Entrepreneurs must learn to outsource their marketing! Does it sound ironic to you? Only, if you are expecting the same traditional answer. But having heard this repeatedly from successful entrepreneurs that have scaled, I think it is important for entrepreneurs to outsource their marketing, but to whom? “Customers”
Customers are a start-up’s biggest marketing people. If your initial customers are not excited about your product or service, how do you expect to make the next set feel it? If we keep harping that our product is exciting, filled with passion, deserves to be spoken, etc.,. no one really does. On the contrary, a random blog or review can show up on Digg and become a spoken about topic. It can give you inbound links, raise your appearance on Google organic search, and lead to tremendous traffic which even your paid search cannot assure. How to become that sensation in marketing? Simply by outsourcing your marketing to your customers. How does a start-up outsource its marketing to customers? By delighting them from the word ‘go’. Right from the start, every potential customers (at least the first 1000) must simply be bowled over by your interactions, messages, communiques, products, packaging, engagement, everything! Everything about the start-up must be filled with enthusiasm, delight, energy and possibilities. All of this are ideal ingredients for word-of-mouth. Buzz happens, its rarely created. While buzz can be catalysed, enabled, supported, etc.,. it simply must not be forced. It won’t last. And if it has to happen organically, then the only option is to allow it to be handled by your customers.
As an entrepreneur, you and your team must simply break loose all the boundaries between you and your customers. Make them experience the thrill of buying from a start-up and let them share whatever they have to. Good, moderate, bad, all reviews are potential messages for word of mouth. Simply accept, acknowledge, correct, update and get better with what customers say – they kind of keep giving you feedback and hints about how to make your marketing effective and larger than what you can ever afford.
Great businesses are invariably marketed by customers. Numerous local businesses thrive on local fans spreading word of mouth in local networks and making people visit the enterprises. If small businesses have thrived for decades on local word of mouth, why can’t start-ups thrive on word of mouth, especially with the power of social media.
Think about it!