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没有超级产品不能创业?初创公司更需要营销创新

Eimantas Balciunas 2017年08月31日

传统观念认为,要想创业成功,企业家就得打造突破性的科技产品,开创新的大市场。老观念其实搞错了。

假如创业者能开发出价值亿万美元的技术,既能改变世界又能开创新产业固然很好,但能做到的强人少之又少。要知道,现在估值超过十亿美元的科技业初创公司还不到200家。也就是说,初创公司之中只有大概200家达到了“独角兽”的领头羊地位。创办业成功几率实在太小,走路被雷劈的几率都高一些。

企业家们往往没搞清楚,创业不一定要把目标定在估值十亿美元,从无到有打造开发新市场,或者开创有突破性意义的产品等等。其实可以从喜爱并且很熟悉的事物着手,学习市面已有的产品,将精力集中在创新营销方式上。这种方式之所以可行,是因为成功的几率相对较高。不需要推出伟大的产品并承担巨大的市场风险,只要将市场验证过的成功产品拿过来用就可以。这样创业者能将更多资源投入市场推广,成为小众领域营销最强的创新者。

当然,这种方法也有挑战,因为在大的市场里通常会碰到一些财力雄厚的知名品牌竞争对手。不过初创下公司有两大优势:速度快和反应敏捷。从做出决定到采取行动,初创公司只需几小时。反观大企业,常常忌惮风险又决策保守,几乎不可能走在潮流前面。

第一个吃螃蟹有很多好处,一方面市场上没那么多竞争压力,另一方面新产品更吸引希望尝试的用户。就在去年,Facebook大改了新闻推送的算法,推出机器人和提升阅读体验的“即时文章”功能。Instagram发布了一款即时反应的新型广告产品。Snapchat则选择回归主流。对于寻找创新营销机会的初创公司来说,社交媒体大佬的新动作都是商机。

将近一年前,我们公司Travel Ticker就成为先行者,杀入了竞争激烈的旅游领域。公司成立之初,我们就在研究病毒式营销。我们看到两位YouTube红人伊万·库兹涅佐夫和奥列格·科里科特发布的视频,立刻决定他们合作,于是资助他们周游世界,记录新的惊险动作,然后发布在我们的YouTube账号里。后来,两位高人录下了攀登埃菲尔铁塔,以及在全球多栋摩天大厦的楼顶边沿行走、空翻、跳跃和倒立的视频。该活动吸引了各社交媒体平台合计超过1700万点击量,我们的投资回报相当可观。

很多公司采用创新营销方式创立了强大的品牌。比如女性卫生用品品牌Helloflo起初营业收入不足10万美元,后来投放了两段爆款视频,收入迅速突破百万美元大关。该品牌2014年成立,今年被数字媒体公司SheKnowsMedia收购。唱片制作人DJ哈立德进入主流视野则要归功于率先尝试新锐社交媒体Snapchat。男士个护用品初创公司Dollar Shave Club成立14个月后才第一次在YouTube上发布视频,仅这一个视频就获得2300万余次点击,由此家喻户晓。今年,日化巨头联合利华斥资10亿美元收购了Dollar Shave Club。

与其为十亿美元创意绞尽脑汁,不如充分利用现成的工具,多花精力想想怎么把好产品推出去。社交媒体和营销平台的数量呈现爆炸式增长,意味着现在正是革新营销方式追求成功的好时候。(财富中文网)

本文作者艾因曼塔斯·巴尔丘纳斯是票务与酒店预订服务公司Travel Ticker的联合创始人兼首席执行官。

译者:Pessy

审稿:夏林

 

Yes, it’s incredible when an entrepreneur develops a billion-dollar technology that changes the world and defines a new category of a business, but it’s also rare. Consider that fewer than 200 tech startups are valued at $1 billion or more right now. That’s right -- just 200 out of all the startups out there have reached unicorn status. The chances of you starting one are slim. You have a greater chance of being struck by lightning.

What wannabe entrepreneurs often fail to see is that you don’t have to aim to be a billion-dollar company, start a new market from scratch, or create a breakthrough product. You can start with something you already love and know well, copy the existing products out there, and focus your energy on creative marketing.This approach works because it puts the odds in your favor. Rather than taking on a big product and market risk, you copy what already works in markets that are already proven. This frees up resources to focus on being the best marketing innovator in your niche.

The challenge with this approach , of course, is that large, competitive markets tend to have well-funded, well-branded competitors. Fortunately, small bootstrapp ed startups have two advantages: speed and edginess. Startups can go from decision to action in just hours. Large companies, on the other hand, are almost never early adopters because of risk-aversion and decision inertia.

Being an early adopter is powerful because there’s less noise from other marketers and more curiosity from users who want to explore. In just the last year, Facebook made a major change to its newsfeed algorithm and created bots and instant articles . Instagram released a new direct-response ad product. Snapchat went mainstream. All of these are opportunities for startups looking for creative marketing opportunities.

Being an early adopter was how my company, Travel Ticker, broke into the crowded travel space almost a year ago . When we launched, we were looking for ways to help our company’s marketing go viral. We saw the YouTube videos of two of the best rooftoppers in the word, Ivan Kuznetsov and Oleg Cricket, and knew we had to work with them. So, we offered to pay for a trip for them to anywhere in the world to record their next stunt if we could put it on our You T ube channel. They ended up recording themselves climbing the Eiffel Tower and walking, flipping, jumping, and doing handstands on ledges of skyscrapers across the world. That one campaign has led to over 17 million views across all media platforms and has been an incredible investment for us.

Time and time again, we’ve all seen strong brands emerge from creative marketing. For example, Helloflo, a feminine care product brand, went from less than $100,000 in revenue to more than $1 million with just two viral videos. Launched in 2014, it was acquired by SheKnowsMedia this year. DJ Khaled became a mainstream personality by being an early adopter of Snapchat. Finally, 14 months after launching, the Dollar Shave Club posted their first video to YouTube. That one video was seen over 23 million times and turned the company into a household name. This year, Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion.

Instead of focusing on your big billion-dollar idea, focus on doing some really smart work with the tools that are out there. The number of social media and marketing platforms is exploding, and this means that there has never been a better time to succeed as a creative marketer.

Eimantas Balciunas is the co-founder and CEO of Travel Ticker.

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