tech startup marketing strategy guy making thumb up at cell phone

How to Develop a Winning Tech Startup Marketing Strategy

Is your startup the next sleeping giant that’s about to disrupt the tech industry? It can be if you market to the proper audience. Unfortunately, your product enthusiasm isn’t the only driving factor for your targets. Planning and executing an objective tech startup marketing strategy is how to win over your audience. 

Marketing and sales are responsible for achieving your revenue goals. But, what makes good marketing possible? And, most importantly, how do you bring in results without spending too much? 

You don’t need to outspend your competitors. Approaching your targets as thoughtfully as you did in developing your product is key to big wins and loyal customers. 

Why Tech Startups Desperately Need a Marketing Strategy

Startups traditionally rush into launching and testing products and don’t spend much time crafting a solid strategy to reach potential customers. Your startup needs a stellar marketing strategy to establish your brand among thousands of other startups serving the same market.

- Caution: Diving Right into Tactics Can Waste Money

Your beautifully designed app is finalized and you’re about to launch it into the market. You  built social media accounts and a website. You begin posting and talking about your app, and even run paid ads on it, but no results. 

Proceeding with the most popular platforms without testing and building a strategy risks wasting money. Pushing an excellent product or service without investing first in brand building or gathering customer feedback, makes all your marketing efforts one big test. 

- Marketing Strategy or Marketing Plan?

A marketing strategy differs from a marketing plan. Your tech startup marketing strategy addresses the overall goals for your brand. This can include: 

  • Target Markets
  • Product Positioning
  • Gap and SWOT analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Channel Selections
  • Budget Planning

Your marketing plan is how you intend to execute your marketing strategy. Usually, that happens quarterly. And, in my experience, you will want to accomplish more than you will get done! 

It’s okay. You are in excellent company! 

Marketing Strategies Based On Your Sales Cycle

Wouldn’t it be great if marketing could shorten your sales cycle? When 886 sales leaders were questioned about the length of their sales cycle, around 74.6% of them stated that it takes around four months to convert new clients. Another 46.4% report that their sales cycle could be as long as seven months. 

Of course, the length of your sales process depends on multiple factors. Here are some common workflows for different startups. 

- SaaS Subscriptions

"The length of a SaaS sales cycle varies depending on the annual contract value (ACV) of a deal. The average length of a sales cycle is 84 days regardless of the ACV. For an ACV of less than $5K, the cycle will last around 40 days. If the ACV is upwards of $100K, the cycle will last 170 days — around five and a half months."

When you’re just starting out, you may need to offer free or low-cost trials so potential customers can experience what you have to offer before committing to a purchase. Onboarding during a trial is the key to reducing the trial time and converting more paid subscriptions. If you leap right into free trials without enough new-user guidance, people will trial customers will jump ship fast. 

Product Hunt is full of great SaaS products that FAIL due to lousy marketing. I have tried many myself only to be left alone to figure out their system. Epic Fail!

marketing strategy fail burnt pie

- Enterprise Technology

If your product is targeting other businesses or governments, it typically involves in-depth conversations with a large number of stakeholders before closing a deal. The higher the price tag, the more proof stakeholders will need at each stage of the sales cycle. 

You can bet you will be up against established competitors who will have built their brand and reputation. Your tech startup will definitely need a complete strategy and plan to battle the goliaths in your industry arena. 

technology startup battle COD

Tech Startup Marketing Strategy for Non-Marketers

The majority of tech startups have limited resources both in talent and budget. Consequently, they tend to try a lot of DIY work. Some know they cannot do the tasks. Instead, they go online to find freelancers. This can work if you can tell them exactly what to do.

Marketing strategy and implementation have become very complicated over the years. Freelancers tend to market themselves as able to do what you need. If you don’t check references and ask the right questions, it will cost you more for the savings you thought you were getting. 

Working with multiple freelancers take a lot of time too. If you hope to save time and money this way, you will be surprised how much time you need to dedicate to train each freelancer to your industry and niche.  

Marketing consultants, agencies, and strategists are by far the best way to outsource your marketing tasks. Besides saving time, banks and VC’s hold startups who use professional marketing agencies in hirer regard. They see that you value expertise and spend time on what you are best at doing.

Executing Your Tech Startup Marketing Strategy

Once you have your marketing strategy and plan, you need to create an ongoing process to execute. E.g. every piece of content you see online has a writer, editor, SEO specialist, graphic designer, martech specialist to fully execute a single campaign.

If your monthly goals include press releases, blog posts, case studies, videos, social media, and emails, you could have up to 50 campaigns in production each month. 

Do you have the bandwidth to manage this? 

Instead of wasting hours of your valuable sales and development time,  you can affordably outsource the entire process. At some point in the future, you can grow and hire team members. 

As a startup, you want to get the job done right. You only get one chance at building a good reputation. Either outsource to or put together a talented team to get your marketing plan executed. Everyone today specializes. 

Keep in mind that executing your marketing strategy is an ongoing process. It takes time and consistency to build your brand and fill your funnel. If you want quick wins, you better have a very large budget for ads. But even then, you will need a tech marketing strategy. Spray and Pray is not a strategy.