It’s much easier to promote and sell a product when you know a bit about your customer. But, where do young startups get that kind of information about their current or future client base?
As a founder, you likely have some details about your customers if they’ve used your product: name, email address, location and maybe age. When it comes to getting more specific data – data that you can use to tailor your future marketing – it’s helpful and cost-effective to leverage your digital assets: your website, your social accounts, and more. Ino Samaras helps founders unlock the data that those digital assets can offer to learn more about their customers.
After nearly a decade of experience in data analytics and data-informed marketing, Ino founded Databee, in 2021. At Databee, Ino and her team build affordable data-driven marketing solutions for startups to discover growth opportunities as early as possible and build a strong case for their next round of fundraising. Databee is a perfect fit for a young company that’s launching a product or introducing a product to a new market.
On Feb. 23, Ino hosted a webinar for Founders Network where she provided how startups can make the most of their digital assets to learn more about their customers and improve their marketing performance. She will focus on micro-surveys as a creative solution for getting to know the customer and missed opportunities to test a hypothesis about the customer.
As a marketing consultant and data expert, Ino has seen the blunders founders make in the early startup days. So, she has some wisdom for startups’ early marketing strategies.
“Our biggest piece of advice is if you get your budget for marketing, you don’t have to throw it all into advertising right away,” she says.
For example, a company may be planning to launch its social media channels and jump straight into social ads to maximize the pool of customers that they can reach. However, Ino recommends launching a brand’s social media presence in phases. That allows the company to see how customers respond to the content before spending a lot of money on an ad that is potentially not engaging or fruitful.
“It’s surprising how often companies miss easy opportunities to test the most effective marketing tactic, or message, or audience,” she says.
She also sees young startups jump into advertising before building an organic online presence.
“Say you pay for an ad. They visit your Instagram page from the ad, but your page is barren. What happens then? How do you keep their attention?” Ino explains.
Surveys give founders the opportunity to learn more about their customers and measure the success of various projects.
Maybe your list of customers is a group of friends and family. Maybe it’s a collection of emails of people who signed up for your subscription or website. No matter the size of your client base, collecting information about your customers gives you the opportunity to better shape your next marketing campaign and improve your product.
Most founders think of surveys as a multi-question questionnaire that is sent out to a select audience via a Survey Monkey or an equivalent tool. However, surveys can be a much more versatile tool.
Ino highlights micro-surveys as a powerful data collection tool that can simply be embedded in any digital asset and provide valuable quantitative and qualitative customer insights. One example is website pop-ups that may ask why you are visiting the website. Another example are polls on Instagram or TikTok.
“It’s also critical to be intentional when crafting surveys,” says Ino. Too often, she encounters surveys that have leading questions or try to cover too much ground topic-wise.
In her webinar, Ino will help founders answer the following questions:
- What is the target market?
- What pricing is optimal?
- What product features are most in demand that should be part of my MVP?
- How are customers interacting with my product or service?
- Where is my solution falling short?
- What message should be promoted in an engaging ad?