Following the crowd has never been a way to emerge as a leader. However, learning from companies that have gone from small startup to enterprise success is just plain smart.
Enterprise applications are in the middle of an enormous growth spurt. International Data Corporation predicts that these businesses will generate $50.8 billion in revenue by 2018, amounting to a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 percent.
Companies such as HubSpot and Slack are grabbing headlines for their innovative offerings and impressive growth trajectories. What are they doing that’s so special? Here are five marketing lessons you can take away from these masters:
1. Be a first mover, like Yammer
Given the protracted sales cycle inherent in enterprise businesses, startups may need a long time to gain traction. Accordingly, it really pays to be early to market.
Before Slack or HipChat existed, Yammer was the premier enterprise social network. It gave people the ability to learn from co-workers and find the answers they needed without leaving their desks. By being the first offering of its kind, Yammer captured more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 market and was acquired by Microsoft for $1.2 billion.
2. Identify new opportunities, like New Relic
Instead of just following a trend, New Relic is a company that decided to skate where the puck was going rather than to enter a saturated market. The company took a future-minded approach and built a product for an opportunity that hadn’t yet presented itself.
This endeavour required a lot of patience and persistence, as New Relic experienced slow growth in its first three years. But instead of pivoting, the team waited for the market to catch up. In the subsequent two years, New Relic grew to 35,000 accounts and secured $80 million in funding.
3. Engineer growth with customer evangelism, like Slack
Word of mouth is still the most credible form of marketing, and the best way to generate positive buzz is to build a customer-friendly business. Since launching in February 2014, Slack has surpassed 500,000 daily users and morphed into a billion-dollar company without spending a dime on marketing.
Slack attributes its growth exclusively to customer evangelism; people love using the product so much that they tell their friends about it. Though workplace chat services are inherently viral, Slack has maximised its customer love by allowing integration with dozens of applications and creating a clean, beautiful interface.
4. Build an inbound sales engine with helpful content, like HubSpot
HubSpot built its business by literally using its own services. Instead of relying on traditional outbound marketing, the company gains consumer trust by providing valuable blog content, webinars and other industry resources. By bringing engaged customers to its turf, HubSpot generates high-quality leads at a lower cost every time someone reads one of its posts or uses one of its tools.
5. Align your sales and marketing, like HubSpot
Synergy and a clear division of labor between sales and marketing are absolutely crucial for enterprise startups. HubSpot calls this “smarketing.”
You too can implement this alignment by integrating your teams’ tools to help each party better understand which leads convert best. You can also have marketers sit in on sales calls and encourage your sales team to give marketers feedback on lead quality. HubSpot takes this idea of alignment to the extreme by giving its marketing team a lead quota its members must meet each week.
To boost your own startup’s credibility, good strategies include hosting webinars, gathering user testimonials and working to turn your biggest customers into brand advocates.
While the old adage “No one ever got fired for buying IBM” may seem outdated, it still applies to enterprise startups. Most potential customers want proof that your company is reliable and that other respectable businesses use your products.
What all five of these companies have in common in terms of great marketing strategy is simply a great offering. Being first to market and providing an inherently viral service is helpful, of course. But at the end of the day, if you deliver a product or service that people love to use, they’ll reward you with loyalty and unstoppable word of mouth.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
4 Young Marketing Influencers You Can Learn From
Whether you’re a CMO or just trying to build your own brand, these influencers can help you reach your goal.
Today, social media is a very crowded and competitive ecosystem – it can be extremely difficult for brands to break through and spread their message to a large number of potential new customers.
Marketing via social media has become a necessity. According to a post by DMA, 45 percent of surveyed marketers are looking to increase brand awareness through social media. The same post stated that spending via social media is expected to increase 18.5 percent in the next five years.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
The Fifth P Is The Most Crucial
The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers.
The four Ps of the Marketing Mix (Product, Price, Promotion, and Place) have defined marketing campaigns, both successful and unsuccessful, for many years since E. Jerome McCarthy came up with the concept in 1960. And while there have been tremendous advances and innovations in marketing, the four Ps (4P) are still first on the list in any marketing course.
In the brand conscious society in which we live today, however, a fifth P has become the cornerstone to all marketing and branding exercises, whether you’re in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer market. The fifth P is People or is also referred to as Personalisation.
The reasoning is simple. If you don’t know your market, you will never be able to understand how the 4Ps apply to your potential customers:
- What products do they want?
- Where should you make them available?
- How to price your products to meet your market’s requirements and budget?
- How and where to promote your product?
The first step in defining your marketing strategy should be should be getting to know your customers. When you know who you are targeting and put people at the centre of the mix, you can more easily decide the optimal strategy that will deliver the most favourable results.
Airbnb has built a valuable brand by making the 5th P a focus of it’s branding activities. They typically target millennials born 1980-2000 and it’s understanding their traits (needs and principles) that has been the key to their success. Let’s look at how this impacts each subsequent P individually.
Spending with a conscience is core to most millennials and they tend to opt for products that allow for transparent traceability throughout the supply chain. Airbnb is not seen as a large corporate ripping off the little guy, but creates a community where everyone contributes and benefits from something seen as open, transparent and disruptive to the status quo. The company has no real assets, but its brand has the visibility of a Coca Cola or Starbucks in the millennial market.
While its market is cost conscious, Airbnb knows they place a higher value on products and services that have been designed and developed in a manner that is good for people and the planet. Hence, by consuming the brand they become“part of the solution”.
Airbnb is, more than anything else, including its multi-billion dollar valuation, a community organisation that includes everyone from anywhere. Add to that the lower costs and almost limitless offerings, in general, and you have something their market can’t say no to. Airbnb is a real part of their culture and value system, not some fake corporation pretending to be ‘cool’.
In terms of promotions, understanding their market is apprehensive of contracts and long-term commitments. Airbnb has none, you make a deal with an owner or someone looking to rent for a while and that’s it, no fuss. In an interview with Fast Company, Airbnb’s head of brand, Nancy King said one of the key reasons for Airbnb’s success “is all about emotional connection, and that is really the root of it”. She continues that,
“Iconic brands have a disproportionate share of cultural voice, and they hold the internal culture of companies.” And it’s clear that Airbnb has developed that cultural integration with millennial values.
Convenience and accessibility is important to most markets, but millennials place an even higher priority on it. They want information right away, especially for online sales, and once bought they want to know where their product is in the supply chain until it arrives at the door.
In the case of Airbnb, your booking information is available everywhere and anywhere, on any device. And as part of the community culture it drives, its biggest brand builders are the word-of-mouth promotions its customers created in the natural flow of conversation, online and offline
“Airbnb is an amazing example of how a brand is the value of a company, in this case valued in the billions of dollars ($38 billion at the time of writing, according to Forbes),” adds Rolfe. “This value is based on the value of its community, its culture and the way its partners (buyers and sellers) value what the brand can do for them, not the value of sales pipelines or fixed assets.
“This is a $38 billion valuation based on brand alone, based on the company’s ability to identify its market and create the community (not the business strategy) that appeals to them. In other words, the other four Ps are determined and led by a clear and intense understanding of the 5th P, the people who give Airbnb its value.”
How To Localise Your Marketing Campaign
Here are some of the best tips to help you understand how to localise your marketing campaign without a lot of effort.
No matter which market you are trying to reach, localising the content you use for your marketing campaign will help you achieve a much smoother outcome. Localising your marketing campaign as a whole can have a number of benefits on the way your audience views your company to how effective the strategy actually is.
If you’re interested in starting to localise your marketing campaign as well, keep reading.
Make sure your products are compatible with the new markets
You might have noticed that there are certain big companies which have spread all around the world and offer their products and services to many different markets.
One of the things that all of these companies are very careful about is making sure the products they provide each geographic area with are compatible with the tastes and traditions of the people.
For example, many big fast-food chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s have stores in Asia where they offer dishes which contain seaweed or tofu, which are local to this certain market.
If you want your marketing campaign to become a success, you will need to make sure that you promote these new, special for each location products, so that your customers will know they were made especially for them and their needs and they can then look for them either online through your website or in their areas.
Related: Free Sample Marketing Plan Template
Work with the right professionals
In order to localise your marketing campaign, you will need to work with professionals who will be able to provide you with all the right information and tools you need in order to make it successful.
The most important person to look out for is a professional and preferably native translator. Machine translations can never produce the same outcome as a professional translator who is a native of a certain language.
Many online professional platforms for translators such as TheWordPoint note that “There will always be certain words and phrases which are native and can’t be translated unless a language is your mother tongue”. This is why a human translator will always be far superior to a machine,
Along with that, you will want to invest in a professional who will be able to help you localise your keywords and make sure that you are targeting your marketing campaign to the right audience around the world.
Get feedback from your new audience
Last but not least, it is important to remember that you should always work hard to improve the content of your marketing campaigns. When trying to create certain products and services available for other parts of the world, it is normal for you to make mistakes and have to correct things as you go.
If one of your customers has some feedback to give you, kindly accept it and work hard in order to correct any mistake. You can even have a short poll on your social media accounts or website and ask your customers whether you could improve your localised services in any way.
Not only will this help you show your professionalism, but your customers will also appreciate how much effort you put into pleasing them with your services. This tactic will help you attract more potential customers and turn your marketing campaign into a success.
Adjusting your marketing campaign the right way
Localising your marketing campaign will be a little difficult at first, but the good news is that you will only keep improving your tactics if you decide to put enough effort into it. Working with local, native professionals and adjusting your products to your customer’s needs, will help you succeed and stand out in your field.
What do you think is the most important thing when localising a marketing campaign?
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