Marketing Your Startup - The "Moses" WayJanuary 17, 2016
Reading time: 5 mins
Let’s face it, not everyone gets, connects with, understands, wants to be within 100 light years of anything to do with…. Marketing. You have a fabulous idea, a brilliant product, surely it should just market and sell itself… yes! But, no. Since startup employees are often in single digits, one of the founders is tasked with leading the marketing. It may not be her or his dream job, but hey – someone needs to do it!
Was it Moses’s dream job to lead the Israelites to Israel? As the story goes, Moses was appointed to lead this mission without much room for negotiation. This exodus business was not a simple task, required careful planning and great execution. But was he the right man for the job? Sound familiar?
Moses’s first objective in his long and detailed roadmap was to get the Israelites out of Egypt. While everyone remembers the incredible special effects and pyrotechnics of the 10 plagues, it was his meticulous attention to detail and long-term strategy which prevailed. Not only did he orchestrate the big show, but also focused on all the little steps and tools necessary.
Following in-depth analysis of the market dynamics and target audience, Moses prepared an impressive marketing plan which included PR, networking with leaders and influencers, attending events with marketing aids and sales tools. Guerrilla campaigns were used to grab attention and ensure he was front of mind along the way.
Skipping on to the 21st century… This approach is highly relevant to marketing start-ups, with many tempted to opt for a big splash upfront with little planning for the long-haul. But that’s a risky tactic; success is usually the result of a build-up of many smaller activities as opposed to one big push.
Moses too was light on resources, so this is what he did and how it relates to your startup.
Here’s how to market your startup effectively – the “Moses” way:
1. Plan for long term
Moses didn’t only have the Exodus from Egypt itself to worry about, the real challenge was leading his people for many years in the dessert. He thought it would take a year or two… not forty.
Similarly, your biggest challenge is not launching your startup – it’s building your marketing to support the company’s growth for the years to follow.
This means you need a marketing strategy that has long term goals while being flexible enough to easily adopt to market changes and other surprises. A 12 month strategy is long enough for a young startup with quarterly goals planned and reviewed.
Moses was lucky. His bio claims that he was raised in the king’s yard and was able to network with all of the leaders and key influencers.
While you might not be so lucky to already know all of the key influencers in your niche, you have one thing that Moses did not have: The internet, and particularly – social media platforms.
There’s no one out of your reach when you have Twitter and Linkedin to use, but keep in mind – these tools are only good for opening doors. To build and nurture healthy relationships with those influencers, make sure to pick up the phone once in a while, shoot them an email with a happy holidays card or a piece of information you think might interest them and network with them in real-life events.
3. Outsource where needed
Moses had a severe stuttering issue. As good as he was with planning and performing, he felt unconfident speaking to Pharaoh or his people. So he relied on his brother as his spokesperson.
You too need to know what you’re good at, what you have the capacity to do and what you need help with. Some things are better done in-house, while others should be outsourced to experts. Time is of the essence and you should not waste your time or money (which are often interchangeable) on achieving mediocre results.
4. Choose the right tools
Luckily for us, tricks and magic have come a long way. A cane turning into a snake has transformed into internet, smartphones and smart watches.
There are so many tools to choose from: from sophisticated marketing automation platforms that promise to take care of your entire marketing funnel, to simple tools that help you with email marketing, creating landing pages, blogging, optimizing conversion and more.
If you’re just starting out, choose tools that will solve your big problems now (or very quickly). Try not to go with tools that require complicated integration – these take too much time and resources and are usually an overkill for your requirements and stage.
Marketing hasn’t changed much since Biblical times. When you need to disrupt the market, look to leaders in history that made a huge change and analyze their success. There’s more to learn from them than we think.