Within the first few years of starting a business there is normally not a huge amount of money available for marketing. This means that every sale is hard fought, all income relies on effort and time, and progress is built one step at a time. The truth is that this is a good thing because it is the same for everyone and relies on hard work and good people. But every now and then there are a few ways that you can take a chance on a high impact idea, your one big thing that brings the spotlight to rest on you for just long enough to make a difference.
Normal marketing avenues are well known, well used, and have fairly predictable results. They are of course influenced by the quality of your materials, your product, your message and how you target them to your market. But they do come at a cost, and sometimes this cost is too high for a start-up, so what else can you do to improve your position?
One big thing is a simple idea that tries to use the creativity, agility and flexibility that start-ups have to their benefit, without requiring a lot of money. The proposition is simple – create an idea that is interesting, emotive and unique enough to make people talk about it, generate free PR and accelerate dissemination throughout social media. Easy right?
How do you find a little bit of magic? This is all down to you, your imagination and your knowledge of your business, product and target market. Here are a few guidelines to start off your idea generation:
Who are your target market and what is it that they care about? How can this be engineered to present your company or product in a positive light? Often, the best marketing does not shout directly about what it is selling, but gives the consumer something to enjoy with a clear but more subtle message about the product.
Try to explore entirely new routes and avenues, ideally those that have not been done before. Do not be afraid to try new things, and be prepared for some of them to not succeed. Chances are even if not a great success, they will have extended your network, improved your visibility and created excitement in some way.
Even the most innovative viral ideas only fulfil their potential when people apply real effort to launching them. Do not go to the trouble of developing a one big thing idea and then leave it to itself – give it the love it needs to launch, and support it properly to see if it has a chance of being the one big thing that changes your company’s future
Do not underestimate the impact this can have, make sure you consider what else is going on in the world, look for any momentum that might add to your idea, and stay away from anything that might reduce the uptake.