Raising Capital: Marketing Your Business, Part Four
Last post, we helped you define your product features, benefits, and your 3Cs. The next step in generating your outline business plan (OBP) is the marketing section.
Throughout your fundraising process, investors want to know that you’re going to spend their money wisely, getting great returns worthy of a significant investment in you and your company. How you handle marketing in your OBP and initial discussions with them is one key piece of information that they will use for their first-pass diligence.
Marketing: First Steps
Marketing is a pretty vast topic, but for the start of your OBP, we’re going to boil it down to the essentials. For now, you need enough depth so that your plan hangs together, makes sense, and excites potential investors.
We’ve found that marketing is one of the specialties that many people claim to do well. However, we’ve found that marketing is a very broad and deep topic, with many things that can be done wrong as you roll out a new business. Examples include squandering time or money and unintentionally putting out an inappropriate message to your audience. With the availability of servers that “never forget” and internet search engines that make it easy to find everything that’s online, one error can cause serious problems that haunt your business for years.
For the purposes of your OBP, we’ll keep the overall definition simple:
Marketing is what you do to inform your customer base about your product and get them excited enough that they want to buy it.
That sounds pretty simple, right? Yes, but executing is far from it.
How to Market Effectively on the OBP
Let’s get into what’s required to do this for your OBP and your company slide presentation—two of the components that you need to raise capital. You need to answer these questions:
Who are your potential customers—your target market?
What options do you have to reach them that are within your budget?
How will you stand out from the barrage of marketing that they are already receiving?
How will you deal with competitors?
The answers will be used to show investors that you understand your potential customers well and that you will be able to reach them cost-effectively.
Key Point: You must demonstrate to investors that you’ve tied together your marketing strategy with the amount of your capital raise.
We’ll be dealing with this key point many times in the coming months, as it is crucial to raising money and running a successful business.
Think through answers to these questions during the coming week. Next time, we’ll get into more about your OBP marketing efforts.
All the best,
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