So you’re starting a new business. You have a great idea, and have put together one or more products or services to offer. These products or services are great, they’re going to really help people and they’re great value for money.

All that is left is to start marketing and bring in the customers & clients, right?

Wrong.

This is a mistake many startups & entrepreneurs make. But it’s understandable, they want to start getting themselves and their amazing products/services out into the world. This is what they’ve been waiting for and working towards for months, maybe even longer.

Instead of starting marketing, they need to do something else first. Sure, this will take a bit more time and means they have to wait longer. BUT, the result when they finally hit the market will be massively better.

So much so in fact, that failing to do this can lead to — and I’ve seen lead to many times, a complete flop. No sales or very few, compared to marketing spend and overall projections.

So, what am I talking about — what do startups need to do before they start marketing?

Getting into the heads of their target audience

The chances are a startup wouldn’t have gotten this far without researching demands for their product/service — so they at least know that what they have to offer is actually needed and wanted.

But in order to be able to successfully market even the most needed and desired product/service, a startup first needs to really understand their target audience. They need to get into their head, think how they think and understand what their life looks like.

Not just basic things like age, gender, location, family life, employment etc.

I’m talking understanding their day to day life — what do they do and when do they do it? What are their goals and dreams for the future? What are their daily struggles? What are their hobbies? The list goes on.

The key here is to understand the target audience or audiences so well, that a startup can almost imagine being them.

This might sound like a lot of work, and to be fair it is. But so has everything else, creating products/services and everything else to get a startup to this stage.

But by going that bit further, doing that bit more hard work and holding off on marketing for a few more weeks/months, a startup is much more likely to be successful both short & long term.

Why?

The question you’re probably thinking now is why do startups need to do this?

By getting into the head of their target audience, they’ll be able to craft the perfect marketing messages that will appeal to the audience the most. They’ll be able to understand just exactly what they want in life and frame the benefits and results of the products/services around that.

Not doing this means the marketing and the messages within will be framed around what the startup itself believes to be the key points and highlights of what they offer. This just cannot work, because they’re not their target audience!

So startups — don’t rush into marketing. Take the time to really understand your target audience, imagine being in their shoes — and let this understanding craft the perfect marketing messages.

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