Over the past year we have worked with a large number of B2B start ups who are interested in scaling up and enhancing sales. In our experience, most of our clients have great products or services, but are lacking in the final marketing touches that brings alive an MNC offering.

Based on our past experience, I am sharing here a checklist of the marketing elements critical for launch and initial scaling up. Without these basics a sales outreach programme will be difficult.

1 . A living Website describing the Start Ups ‘Brand Offering’

In today’s digital world a good website is critical for any B2B business launch. Often B2B Start Ups begin their operations without a fully functional website – as sales are led by founders who have ‘industry connections’. This is an unfortunate situation.

As a firm grows and contacts run out, getting appointments or initiating leads will become tough. Websites are often the first elements of a brand  that the client checks out. The Sales teams efforts are helped significantly with the presence of a website that offers clear and precise information on the brand offering.

Critical elements that the website needs to cover are

  • Details of the Brand Offering
  • Reasons to Buy the Brand Offering – Relevance & Differentiation
  • Reasons to Believe the various Claims made by the brand – Credibility
  • Contact details of the relevant person

Real world advice  : If funds are crunched focus on the content and use an ‘off the shelf’ template.


2 . Single Page Note detailing what the Start Up has to offer to clients

While interviewing CXOs for branding projects, we noticed most senior folk have very short attention spans. Hence long presentations, however well designed, may remain unopened or unfinished when attached to an introductory email.

We recommend  the client build a single page note that gives a brief but comprehensive overview of the brand. This is a very difficult job – and needs to be built keeping in mind real customer insight.

Key elements that should exist in this one page note are:

  • “Why Us” – Single paragraph on the reason the client’s company exists
  • Details of Product and / or Services being offered – stick to 3 -4 key buckets of customer needs
  • Client Names | Accreditation | Credibility building relationships
  • Website and Contact Details of relevant persons

Real world advice : Spend time and money on this one page document. First impressions count.


3 . Concise Brochures detailing the Start Ups – Key Services / Products

A concise brochure that brings alive the key offering(s) of the start up is helpful. The material for this brochure is usually available in a well designed website. We recommend brochures are written from the point of view of the customer and addresses the competitive context.

Key elements that should exists in this brochure are :

  • Summary of the services being offered
  • Key benefits of the service
  • Client Names | Accreditation | Credibility building relationships

Real world advice : Brochures are often used by gate keepers in internal discussion with decision makers


4 . Newsletter to Stay in Touch – with useful information and engaging content

Newsletter work only if the content is fresh and engaging. This works for B2B Start Ups – as the firm is often at the fore-front of innovation & technology.  A well written newsletter, containing information that is meaningful to the client – helps build credibility and engagement.

If high quality content is not available, the start up should avoid publishing a newsletter. Humble bragging articles, client testimonials disguised as case studies and factoids about the firm may not be of much interest to target customers.

Real world advice : Founders need to invest in content. Otherwise Newsletters will be trashed.


5 . Targeted Outreach Programme for Start Up Scale Up 

All Start Ups face the problems of Funnel Management. A well designed outreach programme will ensure  steady inflow of prospects and enable staying in touch with existing clients.

Corporate use of digital media – with specific focus on social media –  has been perfected by global MNCs. However Start Ups at times, end up posting material indiscriminately and run sub-optimal campaigns. A well defined outreach programme with specific goals helps create a healthy funnel.

Real world advice : Be clear about the objective of the campaign and have pre-defined metrics of evaluation.


6 . Aesthetic Appeal and Consistent Look and Feel

Last, but not the least, is the appearance of the material.

In today’s day and age – Indian brands are bench-marked against global MNCs with respect to their communication quality. Moreover as the customer has the luxury of choice – this aspect of brand communication will become even more important.

Real world advice : A consistent visual identity across multiple media will have a multiplier effect.


In summation :

B2B start ups have great products and services. However unless their sales team is given the basics in terms of marketing support – it will be difficult for them to sell. By focusing on a few high quality pieces of marketing collateral, B2B start ups can focus on scaling up in an effective manner.


Thank you for reading. If you are looking for help in brand positioning or strategic marketing – we would be happy to help.  We work with both established firms and start ups – across traditional and digital sectors.

You could read more about out marketing services right here.

If you found the article useful and want to read about Marketing Basics for SME Success, please read this article in the CXOtoday.com by our founder, Rini Dutta

Marketing people may enjoy reading Does Content Marketing Work and other articles in our blog

For more information please email rini@centricbrandadvisors.com or connect via Linkedin