Being in a startup stage is great in terms of flexibility and adaptability to change. But on the same time you need to endure being the under-dog, most always.
That means usually you’re struggling to convince the world they should try your product. The ultimate way in doing that is proving your product was already tried by other users, and they are not the guinea pig. Therefore it becomes critical to have a portfolio of users to showcase as much or even more than having an actual income.
So, you’re searching at all times for users that worked with your tech. You’re searching for proof. Sure, the ideal situation is that the users or better than that ‘paying clients’ provides a testimonial that you can proudly place on your website. But the testimonial is just half the story, it’s on your website, but it’s not on theirs. Very limited audience.
If your technology actually upgrades the user’s product there’s no better marketing tool than an acknowledgment on the user’s website, app, tutorial, manual or product specification. The minute the acknowledgement is there you can do whatever you want with it since it’s out there without the user dependency and on HIS property.
I go to great length to make sure our acknowledgment is on our user’s product.
- Starting at download: When downloading our tech there’s a clause in the Terms and Conditions that bins the user to acknowledge our tech ones his/her product becomes public.
- Clear, but not arrogant: It is clear how the acknowledgment should appear. In our case it is just the text “Powered by [company name]”. We are keeping it simple to make it look like a non-issue for the user (although it’s a big deal for us).
- Acknowledgment options: We also provide assets to make the acknowledgment easy to implement. For example graphic image for splash screen, logo icon, text and previous acknowledgments. The user can choose from either of these, but he most chose.
- Collecting on the promise: Like a debt collector, you get people to do what they owe. Most users will not volunteer to give you credit. Why should they? But they committed to do so when they downloaded your tech, so don’t worry about asking them to acknowledge – you’re just doing your job. A collector needs to do what nobody else wants to do. Know that once you succeed the fee will be great, your ability to bring actual benefit to the company, doing the hard work – that’s accredited on your side.
Following this acknowledgment we run to start the marketing wheels, to take as much advantage as possible from the new field proof sign. Some of these are: blog post, social media update, website credit etc.
But most important is providing this advantage to the sales team. Adding another client or product to the sales pitch either as a name on the sales presentation or as a printout PDF showing the customer story in short with lots of screenshots. In any case, once the sales person opens the app or product and we have our name on it, the advantage is more than visible.