Attracting and retaining new customers for your new business is a vital component of your startup development plan. While every business should have a strategy that is customized to their target market, type of services offered, and scaling capabilities, there are two proven methods that can help virtually all types of startups grow their customer base—growth marketing and partnership development. Which approach is best-suited for your business and which one should you tackle first? In almost every case, the answer is both.
What is Growth Marketing?
Traditional marketing focuses on the top of the sales funnel, which has historically been about awareness of your company and volume of potential new leads. While this is important, startup consultants will tell you that the key to success is retaining your customers once you acquire them—and that’s where growth marketing comes in. Statistics prove that almost every emerging business loses approximately 2-3% of their customers each month. Growth marketing focuses not only on attracting new customers, but also on minimizing that customer loss (a.k.a. customer churn) and creating more engaged customers. Some reliable growth marketing techniques include:
- Keeping up on trends What are customers in your target market responding to right now? Is it a new social media platform? Is there a buzz word you can capitalize on? If you don’t keep track of market trends in your industry to grow your startup, you can bet your competition will. A boutique that ignores the trend of marketing and selling on Instagram, for example, will easily lose the 20-something customers to competitors who harness this trending social platform.
- Develop an engaging online presence Whether they come to your website to order products, engage with your team, or just gain more information, your customers expect your online presence to be user-friendly and engaging. More than 60% of searches are now performed on a mobile device, so It’s imperative that your potential customers can easily navigate your website from their smartphone or tablet.
- Feature a loyalty program It’s imperative to make your loyal customers feel important. As soon as they feel you are putting more effort into attracting new customers than keeping them happy, they may look for a new company to do business with. Create a loyalty program that shows them you value their business.
How Does Partnership Development Help You Win New Customers?
Uber is a great example of a company that used startup growth strategies early on to succeed. Right from the beginning, they developed strategic partnerships with companies like GM, Starwood Hotels, and Google to capitalize on new markets, increase their resources, and get their message to a huge number of potential customers. Developing partnerships can multiply your startup business resources and help you achieve sustainable growth. Here are a few key reasons that partnerships are so valuable:
- More funding Most startups seek out larger, more established businesses as partners. This gives them access to more potential funding if the partner agrees to share resources, co-op advertising, or co-sponsor events and other marketing opportunities.
- Increased audience Established companies already have a wide audience. Through a strategic partnership, you can absorb their audience without the costly process of marketing to them. When Square partnered with Starbucks and began handling their credit card transactions, for example, they immediately became the vendor of choice for thousands of coffee-loving consumers.
- Mentorship If you partner with the right company, you suddenly have access to growth hacking experts who have experience in exactly what you’re trying to do: grow your business. Learning from those who have been in your shoes is invaluable and can help you avoid a number of costly mistakes.
What’s the Right Mix?
Clearly, both growth marketing and partnership development are necessary components to your startup development. Finding the right mix for your company can be a subjective decision that is based on your business goals, tempered by data and market position, and ultimately, where your target audience lies. Meeting with Promeets’ startup experts can help you clarify your goals and develop a plan that works.
Want to learn more about finding the right mix of growth marketing and partnership development for your startup? Join the Promeets team on August 31st for our Winning Your Customers: Growth Marketing vs. Partnership event. You’ll learn valuable information from our two expert speakers and have a chance to network with our team, as well as other startups in the area.