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7 Rules for Marketing a Start Up

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Digital marketers will be familiar with the Paid Owned Earned Media (POEM). You still need to know the difference between paid, earned and owned but new words such as measurable, scalable and social have become just as important. Stick with these seven rules and you will have a good basis to make your next big idea spread like wildfire the way evernote or AirBnB did.

1. Your main aim should be get customers to pay for your product without spending much money yourself. This low cost of acquiring new customers is one of the things that sets start up marketers/growth hackers apart from traditional marketing managers.

2. Concentrate on product market fit i.e. you should be building a product that is easy to market. At the early stages of building your product you can iterate and change according to what potential customers want. You should be involved in product development (shouldn't be hard as if its an average start up there will less than five of you in the early days!)

3. Set goals but don't set up over complicated analytics. Use analytics to monitor and take action on the results. Mastering analytics doesn't automatically equal growth. Find key metrics and obsess over them but you have to have the fundamentals right first.

4. Watch Simon Sinek the golden circle it takes 18 minutes. He explains why organizations such as apple can inspire market and sell. Even more importantly he translates it into a simple formula that anyone can use. Its based on the why not how and what. The 'why' is your purpose or reason to exist i.e. you are not just here to make money ( this may seem strange to the raving capitalists among you!)

5. Establish yourself as useful before you try and sell people something. This brings us back to the fact good marketing is based on an understanding of human behaviour.

6. Recognise the importance of social proof. This is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something. Aileen Lee said that social proof IS the new marketing and is an untapped goldmine. Various recent studies have shown that social proof is worth more than saving money. As soon as you can show social proof you should promote the hell out of it.

7. Work on your story and remember the better the conversation the better things sell. Word of mouth will often beat virality. Dublin company logentries have acquired over 1000 customers in 100 countries and raised $10million in funding through word of mouth with no marketing spend. Sounds unbelievable but if you have a product people want, it can be done.

Once the majority of marketers tune into these often untapped growth hacking opportunities you will be on an even playing field but hopefully by then you will be the next big thing

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