When a startup is thinking about scaling up, it puts Holly Roland, CEO of Emerald Hill Marketing, on speed dial. Holly helps new businesses go-to-market by aligning their marketing and long-term strategic objectives. 

Despite the pandemic and the subsequent economic meltdown, new business activity actually skyrocketed in the US in 2020, with around 4.4 million startups entering the market — a 24 percent increase from 2019. 

Unfortunately, not all of them will make it to 2022.

In an interview with Leadtail TV, Holly shares six key ingredients in her formula for startup success.

#1. Create an Enterprise-Level Marketing Strategy

Most startups don’t have a lot of enterprise-level branding or marketing in place and instead focus on simple demand generation.

Don’t make the same mistake. Create enterprise-focused strategies that help C-level buyers understand the strategic value of your solution. These buyers have the power, influence, connections, and budget to revolutionize any startup.

#2. Cross-Sell and Upsell to Global Clients

Companies don’t spend enough time on cross-selling and up-selling to global clients.

For example, a startup might not realize that a company with an office in, say, Indiana, also has offices across the country or around the world. And staff in those offices might require products or specific product features from your startup.

#3. Invest in Partnerships When Creating Go-To-Market Strategies

The companies that struggle the most with go-to-market strategies are those that lack proper partnerships with other brands. Holly points out that “direct selling is obviously very important and often the bread and butter of a startup. However, new companies need friends in the marketplace to expand their reach.”

#4. Measure the Effectiveness of Market Processes

Having repeatable market processes between sales and marketing and measuring the effectiveness of those processes is really important. Startups often focus on leads and sales rather than on whether their processes are working effectively. You need to make sure process discipline is incorporated into how your teams operate.

#5. Target Specific Market Segments

“Startups need to focus on specific segments and differentiators,” says Holly. “It’s important for growth.” Unfortunately, many startups emulate their market leader instead of highlighting what makes them different from the competition. These organizations should target specific market segments instead.

Startups should still monitor their rivals but would be better off targeting segments based on demographics, geolocation, and other more specific factors rather than competing with the big boys… at least early on.

#6. Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

A startup typically has a limited budget and even more limited resources, which can limit growth. So it’s better for them to follow a plan rather than seek opportunities in markets where they don’t have any brand name awareness. It’s simple: Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet.

Final Word

There’s a startup boom in the U.S., but not all new companies will survive. Make sure you’re incorporating as many of Holly’s tips as possible to ensure your startup thrives!

Learn more startup growth tips from marketing maestro Holly Roland here or listen to the audio version here.

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