Entrepreneurship is an exhilarating ride altogether!
Though it comes with its share of risks and uncertainties, it’s a much rewarding journey. And to succeed in that journey, entrepreneurs have got to put in a considerable amount of thought into marketing, kind of as much as they did for building and launching their product or service.
But not every entrepreneur is equipped with the same kind of resources, budget and capacity to follow the traditional marketing tactics.
For every entrepreneur that manages to raise investment, there are thousands of others whose companies are bootstrapped (self-funded). While funded startups have the privilege to spend heavily on marketing, paid advertising, and branding, bootstrapped companies have to balance between resources and budget to market themselves.
This is where Entrepreneurial Marketing comes into play!
What is Entrepreneurial Marketing?
Entrepreneurial Marketing is the marketing approach new or growing companies adopt to stand out among the sea of larger and more established companies or funded startups.
Due to a smaller staff and the lack of a rigid hierarchy, it’s convenient for them to tweak their marketing strategy exactly the way they want, without worrying about long chains of approvals. Moreover, they can be more flexible with testing out different strategies and be innovative in the most unconventional ways!
An Entrepreneur is a risk-taker and an innovator!
Their marketing is based on trying to highlight their company’s strengths and the values their products or services offer to their customers. It is about proactively finding ways to maximize impact with limited resources, which many times requires abstaining from fundamental principles of marketing.
Pillars of Entrepreneurial Marketing
Entrepreneurs are driven by certain forces - their vision, the strong desire to attain something, and experimenting as and when required!
As they create and launch something new, hoping to form an impact on their target audience, they’re often accompanied by financial, psychic and social risks. This is quite natural, as in running their business and growing it, they generally have a lot of things at stake.
Here are the things they do differently to keep going.
An Entrepreneur needs to be highly motivated to succeed, and yet open to risks and failures. Of course, anyone can come up with a great idea, but only an Entrepreneur with a growth mindset can meld that into a functional business.
A big part of their work involves letting go of the guilt of making a mistake and instead focusing on correcting it or moving on.
Entrepreneurs need intrinsic motivation - the motivation that comes from within!
They cannot afford to wait around for a push to do things or stay accountable. One way to do this is to focus on the end-game i.e. the bigger picture. Think about where your company is headed, and where do you see it in say 5-10 years. Even experts say that formulating long-range goals and plans helps one stay motivated.
Entrepreneurs need to be prepared with a Plan B, just in case!
They should be able to analyze what’s working for their business and what’s not and change strategies with considerable planning and thoughtful execution.
Some examples that explain how it’s generally done.
Turning a feature into a completely new product to serve a specific segment of the audience.
Changing their communication platform to show up where their audience is present.
Employing a new strategy to increase engagement.
Using a new tool to cut down on certain costs and save time.
Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies
Let’s look at some strategies of Entrepreneurial Marketing that are commonly implemented by Entrepreneurs to improve their sales or find / retain customers.
While most marketing tactics are solely about gaining traffic and conversions to get potential customers into the funnel, Entrepreneurial Marketing uses a personalized approach.
Entrepreneurs generally do not rely on formal communication methods due to their higher costs, instead, they use informal methods like personal observation or networks. Their approach involves maintaining personal and direct contact with consumers, to have their trust and build authority.
This also helps in bringing word-of-mouth references from consumers, which is very important for entrepreneurs.
The top-down approach that traditional marketing uses requires a clearly defined order of activities, that involves segmentation, targeting, and positioning. The entrepreneurial bottom-up approach takes a different route by identifying an opportunity and testing it.
Once they’re assured that they’re capable of satisfying the needs and desires of a smaller batch of consumers in the beginning, they lean towards expanding these sales to a larger chunk.
Leveraging the Online Media
As a majority of their customer base is online and due to low operational costs, Entrepreneurs are now leaning towards Digital Marketing to grow their online presence by both organic and inorganic means and gain huge Returns on Investment (ROI). This opens up a plethora of new opportunities for them to gain more leads.
Hope you got the gist of what Entrepreneurial Marketing is all about. Over the few next weeks, I’ll be talking about various aspects of Entrepreneurial Marketing from real-life examples of businesses I collaborated and worked with.
Stay tuned for more blogs in the coming weeks!
Want to brainstorm a marketing strategy to grow your business? Book a free consultation with me here.