When you want to launch a startup that will be successful, there are so many things that you have to think about. The pressure that is felt is quite high, especially with the first startup an individual launches. Besides the launch, you also have to think about marketing and that only makes everything more stressful.

Marketing any startup is hard. The difficulty is even higher with the solopreneur. If this is the first startup that you launch, you most likely have some ideas about how to promote the company. In order to help you even more, let us think about some things that you have to realize even before you lay down the foundation of your marketing and business plan. That will help you to increase the possibility of success.

Desirable Versus Viable Product

The common approach is to create a product that is viable, known as MVP (minimum viable product). This basically means a product or a service that solves core problem and that allows you to get your first products. Such an approach is not that effective because of the fact that the product would thus focus on your business in the sense that it creates a jumpstart for the company as it gets you some clients.

The recommended alternative is to aim for an MDP (minimum desirable product). This means that you create a product/service that is built based on the perspective of the customer, the minimum that you have to offer in order to end up with a perfect experience, one that creates a wish to come back.

Going over the minimum viable product is something that will help you out a lot more than what you may think since it can give you repeat customers from the start instead of just one-time customers.

As an example, let us think about creating an app that does anything you would want. After the software was uninstalled, it is hard to get that person to re-install it. However, if the product is good enough and you also have suitable customer support, trust is gained and you would end up with a repeat customer.

Keep in mind that all this does not mean that you need to have the very best product in your niche. Although that would be great, it is not vital. All this basically means creating a product that people would want, that automatically creates a desire.

Your First Customers Will Come From Direct Contact And Work

The common approach is to think that the first customers will come from the business scaling up. Basically, people tend to think that customers keep appearing. Since competition is much higher than it used to be, you have to mentally prepare for the fight that is in front of you.

Your very first 100-200 customers will appear as you engage with potential and current customers in a personal way. The business owner or the one in charge of marketing needs to understand, find win and then keep the customers. This is done through a one-by-one approach. You can do this face to face, through the phone or online.

Getting to the business point when you start scaling is harder than what you may believe. Fighting is a necessity and the really important thing is to find out what the customers want so that you can offer exactly that. The products/services have to be refined until you reach that desirable aspect mentioned above.

The marketer has to understand why a person in the target audience should buy something from the company that is presented. Scaling is impossible if you do not understand something like this. As you manage to offer that high value that a customer is delighted with, you can focus on getting even more customers.

As an extra tip, focus on customers in batches of 100. This means that you want to make sure that you focus on making 100 customers really happy. Never focus on larger batches since this will not allow you to put in the necessary focus on truly understanding what the client wants! Try to get one customer at a time.

You Have To Start Marketing From The Moment You Identify Product And Market Needs

In marketing we have what is known as product/market fit. This means finding a really good market to be in with a product/service that can satisfy customer needs. The common approach is to start working on marketing from the moment when the startup is launched. You actually have to start before that.

Preliminary marketing is necessary in order to position and present a product. This allows you to reach that product/market fit we highlighted above. It is worth thinking about first getting some customers before the product is initially launched in order to get feedback and test. Before you officially launch anything, your main concern is not marketing.

You should not think about growth and marketing until you know that you have a product/service that the customer will love. All the rest comes after this point in the evolution of a startup.

Success Comes Through Failure

Everyone will tell you that perseverance is what leads towards success and when looking at marketing this is much more important than what many believe. Really good marketers are much more humble than you may initially imagine.

Marketers are not afraid to fail. In fact, it is normal to end up with some sort of failure and what you do when that happens is what will dictate the success of the company.

The common approach is to become defensive as an experiment does not work out. Successful marketers will always look at failure as a learning experience so that future efforts can be directed towards finding something that is going to work.

Statistics show that 80% of marketing experiments fail. This means that when you do not fail at all, you do not try hard enough. It is really important that you remain humble and hungry as a marketer at the same time.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.