India has traditionally been a resourceful and entrepreneurial society. Small business has always been a way of life. The difference now however, is the possibility and even ease of scaling exponentially in a small duration of time. India has been a savings economy until now. The foreign investment tap has been opened and financing is suddenly not the scary endeavour it used to be.
However, a large investment means a large marketing budget. And a large part of the marketing budget is spent of trial and error. Nowadays marketing and advertising are not cumbersome affairs like less than a decade ago. Social media, email and app marketing have made marketing exponentially more accessible and inexpensive. The flipside of this fact is that advertising is now much more common and therefore much more ignored.
Here’s what we learned from our vast network of small entrepreneurs about the one basic marketing skills without which a million-dollar marketing budget will go to waste. And that is:
Creating A Tribe
A kirana store owner knows that 100 engaged customers are better than 10000 unattached customers. A kirana store actively caters to a small but faithful number of customers regularly and efficiently. A start-up’s marketing strategy also must target a highly specialized and well defined audience instead of grabbing random eyeballs willy-nilly. Start-ups can learn to create a highly engaged niche instead of always trying to create a generalized, all-encompassing brand. Not everyone can be (or should be) Google