Startup marketers needs to differentiate themselves from traditional marketers best suited for established corporations that have been here for many decades. They need to have a different set of tools and a knack for innovation. This has lead to a new way of marketing called growth hacking.
Here are three reasons why startups need innovate their marketing:
1) Startups intend to grow exponentially over a short period of time
The goal of many startups is to go from zero to millions of users in a few short years. Starting from the beginning, startups need to grow very quick and very fast because they do not have an established customer base as opposed to seasoned corporations who aim to keep steady the growth they have already acquired.
2) Startups have a blank slate
Since they don’t have an established customer base yet, startups can afford to use new ways to extend their reach out into the world. They can afford to break the rules, think creatively and test out innovative ways that might work or not work. Established corporations already have an image and will have a very difficult time overcoming old perceptions.
3) Startups do not have the same amount of resources and funding
This calls for an increased need for innovation–find new ways to do more with less. Growth hacking. They simply do not have enough resources as compared to corporations that may have a dedicated marketing budget. If startups fail to figure out how to market quickly enough the right way, they will go out of business.
Growth Hacking In Action
Take for example, Airbnb, the startup that allows people to turn their home or apartment into a spot that people can rent for a certain period of time. At the beginning stages, the people over at Airbnb needed to find a way to acquire more users and drive their exposure. They came up with a genius way. They decided they will piggyback off of Craigslist’s popularity. The problem was that Craigslist did not have a public API that easily made it for others to integrate their services into it. Airbnb reverse engineered their way into Craigslist. For a time, users were given an option to cross post their Airbnb listing to Craigslist, exponentially increasing their exposure. Eventually, Craigslist put an end to this but if Airbnb never took the chance to try this crazy experiment, who knows where they would be today. They saw a chance and they took it. They innovated.
Michael Chen is a creative marketing enthusiast and author of The Art of Marketing: Innovative Strategies for Entrepreneurs, Startups and eCommerce. You can sign up for early access and sneak peeks to his new book set to release on April 5th, 2016 at this link: http://eepurl.com/bReNe5