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Growth marketing
December 7, 2021

In marketing, startups are a completely different animal 

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Written by
Jana Kotze
Growth Lead, The Delta

We all know that marketing is essential for business, but even more so for startups. Startups are a completely different animal when it comes to marketing. As a startup marketer, you often don’t have the luxury of massive marketing budgets, resources, or tools, so your approach needs to be leaner.

Product commercialisation is the business of launching new products or services to the market, and driving demand and user adoption, which will ultimately result in happy customers. In other words, it’s about developing go-to-market strategies based on our knowledge, research, initial user feedback, and assumptions. 

Ultimately, you want your products to have a certain stickiness which will increase the propensity of customers to return to the product and use it more frequently.

Using an agile, iterative approach will enable you to test your assumptions quickly and change direction if you need to. The earlier you launch and learn, the better, and better insight translates into a better experience with less time, effort and money being spent fixing things later in the process. 

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Jana, our marketing lead at The Delta
Image of author
Written by
Jana Kotze
Growth Lead, The Delta
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Commercialisation conceptualisation

During the initial stages of the project, you should spend time understanding the customer: their wants, needs and, what motivates them — whether intrinsic or extrinsic by nature. 

Define the product messaging and come up with a value proposition that clearly defines how the product features will benefit the customer. Getting the value proposition to stand out requires a combination of relevance, context, and education. It’s important to acknowledge that even if your value proposition is spot on, it might only resonate with a subset of your audience. 

After the product launches, keep a close eye on data, especially around user behaviour, so you can make changes according to the feedback you receive. You should constantly be asking what worked, what didn’t and why. The onus is on you to keep up with the latest tech trends and tools to perform at your best. 

Lessons learned

Even when you plan everything to the last detail, it doesn’t always go to plan. That’s when the agile approach kicks in, as you can pivot quickly without too much impact on the project. Fast, lightweight iterations are the key.

You need to love what you do — the variety, the fast-paced environment and the challenges. No day will be the same. Marketing for startups is about helping people grow and thrive. At the Delta, team culture is important to us, as is the constant drive to improve and learn, while having fun in the process!

Failure happens, but it’s not a bad thing, as long as you take the lessons being offered. This gives you the opportunity to grow so you can continue to build, and market, products and ventures in a way that resonates with clients and customers alike. 

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