August 13, 2021

How Can Your Startup Stand Out in an Emerging Sector?


With all the work that goes into establishing a startup, developing a marketing strategy may not be at the top of a founder’s to-do list. Understandably, it can be daunting to equally prioritize all the different aspects required to launch a successful business. This is why it's important to have the right team, and community of like-minded entrepreneurs to develop the right expertise for your business.

At Village Capital, we’re constantly looking for ways to support startups engaged in our programs by providing a platform where they can continuously share their challenges and learning from each other. In line with this, we recently hosted a Sales and Marketing learning session for our future of work alumni in India, during which Siddhesh Joglekar the Vice President of India's largest ed tech Company, BYJU's, shared some key lessons he’s learnt along the way that could help fellow entrepreneurs stand out in this space.

  1.       Hire the right sales team

“Brand building is not about running the most expensive campaigns. You need to create a brand that customers trust and find credible. The people who strive to achieve that level of trust are the ones who have skin in the game. Whether you decide to hire internally or outsource your marketing team, ensure that you have senior team members involved in the process as they understand the company’s vision better.

There are several steps we take when building out our sales teams. First, we spend considerable effort deciding to communicate with prospective candidates. We also invest considerably in training, and instilling our corporate culture within our teams. There have been several instances when our Founder and CEO, Byju's Sir, has conducted cold calls to prospective customers, an action that helps drive a huge sense of ownership into the team.” 

  1.       Target the right market

Does location matter? In India, an entrepreneur is most likely to want to target top tier cities when rolling out a new product or service. Siddhesh shares, “the fundamental strategy that you can look to pursue here depends upon your unit economics. Digital platforms have made it easy to go after this market, but you first need to identify and create minimum/maximum benchmarks in terms of budgets that allow you to pursue various strategies. This goes for any target market, not only tier two and tier three populations.”

  1.       Marketing matters

How does a startup allocate capital towards sales and marketing while the company works to scale? In Byju’s experience, there is no definite answer to this question. “ My suggestion is to have various hypotheses, run experiments around each of them, and then consider investing into the two to three key strategies that drove major results. This is also a good way to test out communication for category creator products. Try out different marketing strategies within different target markets, see what works, and then scale the most productive solutions.”

B2B marketing is equally important and seems to be an untapped market within the Future of Work sector. Siddhesh encourages entrepreneurs to explore content marketing for fellow startups “This could be an innovative strategy in this space. It hasn’t been experimented with enough and I feel there is scope for content marketing to play a role in this regard.”

Regardless of your sector or industry, these strategies may apply to any start-up founder looking to build a sustainable business.

To learn more about how you can solidify your value preposition, marketing strategy and more, join Abaca, our online platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors.


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