Challenges Faced by Startups in Reaching Potential Customers
The shift towards globalization and digitalization creates both opportunities and challenges for startups that need to build their customer base from scratch.
On the one hand, these businesses can now access new markets and use the internet to target a much larger audience. On the other hand, they must also face fiercer competition and adapt their offerings to market segments with different needs and characteristics. On top of that, modern customers have much higher expectations than before, which forces startups to go above and beyond to reach them.
This article will analyze the most common marketing challenges faced by startups when trying to reach potential customers and the strategies they can adopt to overcome these obstacles.
Finding Attractive Market Segments
It’s often difficult to determine which market segments have the highest potential. The segmentation process uses demographic, behavioral, and psychographic criteria to divide the market into groups of customers with the same needs and preferences. These customers tend to respond similarly to the same offerings and marketing strategies.
Startups should take proactive steps to assess factors like the intensity of the competition, the segment’s future growth prospects, and how to develop the right resources and capabilities to operate in that segment. Other elements, like price sensitivity and the customers’ bargaining power, also play an important role in this analysis.
Depending on the specific market segment and the business’ initial situation, some factors may be more important than others. For instance, if a startup has just started operating in a certain national market, it may find it attractive to target a sizeable market segment with strong growth potential. In contrast, if a business is already established in that industry, targeting segments with high price sensitivity may be the best way to go.
Mapping the Customer Journey
A startup must also have a clear understanding of the journey that potential customers typically follow, from their initial contact with a seller to buying a product or service to any post-purchase interaction. This can be done by gaining insights from different sources and take into account how different channels and devices influence the customer experience. This can be a demanding task.
Tools that can help startups get a full picture of every touchpoint of the customer’s journey include heat maps and user tests that show marketers how to target customers to interact with websites and apps. Startups should take customer feedback seriously and try to eliminate any obstacle that may make it difficult for potential buyers to move from initial contact to first purchase to loyal buying behavior.
Understanding the Right Channels to Market a Product
Determining which marketing channels are the most effective for reaching a target audience is not always an easy task. One of the challenges that a startup often faces is understanding which type of content is the most effective on different platforms. For example, when using social media platforms, you may need different types of images, videos, and text messages to reach and engage your audience. This means that startups should take the time to understand the best practices for each channel in order to maximize their reach and results.
First of all, startups should do thorough research on what type of channels their target customers use more frequently and investigate which content types better resonate with them. Then they should draft a plan outlining how they intend to use that channel, what kind of content they will create for it, with what frequency they will publish it, and what’s their policy for interacting with customers through that channel. Finally, they should track their progress and aim for constant improvements and strategy adjustments to reach their goals more effectively.
Adapting Offerings to Local Languages and Cultures
Expanding your operations to foreign countries can be a very effective way to increase your pool of potential customers. However, it also comes with numerous challenges and issues to overcome. The most obvious one is language. Startups need quality translation services to convert their offerings and communications from the original ones to those of their target market.
Not only that, but they should also be able to use the language in a way that shows familiarity with the local peculiarities and cultural norms.
Ideally, translators must also be able to localize content, that is, take into account the cultural specificities of each market and translate text in a way that is not only understandable but also perceived as local by the target audience. Traditions, social norms, and expectations can change greatly from country to country, and a simple literal translation is often not enough to do the job.
Nowadays, many translation providers, like Circle Translation, specialize in making content as attractive and desirable as possible for local audiences. This refers to both content that is included in the product (e.g., voiceovers in a videogame) and content that is part of advertisements and other marketing communications aimed at promoting the product or boosting brand awareness.
Struggling with a Limited Budget
Not having enough funds is one of the most common marketing challenges startups face when trying to reach new clients. Many traditional marketing channels usually require a significant investment to be effective. Fortunately, there are alternative approaches that a startup can use when its pockets aren’t too deep.
First of all, a startup should try to expand its relationships. Collaborating with partners who have an already established customer base can be a great idea. One recent trend is that of partnering with influencers who can help your target audiences can better be acquainted with your products and services. You should also try to use free marketing channels as much as possible. These include SEO and social media marketing. Through these channels, you can reach a high number of potential customers without spending any money on paid advertising.
Startups should also put their effort into creating content that resonates with their target audience. Content marketing is another effective way to build relationships with potential customers and establish trust in your brand without investing excessive amounts of money. By providing valuable content that speaks directly to your target audience, you can create meaningful connections that will lead to more sales down the line.
Overall, having a limited budget may make it difficult to use certain traditional strategies, but it’s not an impairment in and of itself. By thinking outside of the box and taking advantage of all available resources, businesses can still reach potential customers without the need for a large budget.
Keeping Up with New Technological and Marketing Trends
As technology advances, so do the strategies and solutions that startups and marketers use to reach their target audiences. It can be challenging for a brand to remain on top of the latest trends and remain competitive in its market. In order to keep up, sartups must invest time into researching the latest developments in their industry. This includes staying abreast of changes in consumer behavior, understanding emerging technologies, and learning about new marketing tactics that could help them reach their desired customer base. By regularly informing themselves on the latest developments in their industry, startups can ensure they are taking advantage of all available opportunities for reaching potential customers.