People generally have their own, ideal business ideas and products in mind, and show so much passion into making them a reality. However, they tend to forget one vital element in any startup, and that is to acquire traction. Business traction is a measure of the progress of the company and the momentum that carries it forward to increased growth and success. This success is impossible if all you have got are concepts for your products, and the money to capitalize your venture. A key element to success is aligning your product with the consumers’ needs and demands. Acquiring traction for your business startup is important for various reasons. First, it ensures that the business will pull off the ground desirably after starting up, and second, it will attract investors and attention to your company.
Measuring traction can vary depending on the metrics used by each company, which will often depend on the products they offer and the respective goals they have in mind. Most of the time, the measurements used are based on consumer response, sales figures, and the ability to meet demands.
Here are some of the important steps that need to be taken in order to acquire traction for your startup:
1. Identify customer’s needs.
This is the primary step in building traction because your marketing strategies and any development in your products will depend on this single thing. There are many ways to go about this; you can start off with your current customers. Make a data bank that contains their names and contact information. Invest on frequency cards that will reward them, so that they would willingly join in. You can then use these frequency cards to make tabs of their purchases. Another way is to hire a research agency that will provide you with a list of target markets of a certain age, demographics, or other sector of the society. You can use this list to conduct surveys to find out about their needs. You can then use the result of both of the tactics to know precisely what your consumers want so you can build on it, and at the same time, try and boost marketing of products that are less bought by your target users.
2. Identify competitors.
Your marketing strategies should not be limited to what you think is enough for your company. It should be able to fight head to head with other companies and their respective strategies. Identify first the companies that offer the same products that you do and study their marketing methods. They could be implementing tactics that are drawing in a big part of the market that you share.
3. Identify your product’s strengths and weaknesses.
In order to continually satisfy your customers, you need to assess your products’ strengths and weaknesses regularly. The best way to do this is through a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). A SWOT analysis requires that you set your goals first and identify these four elements in relation to your goals. Once identified, you can now take steps to fill the gaps so that you can meet your objectives.
4. Find ways to attract customers.
Aside from your primary customers, you also have your secondary customers, people who you can attract to patronize your products. There are several ways to do this. You can send them direct emails, put up advertisements online and offline, research their motivations, make your products become more visible, offer discounts, improve customer service, put up a new store to reach your market, and many more. Press releases are also great tactics for spreading the word about your product. This builds up the intrigue and anticipation of your product on your target market, which would in turn make for a positive outcome the day the product is released.
5. Develop a go-to-market strategy.
Go-to-market strategies are solutions developed by businesses to connect with their target consumers, and to pursue that connection to attain their goal, which is, of course, to make a sale. An effective go-to-market strategy requires answering five key questions: who your target customer is, what product is ideal for that customer, how much you will be selling your products to customers, how you will promote your products, and where you will promote your products. There are many ways to promote a product to connect with different types of customers. The mediums most used nowadays are social media and other online promotional venues, like blogs, pay-per-click advertisements, and renting banner spaces.
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