Ismail Aly

How does Inbound Marketing help scaling up start-ups

Reading time: 6 minutes

We realize that perhaps you have an excellent idea for a business, with the will, and potential to succeed. You’ve marketed it, but in its marketing strategy, there is something still not right to take the business off and have it fly on its own.

In Latin America, HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2016 report states that the most important priority for small companies is not creating new customers but converting them.


The most significant challenge for small businesses is securing ROI, identifying the adequate technologies and secure budgets. On the other hand, a feature most common to small businesses from large size corporations is precisely the search for executive support.


Your project may have secured a marketing and sales budget, and is confident of its launch to market with, and starting and promising client portfolio.

Then what? How do we  expand and consolidate it?

Chile’s production innovation agency CORFO launched a profile of Chilean entrepreneurs and their different features. Some of the biggest challenges for groups of them is that:  

  • By not having hard data such as market research, they guide themselves by instinct, reacting instead of adapting in real-time.
  • Many entrepreneurs focus on delivering services and their principal advisors are their own According to CORFO“it is they, who through their demands and suggestions, help in the resolution of problems and challenges ahead.”

This instinct and closeness to the customer can turn into one of the most important competitive advantages of start-ups, leveraged though Inbound Marketing.

The Chilean market analysis firm Adimark GfK runs a yearly survey of brands and customer behavior. The Chilescopio Chile3D 2016 study shows that brands have a particular image problem.  When asked how would they qualify, in a word, different brands, they call them:

  • 31% shameless
  • 20% dishonest
  • 12% opportunistic
  • 9% liars
  •  only 1.6% say something positive

Consumers in Chile, then, ask for a sense of consequence:

  1. Confidence
  2. Accountability
  3. Respect for consumers

With this background, many people look for online marketing as a key tool to leverage start-ups and small businesses in the new digital environment, where customers revise and make online quotations before choosing products and services.

However, there is a difference between the use of a set of marketing tools, such as content generation and social media advertising and analysis, and a marketing strategy. Tools on their own don’t secure growth of the company, as they fail to aligned with Smart goals and a previous market analysis.

A good way to align in strategy digital marketing and sales is with Inbound Marketing. This model in particular, helps in the increase of growth of a startup in several ways.

1.  It focuses on quality rather than quantity

Startup businesses work different than the rest. Many times, they were created to address a specific market issue. Therefore, it is important to focus. Inbound Marketing helps companies better invest time and assets with qualified lead management.

One of the most common problems of start-up businesses is the amount of time lost pitching on the phone, email or through their websites product or services to leads that are just browsing and never intend to buy. With the use of workflows, companies can nurture a quality relationship with prospects along the sales funnel. With lead scoring automation, start-ups can identify with more precision how to better address a potential client, assess their concerns and revise whether they consider options o negotiating a sale.

2. It secures a bigger Return on Investment ratio

Companies can optimize their resources with real-time analytics, and, to analyze in real time and align marketing and sales, ensuring higher lead conversion rates, improving the focus on content offers, and fostering quality relationship with specific segments of potential customers.

Marketing Metrics That Matter To Your Boss or Partners

3. Facilitates a two way conversation

Instead of pitching a standard product catalog, the use of content marketing fosters a conversation and a debate: what problems do potential customers have, or what type of alternatives they are looking.

This contributes not only to market, but the improvement process of products and services. Through content strategy, a specific behavioral analysis and the very conversation you make with customers, services can be upgraded, new business units can be opened, or the marketing plan can focus on particular features.

4. Provides focus on the clients actually needing your solutions

One of the most reviewed marketing strategies is digital advertising via Google Adwords or other marketing efforts via social media. Buyers focus their money on particular search options and profiles. Because of their size and proximity with the ideal customer, Startups have a competitive advantage. According to Start-Up Chile, “there’s nothing netter than a founder of a Start-up to plan those tools or ads that could be attractive to users fit wants to get”.

5. Your insight and knowledge is the engine of your marketing growth

As companies are just entering the market, they have not yet built a strong brand, image or reputation through time.

The greatest asset from Startups in the region is knowledge, expertise, and passion for the solutions they deliver. This capacity can be promoted in blogs and content offers as part of a digital marketing strategy, as knowledge, orientation, and shopping experience are the competitive advantages of 21st-century companies.

6. It boosts visitor traction

Google Adwords can be a useful tool, but can only contribute to add views and visits to your website and social media. It can quickly open the door to leads for a brief period of time, which can lose interest as paid advertising has lost credibility against organic content searches. This does not secure value for contacts, as they have low conversion rates. We call them “cold leads.

An entrepreneurial Inbound Marketing strategy eases up traction with potential leads, as they are nurtured along the marketing and sales funnel, with useful information that can help potential customers make decisions, refocus product offers, or simply realize that specific people don’t qualify for your sales.

7. It gives you data to adjust your marketing strategy and refocus your service

Even if paid digital ads help you calculate an ROI, according to Start-Up Chie, “the key to the success of digital campaigns, many times I in regular optimizing, analyzing metrics and decision making. That is why is important to have a specialized team –internal or external-, to monitor campaigns.”

8. It feeds into your continuous improvement cycle

That way you can test how is your message more effective in terms of conversion, and prove to executives and funding organizations that the company has positive projections. This scale up potential is highly valued by the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A good example is Scale, from Start-Up Chile. Those who has gone through seed capital programs can access a continuation fund, offering 60 million pesos to Chilean companies needing additional capital for growth and expansion .

What do they ask for?

“Disruptive innovations that respond to unmet and incremental innovation, that prove greater value than other existing solutions in the market. These companies need to demonstrate significant traction, i.e. must have tested the solution and business model with clients and/or users, and have adjusted the product or service to a focused market.”

In fact, 30% of project valuation to be delivered to Scale depends on of the business model definition, in terms of market fit, identifying and find describing customer and user, scalability and growth potential.

9. It moves beyond consumer demographics, but specific buyer profiles

By 2016, consumer trends cannot just be measured by demographic groups. Market intelligence today does not only need to review demographics but understand what is going on in particular people’s minds. Buyer personas have challenges, pain points, and particular concerns.

According to HubSpot, “A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing clients. When creating your buyer persona(s), consider including customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better."

How do you think your start-up can leverage content and inbound marketing to scale up?

Ismail Aly

Ismail Aly

Inbound Marketing & Sales Enablement Consultant, HubSpot User Group Leader, HubSpot Platinum Partner

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