Startup marketers should not get themselves into talking about the benefits of Share of Voice like a recent article at ArcticStartup suggests. This is what they should focus instead.

By Antti Eronen

Paying for anything less than results is plain stupid

It’s not always easy to tell how your marketing translates into euro or dollars. Yet, this should be your goal right from the start.

Who cares about an imaginary ROI for a share of voice in PPC? Interested in how many people could have seen your ad on Google vs how many actually saw it? The useful metric would be whether a certain search term delivers visitors that convert into paying or subscribing users. Then the size of the potential audience isn’t a top priority. You just need to come up with more search terms that perform well.

Customer journeys and customer acquisition

Customer or user journeys are not easy to measure and act upon but that is exactly what you should aim for.  Do the tracking on a too granular level and it becomes impossible to deal with all the touchpoints and create matching, quality content. As a bare minimum, decide which conversions matter the most to you. Delivering the “1st value unit” should be a good reference point. Such a user is likely to buy or spend more money on your products and services. Find ways to tie incoming traffic to those conversions. Then work your way back to the landing pages, pieces of content, social channels and individual ads that leak leads and prospects.

If you’re a SaaS company, here’s a wonderful framework to get started.

Why startups shouldn’t do brand marketing

‘Share of Voice’ and similar brand marketing mindsets encourage a pissing contest between you and your actual or imaginary competitors. You need to remember you are not the next Coca Cola. Yet. To get there, you need to focus on your results, your sales and your best KPIs first. Think of marketing as part of your user experience. Successful marketing will bring repeat customers and lower your churn. Unsuccessful marketing only drains your bank account.

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Antti Eronen works as a consultant at Tradedoubler, managing Finnish advertiser and publisher partnerships. He was a founder and the CEO of SportTV.fi. Antti enjoys sparring startups and has a flair for hyperbole.

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