OnStartups has an interesting article about “startup marketing,” but when I read it, I began thinking — it really just for startup marketing? Not necessarily. These consistent issues can plague even older businesses who may want to reconsider how they present their websites. I’ve analyzed the article and have offered my commentary on how these points can be applied to today’s older business websites.
1) Most startups have a marketing problem. Generally, this would be considered to be true, but even older business have marketing issues. A lot of Internet Marketers are approached by established companies who want to improve their returns by marketing online. Perhaps it is about going social, or perhaps it is about getting better results in the SERPs. But it is not necessarily a startup who has a marketing problem.
2) Seek Leverage. The article mentions that a startup should seek out “small, creative things” to leverage themselves. Everyone can benefit from small and creative things. What’s this they say about social media, viral marketing, or doing something outstanding and remarkable?
3) Don’t look for customers. Ultimately, you want your customers to find you. If you have a well-executed website and a good marketing campaign, your customers should be able to find you in the active form of search rather than the passive form of having them you solicit their business when they’re not necessarily looking for it.
4) Reduce Time To Enjoyment (TTE). This sounds like something I just heard in Chris Sherman’s “Measuring Search Success in 2007” webcast: there should be no barriers. Don’t make it hard for your users to get what they’re looking for.
5) It’s easier to market a product customers like. I think this is an obvious one. Find what your customers need and market it. In the article, this point equates liking a product to word-of-mouth, and everyone loves WOMM, don’t they? I like this site, so I tell my friend about it, and your linking campaign gets a kickstart because you met the needs of your customers. This section is concluded with an interesting quote, “When in doubt, ask the customer.” Find out how you can improve by asking for comments or enabling an online medium, such as a blog, for community interaction. By addressing these concerns and showing that you listen, you raise customer satisfaction.
6) Non-dead products sell better. This statement alone emphasizes the importance of an up-to-date business website. If you take the entire commentary on OnStartup and replace “product” with “website,” you’re acknowledging an important element of Internet Marketing: people like what’s new and fresh. If your site has a footer comment that says “Last update: October 2002,” you could be missing out on potential clients who think that your focus has moved elsewhere.
7) Be transparent. This is an important message for business bloggers. Honesty and transparency will win you customers. Cisco recently responded to the outcry regarding suing Apple over the iPhone trademark issue by posting an honest update through its blog, and a lot of people have responded in support of Cisco.
8) Your customers should be selling. The Internet is a huge place. You want those links, and you want people to refer to you time and time again to other individuals who will ultimately refer you to even more people. Any business website can have a “dry spell” where this kind of referral traffic would be a key to get you back on track.
9) Be objective and empathetic. Get in your customer’s shoes and know what they want. Write for your desired audience. Present for your desired audience.
There are always times when your business can become more innovative. These are traditional marketing tactics, but they have new applications in today’s ever-changing Internet world. Has your business taken note?