What makes the perfect marketing plan for SMEs?
When marketing plans either become a priority in the earlier progression of startup funding or alternatively, a greater challenge later on, it leads to complex decisions being taken in haste. As a CEO of a startup, here are some common marketing plan keywords you should be aware of in 2017:
CAC – Customer Acquisition Costs
The acronym doesn’t indicate anything fancy, but the business model revolves around this very cost, and it can be controlled to a certain point. You can find a cheaper supplier, build light load tech and optimise for industry standards, but CAC isn’t something that flexible. It requires a thorough analysis of how your industry functions on a day to day basis. Is digital the next frontier? Is social media going to take over? Is your business dependent on multi-touch point indices? Does it have the right set of BD officers to take over when leads dry up? Salaries, bonuses, department heads, product exchanges, customer queries, overheads, etc. all add up to this one mysterious element in the marketing plan – CAC.
USP – Unique Selling Proposition
It’s not just about what is special about you. It’s more about what uniquely makes your product relevant or unique to your customers. For example, a USP to a 20-something yoga enthusiast in Punjab would be a designer-branded Nike/Puma special release. Similarly, an IT specialist applying for cheaper rates for server fees will have a unique proposition from AWS offering a special offer of 2 GB free for a year, making them the preferred partners for her startup taking off. The unique element of your product/service is what counts here, not your generic proposition to the audience at large. The ‘selling’ part of USP revolves around who you are selling to. What are their demographics, psychographics, and buying patterns? The ‘proposition’ is what finally converts them into customers, whether the proposition is a deal, discount, sale, or exchange policy on a product. Besides this, is there a large enough population for your USP to shine through or is it so niche that it requires backing from larger players?
I think we all think we know what positioning means when we pitch our startup to the public or to investors. However, positioning goes deeper than that. It’s the position in the mind of the target audience that needs to be embedded deeply. Does your audience consider you as the go-to bar or restaurant to party at? Does your WiFi service offer the basic requirement of fast internet download speeds at peak hours? Does your bottle manufacturing company have the desired density-volume ratio of bottles to mass produce? What is the position that your product takes in the minds of your target audience? How will they remember you? Instagram and Snapchat appear to be similar in their basic USP. They are great apps for millennials to check up on their friends and find something cool. However, the positioning of each app in the minds of its target audience is different. Instagram exists forever, but Snapchat only for a moment. Even with the introduction of SnapMaps, users are more aware of things to do ‘in the moment’ and enjoy themselves. Whereas Instagram is more focused on what’s interesting, unique and fun that you can share with your friends. Both have different psychology of usage, retention time, and duration of usage across mediums.