Raising Capital: Your Market Messaging, Part Five
Last week, we started with an overview of your marketing efforts for your outline business plan (OBP) and why this is so vital to investors. Today we are going to take that a step further by reviewing your target audience and overall message.
The most important point about market messaging is that you want to reach the people who are likely to buy your product as efficiently as possible. To do this, there are a few key pieces of information that you need to know.
Who Are Your Target Market Customers?
By now, you should have a good understanding of the people who are likely candidates to buy your product. These are the people to whom you want to focus your marketing efforts. Why focus? Here are a few key reasons.
You will have the best chance of a purchase by enticing those people who are most likely to buy.
Your marketing message will be tailored to this high-probability group of individuals.
You’ll keep marketing expenses under control. This applies to both the number of marketing personnel needed on staff and other marketing expenses such as public relations, collateral materials, trade shows, advertising, social media, and video, among others.
You will be able to evaluate more easily how each of your messaging campaigns is working. This allows you to further tailor the message to your target audience
By understanding these metrics, you’ll be able to analyze, understand what your target market customers want, and reach them more effectively.
What happens often is that the CEO knows that she needs to grow quickly—it’s a start-up, right?—so she tries to appeal to a large group of people early. If you do this, you dilute your message, making it less powerful for the customers that you want to reach.
Key Point. Keep your marketing efforts focused on your target market customers, no matter how strong the urge to take a broad approach early.
Start Tracking Your Competition
To understand how others are trying to get business from your target market customers, start tracking and being sensitive to the marketing and advertising efforts of companies in your industry. This includes companies that are trying to break into the market as well as those who have been around for a while.
A good place to start is to become a potential customer of the competition. Conduct research on each company. You want to learn where are they focusing their efforts—e.g, trade shows, white papers, advertisements, public relations. You want to answer these questions:
Are they targeting or going broad?
What are they doing to reach customers?
Is it different from other competitors?
Can you figure out what each one is doing and why?
As you start to gather information, have this top of mind:
Key Point. Be open to creative ideas. How can you reach your customers in unconventional ways that keep costs down and exquisitely target your potential customers?
Investors want to know that you will use their money wisely, marketing to target customers without spending a fortune, as big marketing spends are rarely scalable.
By the way, we’re not talking about tracking the marketing efforts of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. They can spend millions of dollars on one product launch—the equivalent of what you may have raised in a one equity round.
Next week, we will get into standing out from the crowd while keeping marketing costs in line. Until then!
All the best,
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