Successful Marketing Tips from Six Top Startups
As most small business owners know, the road ahead for startup companies is usually very rocky, and only about one third of them ever survive the first two years of business, in order to gain some insights and understanding into what it takes to overcome the initial obstacles faced by startups, it will therefore be very helpful to examine the success stories of several companies which did manage to last beyond their startup phase, and mature into stable businesses. Each of these companies has achieved success in its own way, and there’s a different lesson to draw from each one of them, so for those business owners still in startup phase, you might do well to take note of how these successful companies escaped the pitfalls which claim two-thirds of all would-be companies.
Pandora is a music service which allows users to customize their own stations, and to fill the stations with music that appeals to their own tastes. Users can also regularly update and refine their station content by supplying feedback on specific recording artists and specific songs. This of course, is a much different experience than just listening to the radio, even for a channel that you are inclined to like, and a musical style which you generally appreciate.
Pandora has taken this a giant step further by providing listeners with the opportunity to create their own music channel as it were, which plays only the artists they want to listen to, and with the option of banishing specific songs if they choose. This caters to the deep need people have for feeling that they matter, and that their choices matter, providing each listener with their own unique listening experience, in an on-demand fashion. The big lesson to be taken away from Pandora’s success is that personalization has huge appeal to most people, and if given the opportunity, it’s something they will generally choose over offerings which lack that same appeal.
As its name suggests, this company provides a house and apartment rental marketplace service that helps searchers find the dwelling most suitable for their circumstances. Where it excels is in the consolidation of literally millions of listings into a single online searchable map, thereby removing much of a hassle of such searching, and enhancing the overall experience for users. Apartment List doesn’t even try to compete with Zillow or Craigslist, and it was never their intention to reinvent the wheel to provide an all-new service. Instead, the company simply reached out to some of the leading real estate marketplaces, and consolidated their listings into a useful and convenient all-inclusive repository, and that is its lesson to other startups.
The particular forte of Kaltura is to manage, publish, and distribute all kinds of video content, and it’s a platform which has had great success in targeting specific niches, those being media, education, and enterprise. It is an open-source video platform which has developed very specific functions and features which have been found to have ideal application in each of the three sectors which they were developed for.
The platform is already being used by more than 300,000 organizations within these niches, some of them being in the super corporation category. The clear lesson to be learned by the dazzling success of Kaltura is that specializing in just a few distinct target areas can be extremely well received by those niches. It’s the exact opposite of the old saw about ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, because the Kaltura success shows that a company can be spectacularly successful by being ‘jack of a few trades, and master of all’.
Prismatic is a very interesting scanning software which has the capability of reading enormous amounts of news for the purpose of creating feeds that can be tailored to individual users’ personal interests. Once Prismatic has an understanding of users’ reading habits, it can then recommend other news stories for them, which fall into that same category.
As a company, Prismatic already has more than 25,000 users who rely on it for their weekly news feeds. A major part of the company’s success is attributable to the highly collaborative work environment which it has fostered, encouraging designers, engineers, and researchers to work together for the greater success of the company. Even the company CEO got into the mix, and learned all about the principles of design, so that he could be a collaborative partner in the process as well. The success lesson here is that an ultra-collaborative work environment can lead to great things.
This company provides a fitness tracking platform which records workouts by using GPS technology to map them. In its startup phase, MapMyFitness only offered users a generic fitness tracker, but after its early success, it has had the opportunity to include several other functions as well, including online training tools, fitness calculators, and a product which records and tracks nutrition for wellness.
Since its founding, MapMyFitness has been adopted by well over 13 million users, and is completely compatible with more than 200 mobile devices, including all kinds of wearables and stationary bikes. This in fact, is one of the key components of its success, and a lesson for all to learn, because it can be loaded onto virtually any kind of device and used effectively as a fitness tool.
This is a mobile app which provides an extremely useful service, in helping people for whom Spanish is a native language, learn English by tackling it in small chunks, with daily lessons that have their basis in everyday life. Early on, the company had the option of branching out and offering several
other languages to its followers, but executives decided that it was better to focus their energies on teaching English to Spanish speakers, and deliver one of the most useful and needed services in communications. By not trying to do too much, and focusing its efforts on a single area, Voxy has established a commanding presence in the market, and has over 3 million users who are satisfied, loyal customers.
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