In competitive markets, it can be easy for entrepreneurial businesses to get lost. One of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs is standing out from the competition. In order to remain relevant, it’s necessary to employ unusual and more aggressive tactics in entrepreneurial marketing. In order to make the most of limited marketing budgets, entrepreneurs need to work smarter than more traditional marketing teams.
When it comes to growing and developing a small business or startup, a wide array of tactics need to be employed. Entrepreneurial marketing, meaning a collection of tactics and philosophies that fuel leads and revenue for the sole proprietor and startup businesses, is more about innovating a way of thinking about lead generation rather than adhering to a strict set of best practices.
Marketing and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand, but traditional marketing ideas don’t always work for lean startup businesses. While traditional marketing is oriented specifically around the customer, entrepreneurial marketing works best with a more entrepreneur-focused orientation. A top-down funnel ideology may work well in traditional marketing — segmentation, targeting and positioning takes place to generate content and collateral for various funnel positions. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs practice a reverse process — marketing starts with the bottom-funnel ideal customer and works backward.
Entrepreneurial Marketing vs Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing relies on the “Four Ps” to define an approach:
Entrepreneurs, however, can take an interactive marketing approach driven by direct and personal contact with customers. Entrepreneurial marketing relies more on direct interaction between customers and the brand, with activities like personal selling and relationship marketing taking the forefront.
How Can Marketing Be Identified in Entrepreneurship?
The easiest way to identify an entrepreneurial marketing opportunity is to look at the company doing the marketing. Startups, emerging companies and individual sole-proprietors can use entrepreneurial marketing to help establish themselves in emerging industries.
Entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from traditional marketing tactics, but must also rely on informal methods, personal observations and networking through word-of-mouth connections. An entrepreneur will identify a product and market opportunity, test it through a wide array of tactics and then optimize the tactics with the best performance. Once successful tactics are identified, a lookalike customer profile can be added.
Entrepreneurial Marketing Tactics and Strategies
There is a wide array of tactics that can be employed easily by entrepreneurs and startups looking to launch and scale their business. Here are a few of our favorite ways to tie marketing and entrepreneurship:
Rather than focusing on acquiring a wide group of cooler leads and nurturing them toward a sale over time, relationship marketing focuses on individual customers with a high potential of loyalty. This is accomplished through products and services that outshine the competition and a direct, transparent approach that gives the customer direct insight into a brand, business and production process. This lends well to entrepreneurial marketing, as it allows leaders in these businesses to forge direct connections with each of their customers, theoretically creating higher lifetime value for each customer.
Thought leadership marketing aims to provide an entry point to your business by positioning a leader in your company as an industry expert and trendsetter. There are still opportunities to highlight your product or service, but the core aim is for the individual to gain a following and a reputation as helpful and knowledgeable in the business space. This organic tactic requires a two-pronged approach of developing both the individual entrepreneur’s voice and the company’s brand voice but can have excellent payoff by marrying entrepreneurship and marketing in an organic way.
Marketing automation enables entrepreneurs to tackle multiple channels and digital marketing tactics at once. Email marketing, social media, social listening, interactive campaigns, blogging and more can all be centralized into a single marketing automation platform to create a more omnichannel philosophy behind an entrepreneurial brand.
Most importantly, a centralized marketing automation platform can create efficiencies and reduce spending, saving both time and money for busy entrepreneurs. If you are searching for a digital marketing platform, look for one that offers marketing automation with all of the features mentioned above. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run and help your business run a lot smoother.