Introduction – Unveiling the Best Marketing Strategy for Your New Business or Product
Why do so many promising new businesses fail within the first few years? More often than not, it’s because they don’t attract enough customers. You can have the best product or service in the world, but without a steady influx of paying customers, even the most innovative startups will fizzle out.
So how do you make sure your shiny new business doesn’t become another statistic? By putting together a stellar marketing strategy focused on converting prospects into lifelong customers. Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily – if you follow a simple, four-step framework we’ll explore in this post.
By the end, you’ll have a clear blueprint for choosing and executing the best marketing channels to get your product in front of its perfect audience. So whether you’ve just opened your doors or are looking to take an existing business to the next level, you’ll discover battle-tested tactics to drive sustainable growth.
Stick around and let’s dive right in! First up – an in-depth look at step one of the framework: brainstorming all potential marketing channels (no bad ideas allowed in this phase!).
Brainstorming Marketing Ideas – Diving into the First Step of the Bullseye Framework
The first step of choosing the optimal marketing strategy for your business is arguably the most critical – yet often overlooked. This initial brainstorming phase is all about coming up with a master list of every conceivable marketing channel you could potentially use to attract customers.
You want to let your imagination run wild here – don’t self-censor or limit yourself to just what your competitors are doing. Approach this like a chef tasked with inventing a brand new recipe. They start by gathering every ingredient in the pantry before deciding what to include in the final dish. Same concept applies.
So grab a giant whiteboard and start mind-mapping! Consider channels like:
– Content marketing (blog, videos, podcast)
– Search engine optimization
– Pay-per-click ads (Google, Facebook, etc.)
– Email marketing
– Social media marketing
– Live events/networking
And more obscure ones like:
– Guest blogging
– Local PR
– Flyer distributions
– Referral programs
You get the idea. The goal here is to flush out realistic scenarios for how you’d leverage each channel if you had to. Let’s say you included “guest blogging” in your list. What would that actually look like? Reaching out to popular but complementary blogs in your niche and pitching well-researched ideas tailored to their audience? Boom – that’s a realistic tactic you could test.
Building out these hypothetical plans will pay dividends later when you need to prioritize the most promising channels. But more importantly, this exercise safeguards against a common tendency to only consider what your competitors are doing. Just because they rely heavily on Facebook ads doesn’t automatically make that the right move for you too.
In fact, sticking to the herd’s well-worn trail can play right into their strengths while ignoring less obvious (but potentially more profitable) alternatives. So fight the urge to simply mimic what seems to work for others in your market. An hour of blue-sky brainstorming now can unlock game-changing opportunities down the road.
Narrowing Down the Most Promising Marketing Channels
After that initial brainstorming free-for-all, it’s time to shift gears. Going from an unfiltered firehose blast of ideas down to a focused stream of the 3-5 most promising marketing channels for your specific business.
This filtering step is crucial because spreading yourself too thin by trying to simultaneously activate 10, 15 or 20 different channels is a recipe for failure. Most startups simply lack the bandwidth and resources to effectively pursue more than a handful of strategies at once.
So how do you determine which options are the “most promising” for your unique situation? The main criteria are:
Speed – With no existing customer base to leverage, you need channels likely to deliver results quickly to build momentum. Think days or weeks rather than months. This generally favors digital channels.
Volume – Prioritize opportunities capable of reaching a lot of potential customers to maximize lead flow. Boutique outlets with tiny but hyper-targeted reach may convert well but won’t scale.
Profitability – No use driving a stampede of visitors if you lose money on each sale. Factor in customer acquisition costs before committing.
Essentially, the name of the game is testing a few select channels to identify the one(s) that provide rocket fuel to power your customer acquisition engine. This channel becomes your bread and butter to allocate the bulk of marketing resources towards.
A helpful analogy is to think of marketing channels like lanes on a race track. Most lanes have cars steadily moving along at 30-40 mph. But one or two lanes let drivers blast ahead at 90+ mph! Your job is to identify and stick to those high speed lanes as much as possible.
The hardest part is resisting the temptation to veer out of your fast lane to try even more approaches. Stick to 3-5 core channels and master them before expanding your efforts. Otherwise you risk congesting your efforts and grinding progress to a halt.
Validating Marketing Channels Through Testing
Now comes the fun part – taking those 3-5 high-potential marketing channels for a test drive.
This is the step where most startups drop the ball.
In their rush and enthusiasm to dive into “execution mode”, they skip validating whether a channel actually delivers results or not. It’s like going all-in on a business partnership without ever meeting the other company!
You really need to perform some quick, inexpensive channel tests first to confirm:
a) There are enough potential customers to make it worthwhile
b) Optimizing efforts in the channel over time will likely lead to profitability
That’s it! No need to overcomplicate things by hyper-optimizing every aspect of your test campaigns. Just keep costs low and see if sparks fly when you introduce your offer to a marketing channel.
Too often I see startups sabotage their testing by setting unrealistic targets for each channel right off the bat. Thinking every paid ad must instantly produce profitable sales or else the channel gets scrapped. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water!
At this validation stage, you just need directional input on whether it’s worth investing more time and resources to refine a channel strategy. Not perfectly dialed-in metrics.
Without gathering that early signal, you risk prematurely ruling out marketing channels that could become major customer acquisition drivers down the road.
So keep tests simple, assessments directional, and costs variable. This approach sets you up to identify the one or two “rocket fuel” channels to then pour your energy into for maximum impact.
The goal is not to perfectly optimize every channel right now. It’s to determine which ones are worth optimizing in the first place!
Selecting Your Most Promising Customer Acquisition Channel
Alright, time for the moment of truth after test driving your shortlist of marketing channels…which one looks most likely to fuel your startup’s growth?
Here’s where a bit of winner-takes-all thinking comes in handy.
See, with most marketing channels, the business able to gain an edge and outperform their competitors reaps huge rewards. Take Google AdWords – the advertiser best able to optimize campaigns around relevant keywords far outpaces the second best advertiser targeting those terms.
So rather than dilute your efforts, it pays to go “all in” on mastering one primary channel. Become that dominant player who squeezes every last drop of potential from it.
Not only does this channel focus help accelerate growth, it forges an unassailable competitive advantage. One where you gain such channel expertise that rivals find it near impossible to catch up.
So look across your test results and identify the channel with the most customer traction and monetization promise. The one where dedicating more resources to refine and scale efforts is likely to yield the highest returns.
Then shift all your channel marketing energy into hitting this one out of the park!
Rinse and repeat the channel testing process if you eventually hit diminishing returns. If spending more on your primary acquisition channel no longer boosts results, it’s time to validate and develop a second major channel.
But in the beginning, obsess over one channel only! This single-minded focus builds momentum much faster by concentrating resources on the highest potential opportunity.
So which channel will be your startup’s golden goose? Time to find out!
Time to Strategically Hone Your Marketing Bullseye
Alright, we’ve covered a simple yet strategic 4-step framework for zeroing in on your startup’s most promising customer acquisition channel.
Just to recap:
Step 1 – Brainstorm all potential marketing channels
Step 2 – Shortlist the top 3-5 options based on speed, volume, cost
Step 3 – Run inexpensive tests to validate channel potential
Step 4 – Select the single best channel & master it
See the method in this madness?
It’s about exploring a wide range of acquisition possibilities instead of following the herd. And testing channels quickly and cost-effectively before deciding where to concentrate resources.
Very different from the typical approach of just mimicking competitor channels or relying on gut instinct!
But while more rigorous, this framework provides much-needed validation to identify your one golden goose opportunity. That high potential channel which, once honed and scaled, can propel your startup’s growth trajectory.
And given most startups fail due to lack of customers rather than product, finding your special sauce acquisition channel is marketing strategy gold!
So be bold and give this bullseye framework a whirl. You have little to lose and a booming, customer-rich business to gain! Who knows, you may discover an unconventional channel that leaves your rivals in the dust.
Just remember to test broadly, validate quickly, focus narrowly, and keep optimizing your bullseye channel until the customers really start to flow!
Now it’s your turn to take a strategic shot at marketing success. Let me know how it goes!
Greetings! I’m Jack, founder of Scythos – where I’ve helped over 50 brands transform into unforgettable identities and stunning digital presences. As a brand strategist and creative consultant, I have over a decade of experience taking brands from wallflowers to the centre of attention.
Looking to get your branding noticed and your business thriving? Reach out anytime to brainstorm creative strategies for making your brand impossible to ignore. I love collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs to conceptualize innovative ways to connect with their audiences.
Whether you need help with a logo, website, content or entire rebrand – let’s chat! I’m always eager to share my ideas, creative concepts and expertise to help brands reach the next level. Together, we can make sure your business gets seen and heard. Follow along on social or send me a message to get the conversation started!