Startups Rethink Marketing Strategy after VC Boom

Date:   Friday , October 07, 2016

Headquartered in Berlin, DCMN is an advertisement & marketing platform that develops individual growth strategies through a combination of creativity and media solutions with proprietary ROI-optimization technology to help businesses easily reach out to their target customers.

India’s booming startup sector has got the world’s attention. Large investors have flocked in, billions of dollars have been raised, and there’s seemingly no end to the spate of new businesses popping up every week. No wonder Forbes named Indian startups the investment of the moment in 2015.

The growth in this industry is having another often not discussed effect. As competition heats up between India’s many startups, marketers both in India and around the world are now sitting up and taking note. Investment in advertising has increased alongside investment in the startup sector as a whole.

Take the growth in advertising spend as an example. Last year, media agency GroupM predicted that ad spend would rise 15.5 percent in 2016. Digital advertising is set to grow at the fastest pace (47.5 percent growth is forecast for this year), yet TV remains the dominant medium – 47.1 percent of advertising dollars in India are spent on television campaigns.

One of the main sectors driving the rise in ad spending is e-Commerce, where competition is particularly strong and VC investment is high. Part of the reason many startups spend big on marketing is because of the pressure they come under from investors. Once founders secure investment, they also often face pressure to perform and to scale their business fast. This is where marketing comes in.

In this hyper-competitive environment, how does a new business make itself stand out from all the others? Perhaps more importantly, how do you do marketing on a truly ‘startup’ budget, and how do you get the most bang for your buck?

Consider TV: Not Just Online

In the early stages, many startups will see online marketing as their only option. The main reason is that digital is comparably cheaper than traditional media. But does this approach get you the best results in the long run? The answer is usually no – TV remains the most effective advertising medium overall.

Research from marketing analytics firm Market Share, released last year showed TV was the most effective way to drive consumer purchases. The medium outperforms both digital and other offline channels when it comes to key metrics like driving sales and generating inbound leads.
With digital channels, many startups find they eventually hit a wall; after a while, the more you invest, the less you will get in return. But traditional channels have a reach far beyond online. They help you reach a much wider audience.

Be Smart With the Budget You Have

India’s media landscape is highly diverse – there are over 800 TV channels broadcast in Hindi, English and the regional languages. Obviously it is impossible to be present on all of these. To get around budget constraints, you need to know your target audience inside out and then choose the best channels & languages to reach this group.

So instead of spending blindly on various channels, first try a few select channels and genres. Analyse your results, and then scale up after you have a good understanding of what works for your brand and what does not. This approach allows you to test the market before expanding your campaigns more widely, and to dedicate your marketing budget to where it matters most.

Data Is Your Friend

It’s all very good to run a campaign, but many digital brands forget the next step – analyzing the data afterwards. This is especially true in India, where tracking and optimizing campaigns, particularly for traditional media like TV, is a relatively new phenomenon.

But by analyzing the performance of a TV campaign using dedicated TV attribution technology, you can really get down to the nitty gritty; to the point that you can define which channels, which days and which specific times work best for you. Armed with this data, you can determine where you will get the highest ROI, so you can get even better results next time around.