We have set up a start up. Its being surviving for last 10 months. We are planning to launch an mobile app soon. But our worry is that we don't have a marketing team. We cannot afford to have a team at this point of time. How can get through this cycle?
I think many of us are facing this challenge :)
If your product is solving someone else's problem, it should be easier. Let your target customer know that your solution exist without taking more than 20 seconds of their time.
In general, find the sites related to your market and that have large audience, and participate in the conversation. If you bring value, people will check your site/product.
I would suggest using blog networks to expand your user base. Write several posts related to your product and try to request a post with back link so that their blog traffic can read and have a look at what you are offering.
If they like it or just want to try it, as its a mobile app, you will have that first customers. Now the next plan would be to retain them.
Your requirements will totally depend on the target market and type of product you are offering. Factors like : What field it is related to? Whether you can give it free for a certain period so that people may get a feel of it. etc.
You can very well have a good marketing team and afford it too if your are certain about the customer response. Your product needs to be understood first and a marketing strategy has to be created before you move out into the market. The biggest mistake that I have seen startups do is think that MARKETING is just sales. It is not, marketing is much more important that development because it involves interacting with the customer and understanding his needs. If you take the marketing part lightly you'll end up taking your customers lightly thus decreasing the chances of making a sale. So, sit with a marketing person you might know and decide on a strategy to market your product.
Since its a mobile application my suggestion is Google for similar products and watch the way they are selling. Do some research, if you directly enter the market with out a strategy the possible retort you'll get is someone with a better marketing strategy will copy your idea and you'll end up getting a sore bargain.
Air + Food + Water.
Effective marketing is one of the essential components of a healthy living company. Either you do it, you hire it, or you partner to achieve it. Or you die.
You do it:
You hire it:
You partner to achieve it:
In today's market-centric environment where connecting with potential customers is may be the most important variable in the successful launch of the start-up -- allocation of appropriate resources to the marketing function may be the "sectors" biggest Achilles heel.