Startup Marketing Plan [Template]

Company Overview

The name you plan to use across all your branding and communications.

For example, deciding to omit accents in Hōjicha Co. or including them since it’s the official company name.

The main url used across all of your branding and communications.

For example, launched at even though they have many custom landing pages.

Typically 3-5 words that succinctly convey the high level concept in an appealing way. This may evolve over time with customer feedback, but you can get started by browsing through AngelList startups for inspiration.

[Company Name] is a [Product/Service] that [Benefit] for [Target Customer] who [Problem/Opportunity]

Unlike your pitch, this can be longer and provide more detail into your features and competitive advantage. You should create one description that will consistently appear on of all your branding and communications, but you might also want to be ready with a few personalized versions for different types of audiences.

The following questions will determine the why and how of all of your marketing initiatives.

  1. Why do you exist?
  2. What are your values?
  3. What five words do people think about when they think about your company?

Read this post by Thomas for some great advice about positioning.


Target Audience

Decide on a target audience and include as much detail as possible. You likely have a large market in mind, but you should start by targeting a smaller niche. You’re not prohibiting anyone from accessing your product, you’re just focusing your efforts to better acquire early customers.

Create 3-5 ideal customer personas that include the following:

  1. Demographics
  2. Interests and habits
  3. Challenges relating to your solution

There’s some more information you might want to include as Uberflip suggests. It’s helpful to start by picking 50 real people that would be your ideal customer. Find out as much as possible about them through online search, record it all in a spreadsheet, and try to find patterns.


Decide on a couple of a goals you’d like to achieve through marketing.

For example:

  1. Grow userbase by 10% week over week
  2. Increase customer retention to 85% per month
  3. Build a mailing list of 100K subscribers

Each goal above should be broken down into one or more strategies.

For example:

  1. Increase customer retention to 85% per month
    • Onboarding
    • Email Marketing
    • Social Media

April has written a comprehensive post about startup marketing that includes most strategies.

These are the detailed actions you will take for each strategy and corresponding goal.

For example:

  1. Increase customer retention to 85% per month
    • Email Marketing
      • New users receive a welcome email
      • All users receive a monthly email with new features
      • Inactive users receive an email

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5 Ways to Leverage Your Existing Customers for Growth

Rising Bread

No matter how small your current user base is, these five simple tactics will help you acquire new customers by leveraging existing ones.

1. Video Testimonials

Creating video testimonials is a powerful way to convey customer satisfaction and convert prospects. You may have been avoiding video due to high production costs, but unlike your intro video an engaging testimonial can be as simple as a Skype screen capture. The lighting doesn’t matter as much as the sound; however, don’t forget to have the customer clearly state their name and company (if relevant). Upload the videos both to YouTube and your site, and consider using memorable quotes for written testimonials. Instead of constantly asking loyal customers for references, you can now simply direct an endless number of prospects to the videos at any time.

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Do The Hustle

My product is the BEST one out there.

I have a talented team, and some great contractors on board.

So why won’t you sign up already?

I’ve tried everything to get your attention, but you’re too busy to see that my startup is going to be the next big thing.

I spent $20 buying thousands of likes for my Facebook page, and so far only 15 people are talking about it.

Facebook Likes

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Should a community manager’s primary function be content creation?

Domestic Goddess

No, the community manager’s primary function is connecting users to each other and to the company itself.

The community manager is responsible for building, nurturing and growing the community. While content creation can be a part of the mix, it sometimes isn’t even part of the role.

Similar to parenthood, the more resources you have, the more specialized help can be obtained. In a small startup the community manager often takes care of outreach, customer support, content creation, email marketing, and event planning. However, larger teams may have one or more specialists assigned for each area, working along the community manager.

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Your Company’s Five Customers

#beta #invite

Every business has to deal with these five types of customers. Below are some tips on how to treat each customer, once you’ve identified which category they fall into.

1. The Early Adopter

The Early Adopter signs up before you’ve even had a chance to read your own launch announcement. They are eager to try the latest products, and their Twitter feed is full of “I just signed up to x, join me now… #beta #invite”.

How To
Beware, it won’t be long before the Early Adopter gets distracted by the next shiny startup and forgets all about you. One way to keep these customers around is to make them feel like insiders and constantly update them on new features. Don’t worry if they do disappear, as they are often not your target audience. However, try to keep the Early Adopter engaged long enough for the word to reach prospects in her network.

2. The Groupie

The Groupie is an Early Adopter that felt so special she decided to stick around. These customers will bombard you with suggestions, and won’t hesitate to answer any requests for feedback.

How To
Accept their advice graciously, but don’t feel compelled to satisfy their every demand. You might find some gems, but as much as these customers love your product, you’ll notice the Groupie rarely converts into a paying customer.

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