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Addressing (unrealistic) expectations of Start-ups at Zero (almost) cost

All start-ups whether they are pre-product, post-product, pre-revenue, funded (pre-seed, series A), have one thing in common: Limited Budgets. Moreover, Marketing is a reasonably larger cost-centre. Hence, it is extremely important to plan the budget in a way that the unrealistic expectations (that most founders have) are achieved at the lowest (or possibly zero) cost.

We, at ProMarcom, aim to help our clients with just that. However, we don't mean to plan and execute marketing initiatives for the start-up community at no cost. Instead, we work together (preferably at an early stage) to help control direct and indirect marketing costs, optimise results for maximum exposure and focus on creating marketing campaign that could be monetised to not just recover the marketing investment, but also to generate additional revenue apart from just achieving the marketing goals expected from such a campaign.


- Keep a Leaner, Meaner Team from the very beginning. According to research, 50% of business results are delivered by a square root of the workforce involved. So, instead of wasting time in hiring an army of resources, focus on setting up a smaller, smarter team for essential roles and outsource other aspects of the marketing function. This saves considerably well on the monetary front (salaries, overheads etc.) as well as other aspects (effort, resources, payroll management, compliance liabilities and more importantly time). The experienced resources at ProMarcom could be of help here. Hiring a team, right from dedicated/ shared Virtual CMO to resources across levels for creative, planning and operations could make a better economic sense for your business, especially for start-ups. These resources come with an entrepreneurial mindset and take a stronger ownership for delivering results. Moreover, there are no frills attached like probation/ notice periods, independent compliances for each resource and more.

- Keep a limited, yet stronger set of execution partnerships who would be willing to work on a fixed+variable format. Result-oriented incentivised payout structure ensures a seamless and more responsible delivery for your marketing campaign. Do not get carried away with sales-pitches with claims like viewership, listenership, readership, footfalls, eyeballs, subscribers etc etc. For example, a decision about an event sponsorship should be based on the number of qualified leads/ direct exposure generated from the event, and not just on a fancy-looking media plan (as the case has been traditionally). Advertising professionals at ProMarcom help in identifying such marketing opportunities and negotiate on your behalf to help you get perfect results at the lowest possible cost.

- Have a parallel audit mechanism in place for all marketing initiatives with real-time analysis. Most business do not consider this to be important enough, but it helps in keeping a tab on the progress and enhance overall results. A sensible marketing professional would rather put a pivot in between an on-going campaign that isn't expected to deliver the anticipated results, instead of realising it after the campaign ceases, and the budget is exhausted. Only a strong and parallel marketing audit can help you achieve this. ProMarcom has a strong experience of working on both traditional as well as tech-enabled automated audit programs that have helped clients to extract better value from their marketing campaign.

- Create marketing campaign that could be monetised. Go beyond the traditional mindset that marketing promotions are only about spending the allocated budgets for branding or experiential opportunities. Innovate and create marketing avenues that could either be monetised, or subsidised by letting other non-competing brands come on-board. LG OLED Landmark Signage Innovation was one such initiative, where the leadership team of ProMarcom worked closely with LG and Ambience Groups to convert a marketing initiative to a commercial digital signage where other brands shared the DOOH space with LG and its brands. The signage project not just recovered the marketing investment, but also generated revenue that was multiple times of the initial marketing investment.

- Let your execution agencies get involved, as if they co-own your brand. Apart from the commercial aspect, they expect to be treated as partners in building your brand. Working closely on marketing initiatives help them understand your brand and expectations better thereby improving the overall productivity. ProMarcom has closely worked with start-ups as well as corporates to help them take important decisions right from the brand name, logos, domain, creative/ content strategy, planning the team and budgets to the final execution of their Digital, ATL, BTL and Retail Marketing programs.

There are just a few of the many unexplored possibilities on how start-up business can collaborate with agencies to create and drive successful marketing campaign in the most cost-effective manner. In fact, even larger corporates should adopt these and see how their marketing budgets turn into profits.

There are endless opportunities and we would be happy to connect and understand your business to be able to give you customised, tailor-made solutions for your brand/ product/ service marketing.

Team ProMarcom Inc!


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