Although the Entrepreneurs have read and heard this mantra over and over again, once the euphoria of the launch is over the reality of the cash burn, competitive space and lack of traction creates that first cold sweat.
One way to avoid the honeymoon crash is to bring in a Digital Development & Marketing Company once you start building out your Startup.
There are many talented Digital Web Development Firms in the marketplace. These companies will develop the infrastructure you will need to create a website-based business or a web-based business platform that interfaces with a brick and mortar business. Design and Development of the Startup are digital assets that need to align with scalable goals and new product/service lines development.
There are several Digital Marketing Firms that concentrate on content development and social media service lines. In ascertaining the value offering of a Digital Marketing Firm to your new Startup, look at their portfolio and inquire as to the varied content production they can produce. A good example of a digital marketing firm that works specifically with startups is Thinklyn. Thinklyn is a B2B GaaS (Growth As A Service) Marketing Agency that is focused on “Democratizing Growth” and digital solutions for startups.
Many of our followers have an interest in the legal industry. Understandable, the legal profession generates daily news, debates and controversy that flows from coffee shops on Main Street to the corridors of power. It provides a variety of employment with eclectic earnings from middle class wages to high-end earners. If for example your Startup is a Policy Think Tank that is geared to consumers from practicing lawyers, lobbyists, government officials and educational institutions, you will want to examine the Digital Marketing Firm’s portfolio of content marketing in varied media formats. This means of producing content marketing would appeal to your targeted market.
In the examination of the Digital Marketing company, you will want to explore its Market Research capabilities. This feature is crucial in the Startup’s Business Development Platform. Business Development is one of the most important disciplines of any business, whether solopreneur, convenient store, Startup, or large Enterprise, you cannot have an effective Marketing & Sales platform without a preceding and parallel Business Development platform. In the pre-digital era, the delineation between Business Development Professionals and Sales Professionals in Marketing & Sales role was stark. Business Development Professionals are premier drivers of market research which is used to find markets, market needs and market players. The Task of Business Development is to ascertain the market need and ascertain the fit of the company’s products and services in meeting the market needs. The market intelligence that is derived from Business Development creates the leads that are pushed into the sales funnel. The initial leads were qualified through the efforts of the Business Developers. The Marketing & Sales pros used the market intelligence generated by the Business Developers to generate and qualify more Leads for the Sales Funnel.
Although there are established Enterprises that still deploy the traditional Marketing & Sales Department, even these companies deploy Digital Marketing techniques to enhance a broad range of digital marketing products to enhance the sales process, which is either in-house with the Marketing & Sales Department or outsourced.
Although Startups might believe buildout of a Marketing & Sales Department is not possible at the early stage, it might be the best means to provide Startup funding.
In order to put this strategy into focus, it is important to understand the diverse offerings of Digital Marketing Agencies. An examination of market provides the following snapshot of various from several Agencies;
- Website development and design
- Mobile app development
- E-commerce development
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
Many of the Agencies offering these services expend efforts in building infrastructure that establish a Startup presence online. They are diligent in pursuing the daily SEO battle, managing the Social Media Marketing (which requires a knowledge of the unique algorithms of each platform), and the related analytics and consulting. They will publish content that their clients produce.
Examining the model we are using for edification purposes, Startup Think Tank, this type of offering is viable and a complementary vendor. By definition, a Solo Founder Think Tank is skilled in research and writing. The daily need to produce daily content is also an opportunity to explore topics within the study sector for future production.
However if your Startup is not in the content development space, you will need a Digital Development and Marketing company that will produce the regular content for the Startup. In choosing the right company for a Startup, the Digital Development and Marketing Firm should have a robust portfolio of content development. A Startup that is entering into a competitive market will need significant diversity in content development to increase identity and presence in the market. You will want to identify the portfolio of the Digital Development and Marketing Firm to ascertain its ability to produce content in varied formats from news, podcasts, news articles, eBooks and where appropriate print books, journals and articles for publication.
A review of the Digital Development & Marketing Firms identifies several companies that can build out these media products for Startups. The means of producing, posting and analyzing data is an established marketing process. It is by nature a reactive process to Marketing & Sales.
There are a select group of companies in this space that have mastered proactive skills in generating sales. The digital platforms effectively merged the traditional delineation between Business Development and Marketing & Sales. The role of a Business Development Representative (BDR) has assumed the role of a traditional Business Developer, except armed with an array of digital tools to conduct market research to generate new leads. The BDR role is changing as Startups and Enterprises seek the market intelligence that will drive brand identification, growth and product/service line development.
Despite the changing roles of the BDR, lead generation from outbound resources, which can be qualified and sent to the Account Executive (AE) to close the sale, is the crucial role to create the Life Blood of the company.
The Sales Development Representative (SDR) transcends the Marketing & Sales roles. The digital assets, landing page, website, podcast, newsletters, blogs ,etc., generate inbound leads. The SDR qualifies the leads in a “sales funnel” manner and feeds qualified leads to the AE to close the sale.
Startups are always in the market for funding. However, funding through Venture Capitalist comes with a significant lost of control. MGSN has documented the value that Startup can build through Bootstrapping.
The right Digital Development & Marketing firm with experience in building sales and closing sales can develop the Startup “Funding Department” through campaigns that produce recurring revenue, which will fund the bootstrapping platform of the Startup. Organic growth is slower than the flash of VC cash, but it tends to be more stable and allows Founders to control growth and development, and the lifeblood needed to reach the next level.