A 5 Step Startup Marketing Guide

They don’t know you yet. Your brand is not really a brand yet. Your product is at par with the top players in the game and your price points are highly competitive. But you’re still afraid to put in more of your hard-earned money (even if you raised it in investment rounds) into marketing your product because it feels like you’ve already put it all into it. 


No one needs advertising and marketing more than you. And at the same time, no one can afford to go wrong more than you because both time and funds are limited. So, the only choice you have left is to do it and to do it right! Hiring the top digital marketing company may seem like the obvious first step but you also want to monitor their efforts to the best of your abilities.  

So, Here’s a Stepwise Guide to Help Start up your Startup Marketing the Right Way…

Step 1

Determining Your Value Proposition

Ask yourself these questions –

  • What is your promise to your customers? 
  • What key issues are you addressing, and in which segment? 
  • Are you creating a solution to a problem that actually exists? 
  • Who’s your key audience? 
  • Is it the folks that are on a budget? 
  • Is it the 1%? 
  • Will your offering additional value to their lives right away or over the years? 

Your value proposition is the foundation upon which your branding and marketing efforts will build. Even the top digital marketing companies will ask you to define the same as clearly as possible.

Step 2

Lock Your Brand Guidelines

Minimal or all out? Pastel color palate or loud? Do you wish to stay away from certain words like: 

  • ‘Best’
  • ‘Market disruption’, 
  • ‘Free’
  • ‘Kinda’

Your entire brand communication depends on the brand guidelines you set at the very beginning. If you essentially just focus on content and design guidelines first, you’ve found a good starting point. You can always keep updating your brand guidelines as it evolves. But when your social media marketing company asks you for these guidelines, try and give them something concrete to work with. 

Step 3

Plan Your ATL and BTL

Blank advertising highway billboard and urban landscape. Commercial advertisement outdoor, board poster. Vector illustration

ATL or Above the Line Marketing – These are your Television ads, Radio ads, Billboards ads, etc. They reach out to everybody. They help in increasing your brand impressions, to an extent, your brand awareness. These ads are expensive. Not every one that they reach is a potential customer. But they help build authority, introduce you in style and put some weight behind your brand name.

BTL or Below the Line Marketing – Direct mail, Sampling, Trade shows, and so on – That’s BTL for you. They hit where it matters. Right on the money, that is. As a start-up, it makes sense for you to hit the ground running and that involves targeting your audience at the ground level itself. So, if you want to bring a marketing agency on board, you want one that is not just a top digital marketing company but also understands marketing and communication from a 360-degree perspective. And that includes, but is not limited to possessing expertise in BTL marketing.

Step 4

Digital – What’s in and What’s Not?

There are dozens of social media platforms and hundreds of ways in which you can target them. But you don’t have to! Of course, there’s merit for B2C brands to be on LinkedIn and B2B brands to be on Instagram, but maintaining every profile is that much more expensive and time taking. So, consider focusing your efforts only on what is most relevant to you. 

Step 5

Incentivisation – It Works!

You may have come across the adage that word of mouth is the best form of marketing, and that is true to a great extent. That being said, it could take a while before your company’s name starts buzzing among the masses. Till then, encourage your employees and existing customers to bring their friends on board by offering them discounts, freebies, monetary incentives, and so on. Additionally, you also want to make sure that your initial team puts everything they have behind your company. Again, the key lies in incentivization – that is, in rewards, recognition, ESOPs, and gratuity.

Remember, marketing, especially in 2022 is as dynamic as it gets. Social media marketing companies will tell you that trends are constantly changing. People’s mindsets and spending habits are also constantly changing. Even your ideal target audience can change based on these and other factors. So, the most important thing to keep in mind in marketing today is to be open to change and adapt to every situation in an effort to keep up!

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