I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Lumavate team isn’t sugarcoating things anymore. We’re telling it like it is and aren’t afraid to ruffle some feathers this year. So if you want to keep looking at things through rose-colored glasses, I encourage you to skip this blog post.
It’s Not Like the Movies
Fun fact: I was a marketing intern here at Lumavate. Starting my marketing career at a start-up was like baptism by fire – I was able to be a part of so many projects I wouldn’t have normally gotten to be on. You truly do not know the definition of fast until you work at a start-up or scale-up. It’s inspiring to witness an idea brainstormed on Monday morning be brought to life by Thursday afternoon. Start-ups are truly magical.
But they’re also not for everyone. When I tell people I work at a tech start-up, one of the first questions I get is, “How many Patagonia sweatshirts do you own?”. Yes, Patagonias and happy hours are stereotypical perks of working at a tech company, but it’s not like what the movies make it out to be.
What you don’t see behind the scenes is the blood, sweat, and tears that occur behind the scenes. Start-ups are small; most people don’t recognize your company’s name. You have to work harder and faster to catch up with the big players. I like to say working at a start-up is an ‘all hands on deck’ environment. If you enjoy having a way of doing things and aren’t interested in rolling up your sleeves to help out, start-up life probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea. You can always go to the mall to purchase a Patagonia. 😏
Niches Make Riches
We learn as kids not everyone is going to be your friend. It would be ridiculous if you were best friends with everyone in the world. There’s just going to be some people that you’re not going to get along with – and that’s okay.
The same goes for your product or service. This might be hard to hear as a marketer, but not everyone is going to want to purchase from you. When has ‘spray and pray’ ever worked effectively? The answer is slim to none. Focus on serving your audience well.
To do this, you have to make your customers feel special. We know this as marketers, but the idea can get lost in translation sometimes. Allow your customers to feel heard, but I don’t just mean sending them an anonymous survey. Schedule monthly check-ins with customers to get feedback or to simply catch up. Touching base with someone for 30 minutes can have a huge impact.
Getting to the Rainbow Trail
I know adding another Zoom meeting on your calendar might be the last thing you want to do, but these check-ins can have some serious payoff. Word of mouth marketing can be a huge factor in the success of your business. Receiving a glowing review is rare for brands these days, which is why if you take the time to serve your audience well, others will notice. Word of mouth marketing might give your brand the same results as the Rainbow Trail in Candy Land. 🍭
When playing Candy Land, we all hoped our gingerbread character would land on the Rainbow Trail, which would allow you to advance several spaces on the game. It was a surefire win. With word of mouth marketing, you can get pretty close to the finish line if customers are elated by their experience.
Sh*tty Marketing Has to Stop
One of the quickest ways a brand can get escorted out from my inbox is to send me upwards of five emails a day. I didn’t respond well to the first email, why would you send me four more? Crappy marketing needs to end; we have too much data to let this go on.
Peter’s quote, “As marketers, it’s our obligation to build out tests,” really resonated with me. I think sometimes people think marketers just implement strategies based on a whim. And while we are big fans of crazy ideas here, your crazy idea has to make sense for the product or service you’re trying to sell. I can’t just say, “I think we should include billboards in our marketing strategy” without having thought of the pros and cons of my idea (especially at a scale-up). Embrace the crazy ideas, but have data to back up your way of thinking.
Sharing the real truths of marketing is so refreshing. So often I see on social media posts that paint this really rosy picture of marketing. Yes, I think marketing is awesome, but it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. If you want to hear other truths on marketing, you should subscribe to REAL MARKETERS. I think you’ll like what you hear.