral when you have time, and then schedule it go out when needed. From emails to social media to your online store, you can automate nearly every part of your start-up’s marketing campaign. Plus, it gives you more freedom and flexibility.

You can schedule different emails to go out at different times and to different subscriber lists. You can automate emails to go to people on their birthdays. You can even automate your social media accounts, so anyone who messages you gets an automatic reply thanking them, and letting them know when they can expect to hear from you.

If you’re not sure where to start, a program like MailChimp marketing automation, or similar, will be best. These packaged platforms give you a ‘plug and play’ type set-up, so you can input your data, and then get on with what matters – leaving the hard work to the program.

Start at a grass-roots level

You might want a huge billboard in the middle of New York City, a full page spread in The Guardian, or a witty, fully edited promo video – but you need to think long and hard about who you’re targeting. You should only be investing in campaign material that’s going to work for your audience.

Don’t waste time or resource on videos if your audience won’t watch them. Likewise, don’t send them direct mail efforts if you know they’ve got several gatekeepers blocking their mailbox. You need to start slowly, with social media campaigns and email marketing, before widening your scope.