THE STARTUP PHASE
The startup phase
In its first year of existence (in the sense of business), the company focuses on the fundamentals. The key points are:
• Displaying a professional and international image. The notion of « born global » is not born by chance …
• Creating the basic tools to support the sales force in their exploration activity and transformation
• Communicating commercial success from the first!
At the end of this first phase of fundamentals’ construction, the company has therefore at least:
• An English and French website, (sometimes in English only to optimize the cost of content creation) with scalable content and performance measurement
• A generic brochure and product sheets (more technical)
• A customer testimonial or « use case » for the major project(s) on the basis of which the sales team can start a replication of sales job
The exponential growth phase
When the company enters its growth phase, typically after the first million € or after a first injection of funds, things are accelerating.
We are entering a phase of increasing marketing efforts, even if the means are limited.
Budgets that are found at this stage are about 25 to 75 K €.
The almost complete range of marketing tool will have to be implemented to boost sales:
• Plan to launch products
The marketing plan typically includes the presence of one or several trade fair, often at international level.
• Lead generation program
The sales team will be supplied with qualified leads. Among the challenges: the creation of a database of qualified contacts, defining actions to transform them (telemarketing, mailing, newsletter …), and performance monitoring actions.
• Animation of the distribution network
The animation of the distribution network and, in particular, information sharing is a crucial point: provision of an extranet certification program, information sessions etc.
• Communication actions
Communication is useful to begin building awareness and is fundamental even if the budget does not, under any circumstances, allow deploying communication plans for the local press.
The difference with the next phase is the density of the action (number of events, location of operations …) but the process and performance monitoring are implemented so as to industrialize the marketing in the next phase.
Overall, the challenge will be, with still limited means, to build attractive and reusable tools to optimize the budget.
This phase that will last between 1 and 3 years is crucial. If the basics of marketing process are raised, industrialization will be easily achieved. Otherwise, it is the subsequent commercial process that will suffer.
The deployment phase
With new means – such as a budget around: Number of years x 100 K €- marketing must be deployed:
• The number of fundamentals multiplies:
customer testimonials, participation in fairs, writing content (white papers, press releases …), « the process rolls »
• The process of lead generation is increasing.
With growing awareness, visits to the website are increasing, as downloads, so the leads too. By sector of activity, telemarketing can be used more intensively.
• Automation tools must be implemented.
Excel files become inoperative at this stage … CRM, marketing automation, then you will have to select and support the implementation of these tools wisely.
• The animation channel can implement new tools:
annual event according to geography, intensified co-marketing activities, location of marketing, structured alliance program with a website, events…
• Communication can start literally:
relationships with journalists via press agency relationship with analysts in the areas of telecoms, IT…