The Marketing Communication Agency as a Business Consultant for Start-ups

A cure-all with a huge audience and a large unfulfilled need is what entrepreneurs always feel about their products. Entrepreneurs are so excited and passionate about their product that they seldom think of tight segmentation or definition of the target audience. If they were to do that kind of segmentation they might not be so excited about their idea and they may not even be entrepreneurs. I don’t hold it against them that they are so excited and passionate, but therein lies space for the Marketing Communication Agency to become a Business Consultant for the Start-Up.

I work with many Start-ups, pl. do not think of all Start-ups as tech products or services, I work with a range of brick and mortar businesses like Faucet, bakeries, food oils, Tiles and many products and services also. WOODON, Connected Home Hoglatto

The entrepreneur invariably comes in and thinks it is more about communicating the features and deciding on the channels of communication. I usually let the entrepreneur talk for some time, about why the product or service was conceptualized, how did it come about and who will benefit from it.

As I start questioning the entrepreneurs or their teams about the specific target audience, asking them to describe in detail the characteristics of each of the group, then there is a pause, this gets them to narrow down their focus and start thinking about specifics rather than generalities. The conversation then moves on to the competitive landscape, the unique proposition of their product and service, how well it is differentiated from the competitors and how it is to be positioned vis a vis the competition.

What started off as a design brief, becomes a full-fledged dissection of the business plan. At times, the entrepreneurs and their team ask for time to do more research. So many times, it has happened that this interaction and the process of actually designing the logo, the colours, the communication materials lead to deep questions related to the 4P’s of marketing and that in term brings more clarity to the entrepreneurs and their teams.

At times, this questioning and reflection make the entrepreneurs confused and we lose out on business but most of the times, it adds so much value that the small design brief turns out to be a full-fledged business relationship that lasts many years.

I believe, this is essentially the difference between a graphic designer and a design agency, the agency is more of a partner in the process of defining the value proposition and communicating it to the internal and external stakeholders. If the entrepreneurs were to also see this relationship in the same light, then Start-ups will feel that a little bit of extra investment in engaging with a design agency is better than just get a couple of banners or logo designed by a designer who has good knowledge of Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop and Corel Draw. For us the final designing is just a small part of the job, the real deal is the work that is done before reaching that stage.