Tag: marketing consulting

6 ways to prevent your tech start-up from failing before you launch

According to CB Insight, there are a variety of reasons why tech start-ups fail, from a lack of funding to burnout in the workforce. Following this survey, 42% of tech start-ups fail. Discover the pre-launch customer validation proof process in detail to maximise the launch success of your tech start-up while saving you time and money.

1 – Initial Problem Hypothesis

One of the major challenges your tech start-up confronts when disrupting a market is correctly identifying the accurate problem you aim to solve; if you can’t identify the accurate problem, your brand launch will experience low buy-in and low customer engagement.

In order to reduce the risk of failure, you need to spend sufficient time identifying and understanding your ideal customers, their needs, pain points and desires. 

As a tech start-up, this is the best moment to make mistakes since you will not have invested in developing your brand and marketing and/or sales. Don’t hesitate to test and make errors early in the customer development process to find the right solution.

In conclusion, validating the problem you solve, matching it with your target market and what you can offer, will help you create the ideal MVP (minimum viable product). 

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2- How To Avoid Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias can be described as a circumstance whereby you tend to absorb information and make decisions based on your prior knowledge. This circumstance is one of the leading scenarios as to why your tech start-up may fail.

When developing your brand, it’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines in order to avoid confirmation bias.

  1. Identify the questions and gaps in the market and avoid making assumptions.
  2. Prioritise the key results from your questions.
  3. Develop your hypothesis statement.
  4. Test and measure your ideas in the market.
  5. Analyse, rethink, and build from that.

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3 – Falsification Bias

This is seen as the exact opposite of confirmation bias and is a circumstance where you deliberately look for proof to refute a widely held opinion.

In order to avoid falsification bias, it is advised to always pose at least one query to clients that could jeopardise the success of your tech start-up venture.

Customers are questioned about the exact qualities or reasons they won’t consider working with your brand. This will enable you to recognise the flaws in your strategy and make the necessary adjustments.

This is a useful activity to discover the validity of your approach, not to confirm your preconceived notions, and to recognise your inadequacies.

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4 – The Golden Rules to Investigate Customers’ Pain Points

The first rule to investigate your customer’s needs is to never tell them about a new product idea but give a little bit of context to the person participating in the interview. Therefore, be as ambiguous as you can be, this is because you would get more sincere responses from your consumers if you were vague.

A way to do this is to;

  • Ask which approach they are using.
  • Elaborate on the problems you are willing to solve step by step, while doing that put them in context so that the customer can relate to them.
  • Ask how much they pay for it.
  • Ask them what happens if they fail to solve each problem.

This exercise is crucial to your tech start-up success because it gives you the opportunity to interact with your target audience more effectively when articulating your marketing and branding strategy. This enhances customer engagement and brand performance.

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5 – Validation To Positioning

Strong brand positioning consists of questions such as: whom do you serve? What do you do? And what do they value? Why/how are your solutions different from the competition?

These are the 4 core questions your brand should be able to answer in order to gain favour from potential customers.

Your brand is best positioned to flourish if you can identify your brand DNA and are aware of your vision, core values, purpose, personality, and products/benefits.

Brand positioning is your first opportunity to engage with potential new clients, and it effectively communicates your value proposition to entice inquiries about your services.

Remember the success of your tech start-up is 60% brand and 40% product.

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6 – The GOSPA Long-term Strategy Model

The GOSPA long-term model developed by Brian Tracy is an acronym that stands for Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Priorities and Action. This model is a significant framework used to successfully grow and scale your business in the long term.

Goals: Identifying the key outcomes you want your organisation and business to attain in the long run.

Objectives: These are viewed as the initial, more basic building blocks that lead to your business’s ultimate, long-term objectives. In other words these are your short term objectives.

Strategies: These can be thought of as the framework and format you intend to use to accomplish your short-term goals.

Priorities: This is viewed as developing a preference scale to determine the most effective activity that will make your strategy successful and bring you closer to your long-term objectives.

Action: The regular tasks that will help you accomplish your long-term business goals.

A successful tech start-up will be one that follows this model religiously and has its values and staff ingrained with your brand’s philosophy using the GOSPA-model.

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About us
3 Colours Rule is a branding and marketing agency specialising in growing tech companies and start-ups. Beyond our brand strategy, design and marketing services; we also have a podcast: Tech Brains Talk where our founder has conversations with experts and entrepreneurs in tech. We also have a branding and marketing academy to support marketers expand their skills and entrepreneurs too. We also run our non-profit organisation, TLA Black Women In Tech, one of the fastest-growing communities for black female professionals and entrepreneurs in tech.  

The power of choosing your dream clients


Flavilla is joined by Riaz Kanani in this episode. They discuss the power of choosing your dream clients for your business.

Briefly, tell us how your journey took where you are right now

When I look back, my journey began thanks to my parents’ interest in business. That along with my perhaps unhealthy love of computing meant I was lucky enough to be online as the Internet launched in the UK!

Without realising it, I cofounded a marketing consulting business. Furthermore, I even dipped my toes into building a radio station before cofounding an audio and video tech startup as broadband Internet was taking off. That was the start of a ride that ended up exiting to Silverpop, which I helped grow to become one of the leading marketing automation companies globally (before it exited to IBM).

I joked after leaving that I would not setup another company and would focus my efforts. Mostly away from marketing tech but I started my next startup just 4 years later (oops!) and setup Radiate B2B 2 years after that.


What was your aha moment which led you to create your business?

To come back to B2B Marketing and create another startup having said I wouldn’t meant it needed to be something that really excited me. I believed the way we do B2B Marketing today will radically change and in turn spur completely new innovation was that big aha moment that drove me to return.

Thankfully 4 years later that is proving to be true with the growth of Account Based Marketing.

This didn’t happen in a silo though. We talked to marketers and buyers about their experiences and some things really stood out:

  • Acquisition costs had risen dramatically
  • The never-ending investment in content was resulting in increasing noise in the market and a flood of low quality and generic me too content.
  • For the buyer, who was increasingly digitally savvy, they were starting to focus their early research on publishers, analysts and other third parties delaying converting on vendor websites. There was also an increasing requirement for brand recognition than previously.

Why is your business relevant to the issues you have identified?

It was clear we needed to deliver higher quality messaging and stand out from the crowd. We knew that the amount of data available to marketers was mostly going unused but with it we could deliver a better experience for buyers.

We started with the hard thing first – how to pro-actively reach the right people inside companies before they know about you and do it in a way that you could customise the message right down to each company.

That allowed you to take insight you knew about each company and use it to deliver a better experience but also for the vendor increase both awareness and identify which companies were active in the market today. The weird thing about advertising is that you don’t consciously see it till it is useful to you.  That alone allowed you to get in front of prospects earlier than anyone else and give a strong first impression.

Having done that, it was relatively simple to predict buying behaviour based on companies browsing your website before they convert and across the internet to help sales teams know who to speak to and what they should talk about with that particular prospect.

Altogether this creates an approach that builds awareness and gives sales teams the tools to have better quality conversations with buyers at the right time.


What has been your biggest lesson learnt from growing your business?

Always be listening. Always be learning. There is always more to do than the time available. So one of my biggest learning is understanding when to say no. But the world continuously changes, the market changes and the people inside it change. What was a no yesterday might be a yes tomorrow. So you end up always needing to be listening and learning.


Tell me about your customer acquisition systems?

Today almost all our customer acquisition is through word of mouth and partnerships. Eventhough perhaps unsurprisingly we also use our own technology to build awareness and work out who we should be speaking to next!

Perhaps surprisingly we don’t just focus on an account based marketing approach. It is obviously a major part of our acquisition approach and certainly frames how we message and communicate. However, we have always been strong believers in broader brand building alongside the operational side of marketing. We therefore create thought leadership content. Such that asks questions and deliver value allowing us to raise the overall performance of our ABM efforts.


What do you wish more people knew?

The value of brand. In the past decade, branding in B2B marketing has been sidelined by the ever increasing focus on short term performance and yet brand raises the performance across all channels. As they say.. “A rising tide lifts all boats” – and brand does that to all channels.


Thinking about your legacy, how do you want to be remembered?

Quite simply.. as someone who helped.



Liked this article? Why not read “HOW TO DO REMOTE WORK EFFECTIVELY”

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Educating your prospects effectively in the sales process

Are you more of a direct seller or do you take the time to educate your sales prospect for them to say “yes”? According to Salesforce, it is proven that educating sales prospects can be far more effective than just going for it. Making sure that the prospect has the right information to say “yes” is important and can make your life easier. Find out how educating your sales prospects effectively in the sales process looks like.


Here are the ways: 


Educate based on your competitors and what differentiates you from them

It is not always needed to educate a sales prospect on the background of your product or service. The reason behind this is simply competition. If your potential customer is likely to encounter similar products or services like yours you do not need to tell them the background. Instead of that, you can tell them about your USP or what is so special about your product/service that other competitors lack. You can focus on things like:

  • Demonstration of higher quality compared to previous or competing products/services
  • The commitment to customer service and support of your business. This can be done through testimonials, case studies or references
  • Other benefits your product/service has such as stronger or longer service contracts that your competitors do not have

If your product is innovative and you have little to less competition, it makes sense to educate the sales prospect deeper. You can tell them about the features and the benefits. Give them every single detail about your product or service so they really understand what it is about.


Educate by listening and asking only the questions that are needed

Effectivity comes with listening carefully. Listen to your sales prospect to approach his problems properly and in the right manner. Take notes. This might sound old fashioned but it is important. Take notes of what is bothering your sales prospect the most. Limit your speaking time to ask questions that would help the prospect to educate himself or herself. Lead the prospect to answer his or her own questions. Here is an example phrase: “If this product or service could increase your line efficiency by Z, how much would that save your business per month or year”


Educate with information that supports decision making

Decision making is the priority for a sales prospect. Getting the information to support this process is even more important. A lot of time the features and/or benefits of a product or service are the main concerns for him or her but not always. You need to find out what the sales prospect needs to know. What information does he or she need to gain the support of his or her business? Educate with that information.


Educate Using the Right Content at the Right Time

Trust me, the right time and right content is a thing. Not just in relationships. The presence in the sales cycle of your business can of course not be replaced. However, you do not need to do all the educating yourself. Marketing materials and related collaterals can be effective ideas. If they contain information that the sales prospect needs and if it is introduced at the right time you are good to go.

Now if you are thinking I do not have those collaterals, you are never too late. Why don’t you encourage your marketing department to prepare materials? If needed for different audiences at different points of the sales cycle. That way you will have a more personalised approach. Here are some other ideas on what you could do:

  • The slideshow that you can use during presentations or even share via email. Obviously, send or show them the slideshow which includes the relevant information.
  • You can also use third-party content. This can be industry white papers.
  • Use old clients to help educate sales prospects. You can do this by developing a referral base.
  • Last but not least, links. You can send links to case studies showing the ROI (Return on Investment), efficiency gains and other benefits. Numbers work in a very convincing manner

Educate By Holding Nothing Back

How many times have you avoided talking about the price of your product or service? Think about it. Salespeople mostly avoid the topic of price until after the sales cycle has begun. In some cases, the sales prospect will not even ask for the price until the salesperson comes close. If the expectations do not meet you may lose a potential customer. Spending a lot of time on marketing and getting the client interested then losing him or her over the price is just peak. In that matter, it may be a better idea to educate the sales prospect on all aspects of the deal including the price. This should be done even before reaching the point of no return. Introduce price sheets and option lists earlier in the sales cycle to educate the sales prospect. A well-qualified sales prospect will appreciate that up-front way. The chances of securing a deal might be even higher.

Educate Your Prospects Through Their Buyer’s Journey according to Business2Community

B2B buyers follow a three-stage buyer’s journey as seen below:

Marketing departments play a big role in this. In the awareness stage, you are all about capturing information. Email addresses, company names, etc. The goal here is to make your sales prospect think that he or she has a problem or an opportunity. The objective is to educate them about those. You can do this through blogs, reports or social media posts.

In the consideration stage, the sales departments take over. Convincing prospects to evaluate your solution and how to solve their problems is the key in this stage. You can do this through testimonials, case studies or feedback from previous clients/customers.

The last stage is the decision stage where the prospect has gathered all the information he or she needs. In this stage, you need to keep your communication high. Follow up emails or calls, newsletters and showing off case studies are helpful in this one.


In a nutshell

Educating sales prospects simply is making them sell your product or service to themselves. Marketing and sales departments play a big role in this. You need to have a lot of information about your business and its products or services. That is the way you can convince others to say “yes” to you. Some industries are crowded with competitors. In that case, you need to find your Unique Selling Point. Differentiate yourself. Why are you better than them? What makes you special? Educating effectively your prospects in the sales process is not a difficult task. You just need the right information at the right time.


Find out about Consumer Drivers. We have decoded them for you. Download your copy now!

If you would like to receive a complimentary brand assessment call with the 3 Colours Rule agency

Would you like to find out what is preventing your brand from achieving your business goals? What if during a 30min call with us we could identify the areas of your brand that need improvement so that you can attract the right clients? We will use our D.A.C. (Distinguish, Attract & Convert) growth system to swiftly evaluate your brand strengths and weaknesses. We will provide you with directives and your brand score so you can measure your progression. 3 Colours Rule will help you find your USP that resonates with your audience.



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