A major and strategically important challenge for dynamic start-ups is winning the first customers. Ideally, the founders themselves bring a strong network to the start-up so that initial customer contacts can be used directly. Globally networked markets, very well-informed customers and the omnipresence of the Internet in everyday life can only succeed in winning customers for start-ups if awareness is increased from the start with a broad-based marketing mix. This includes both online and offline measures to reach as many customers as possible. In addition to e-mail marketing, banner advertising and the classic poster, there are many other ways to draw attention to yourself and win customers.
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If You Want To Be Found, You Have To Be Within Reach.
Reach is the decisive criterion for success in attracting the attention of new customers. Local companies that have sales outlets should position themselves within sight of many pedestrians. Appealingly decorated shop windows and inviting elements in the entrance area attract a lot of curiosity.
It’s a bit more difficult online, since there are no casual customers here and flyers are rarely distributed throughout the delivery area. Here are other options:
- Affiliate programs and cashback campaigns
- Newsletter Mentions
- commercials and banners
- Issuance of voucher codes
There are many channels that can be used to gain customer awareness. It is best to combine them. However, this is rather difficult at the beginning, since capital has to be generated first. However, marketing should not be neglected.
Recommendations For Further Growth Of The Startup
Once the first customers have been won, recommendations lead to a growing customer base. Of course, this requires quality and customer satisfaction. Constant innovations and first-class customer service lay the foundation for important customer loyalty. In an online shop, this is often a key issue: keeping the customer informed. What is the status of the order? When will the package arrive? Which service provider will it be delivered with? What payment options do you have? If these processes run quickly and satisfactorily, satisfied customers will tell their acquaintances, colleagues, family and friends about it and an order will draw completely new circles.
You can achieve a lot in brick-and-mortar retail by giving customers a small goodie bag when they open a new store. This usually does not contain much monetary value, but the emotional effect on the customer is much more important. Everyone knows these little everyday pleasures, even if it’s just a small shower gel, the customer feels they’ve been gifted and associates positive feelings with the company.
Before We Start: Which Target Group Do We Want To Reach?
Before start-ups increase their awareness with online and offline advertising measures, the intended target group must be clearly defined. It is important to coordinate all measures with the needs of the target group and to market oneself with one’s products or services as a competent problem solver. First-class content or information that is as relevant as possible plays a central role both online and offline in order to stand out from the mass of companies. It is not for nothing that investors keep asking about USPs.
You absolutely have to have unique selling propositions can offer that little something extra not found in the competition. Such extras must be relevant to the target group. It is also important that the customer feels that they are being taken seriously. There are hardly any 20-year-olds who would be happy to receive an anti-wrinkle cream for women over 50 as a “free gift”. In the worst case, this discrepancy even creates a dislike for the company.
Online Advertising: This Is How Startups Increase Their Awareness
The vast majority of potential customers now use the Internet to search for innovative products or services. In order to be present for these customers, start-ups need optimal visibility in search engine queries. Search engine optimization is the key to attracting the attention of many searching customers with maximum reach. What are our customers looking for? Once these terms have been established, digital customer acquisition can begin with optimized content that is unique in every respect. Digital customer acquisition can be placed on an even broader basis through advertising campaigns (advertising banners or placed advertisements) and affiliate programs.
In order to minimize wastage, local SEO measures can be tailored to a regional target group. With social media activities and blogs, it is possible to expand the digital reach even further to increase awareness. What’s more: activities in social media make it possible to sharpen one’s own profile on the market and to establish oneself as a hip brand. Through the exchange with customers, it is possible to learn directly from the target group for the purpose of optimization. The constant interaction is also an important factor for long-term customer loyalty.
Offline Advertising: Even In The Digital World, Awareness Can Be Increased Through Physical Presence!
For most start-ups, Internet marketing certainly plays the main strategic role. Nevertheless, sometimes ‘traditional’, or let’s say tried-and-tested offline measures for customer acquisition should not be neglected: trade fair appearances, advertising campaigns in the pedestrian zone, an open house, posters, vehicles with advertising, flyers or professional brochures are just a few tried and tested means , in order to sustainably increase your own awareness with very little expenditure. By defining an economically sensible radius of action, all measures can also be controlled in a targeted manner. Depending on the business model, radio advertising can also be very effective regionally. A popular perennial favorite with a high impact are giveaways (scatter items): These can take on a wide variety of functional forms and can be customized.
It is important to position yourself as a problem solver. Why not provide customers with a practical shopping aid that can be used over a long period of time? Bags can be provided with logos, a slogan or contact details. They ensure a high recognition value and a stronger bond with the company. What’s more, customers who use such a bag carry it out and become active advertising ambassadors for the start-up themselves.
Always Be Present
Whether online or offline, retail or service: A start-up – like any other company – needs customers first and foremost. Winning this is not so easy in the initial phase. The work, effort and budget that goes into marketing are essential when establishing yourself on the market. Small gifts and good customer service increase customer satisfaction and also increase the chance that customers will recommend the new company to others.
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