Head of Growth Solutions at DCMN, Christian Schulz, said that start-ups in particular are questioning whether or not to in-house marketing capabilities much sooner than they were a few years ago.
DCMN divides the marketing journey of a start-up into four categories of a user or consumer funnel, based on whether you are an early-stage, mid-stage or late stage company. Generally, early-stage companies should focus on very targeted channels, like search engine marketing and performance paid social, whereas later stage companies can focus more on awareness building tactics, which will help them reach consumers on a massive scale.
Early Stage: targeting your efforts
Keep costs low as you maximise your return on investment (ROI). You can do this by testing new channels that do not require you to take on additional personnel costs. Select marketing channels that can be easily managed in-house, which could include keyword targeting, remarketing and paid social.
Some key performance indicators (KPIs) to look at in this stage include cost per acquisition of one customer and average order value. These can be easily tracked through Google Analytics.
Mid-stage: scaling efficiently
At this point, you need to begin testing new channels in order to reach a larger audience in a way that gives you a maximum return on a minimal investment. Channels including programmatic display, performance TV and native advertising will allow you to test what’s effective and optimise accordingly.
You should partner with someone who can fill in the gaps for you: using processes for media buying, who have knowledge of the market and competitive landscape, access to better rates and the data capabilities to track results and optimise accordingly. A partner that is willing to be compensated based on the performance of the campaign.
Late stage: building your brand
Consider investing in mass market channels on a broader scale, looking into opportunities for Out-of-Home, print and TV advertising or brand partnerships. These channels can expose your brand to a very broad audience, and they may also be the ones that require a level of experience you haven’t yet hired for. This will leave you with a choice of whether to develop large marketing campaigns internally or partner with a marketing or advertising company on an ongoing basis.
The road to becoming a successful start-up can be difficult, but setting the right foundation for your marketing doesn’t have to be. Understanding when to lean on partners for help and when to make key marketing hires can be the difference between hitting a ceiling in your efforts and reaching new heights of company success.