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Turn It Up: Aggressive Marketing Strategies for Startups in Any Industry

Rachelle Gordon
Rachelle Gordon

If you've got a product ready to go, how do you market it so that you can sell as many as possible in a short time?

Nothing fuels a startup like sales. Even if the product isn't perfect, selling a good product now is better than forgoing sales to sell a perfect product later.

Besides, updates to a product line down the road will be an excellent opportunity to get repeat business from early adopters. Plus, new product releases represent excellent PR opportunities to build buzz and increase market exposure. So, if you've got a decent product ready to go, how do you market it so that you can sell as many as possible in as short a period of time as possible?

What is aggressive marketing?

Aggressive marketing is a tactic of communicating directly with potential customers and actively pursuing their engagement with your business.

This is opposed to passive marketing, where information about a product is made available, but it is up to the consumer to take action if they want to engage with your business.  

Examples of aggressive marketing

Aggressive marketing can be achieved through several different strategies. Cold-calling and email campaigns are probably the best examples. Thus, it refers to the practice of soliciting potential customers who have never engaged with your brand to see if they would be interested in what you're offering.

Large banner ads, pop-ups and video ads on platforms such as YouTube are also forms of aggressive marketing, as they bombard the audience with information. These digital marketing materials are often segmented, appearing on relevant websites and alongside content the target customer is already engaging with.

Another example of aggressive marketing is assembling a street team to hand out flyers or acquire email addresses. This can be a draining practice, but it's a great way to connect with people who otherwise may not know about your company, if you can handle all the rejection.

TipTip: If you plan on writing a cold email to your consumers, the keys are to be authentic, establish a connection and tailor your message.

Strategies to boost your sales

Below, you'll find several aggressive marketing strategies to rev up your sales from day one. 

1. Reach influencers and cultivate relationships.

The most important people in your market are the individuals who speak to your target audience on a daily basis.

These could be TV or radio personalities, or they may be YouTube channel hosts or TikTok stars. Simply put, if your target customer is paying attention to them, you need to use these influencers to your advantage.

Email them, call them, offer them free products and, above all else, treat them as your best customers. A mention from an influencer can propel your startup from a nobody to a force to be reckoned with.

Some startups have had success negotiating market deals with influencers. For example, Happy Feet had a great deal of success marketing their oversized sneakers and slippers by working with Snooki from the MTV reality show Jersey Shore. She tweeted their product out to her followers, and in return, she received a commission on every pair sold. [Read related article: 5 Influencer Marketing Campaigns That Were Hugely Successful]

Get creative and find ways to develop relationships with the influencers whom your customers are paying attention to.

Did you know?Did you know? According to a recent analysis by Influencer Marketing Hub, influencer marketing has an average ROI of $5.78 for every $1 businesses spend on it.

2. Hammer home how much your product is needed.

There's an element of fear that is part of many marketing campaigns. It might be the fear that you're not as attractive as the model in the ad unless you buy the perfume or cologne they're wearing. Or your home needs a home security system because X number of home robberies occur every year in your neighborhood. It's imperative, though, to stay on the right side of marketing, providing a sense of urgency without being malicious.

To do this, major retailers have weekly sales and clearances to build a sense of urgency in the buyer. Human nature tells us that when something is scarce, or only available for a limited time, we are more likely to purchase it.

3. Get the buzz going.

In the world of social media, there's no such thing as bad publicity. The more consumers are talking about your brand or service with their friends, the more free advertising you're getting.

Tech-savvy companies are beginning to use a variety of marketing tactics on Instagram and other social media platforms. Start taking pictures around the office. Curate them into collections and type up little stories to go along with them.

Maybe one of your partners has a strong brand story for why your product was created; empower them to share their story and tag your company in the post. Once the buzz starts, don't forget to engage. Pay close attention to what is being shared, liked and followed the most.

After you identify the high-performing tactics that your audience loves, hammer it home with unwavering attention.

4. Use emotion over logic.

Various studies show that emotional advertisements are the most effective. So, if you haven't figured it out by now, you need to get out there and pull on some heartstrings.

A Whirlpool ad that went viral emphasized the challenges parents face in raising a family. For many consumers, the ad takes the viewer back and allows them to feel a sense of nostalgia for times when parents could save the day and make things easier for their kids. For parents, the Whirlpool advertisement reinforces that their washing machine can help make some tasks, like laundry, a little bit easier so that there's more time to spend making fun family memories.  

Pros and cons of aggressive marketing

ProsCons
It gets immediate results.It alienates certain groups.
It increases brand recognition.It may be flagged as spam.
It's a quick and easy way to sell.It lacks focus.

Before opting to engage in aggressive marketing tactics, it’s important to consider if they are the best option for your business. Think about your ideal customer: Would they respond better to being approached directly, or would passive marketing strategies compel them to act? Here are the pros and cons of aggressive marketing.

Pros of aggressive marketing

  • Aggressive marketing can elicit an immediate response. There's an old saying that goes, "The world belongs to the asker." Or, for a more modern spin, "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." Candidly asking a prospect to engage may be a bold move, but it can also lead to instant sales.
  • Brand recognition may increase. Bombarding your target audience with content will help you stand out from the rest, as long as it's engaging. Repetition will put you at the forefront of prospective customers' minds – and help keep your company there.
  • Aggressive marketing can provide results with little planning. Cold-calling leads is the simplest marketing strategy, because all it requires is a list of names and contact information. Once you have the pitch down, it's off to the races. For businesses that engage in aggressive digital marketing, the content will likely be fairly easy to develop, since it should be short, sweet and to the point.

Cons of aggressive marketing

  • Aggressive marketing may alienate some prospects. While many people appreciate forward communication, others may be turned off by this technique. It's important to consider how your target customer is used to being approached. You get only one chance to make a first impression, and if you immediately turn off a prospect, it's game over.

  • You may be flagged as spam. Aggressive marketing often walks a fine line between business development and annoying advertising. Communications should be thoughtful and personalized, or else you could run the risk of being categorized as spam or put on a do-not-call list. This can negatively impact overall email deliverability and decrease your chances of reaching these prospects in the future.

  • Aggressive marketing sometimes lacks focus. Placing a dizzying amount of ads or partnering with too many influencers could lead to difficulty analyzing results. If marketing analytics aren't carefully monitored, it's hard to know which strategies are working (or need improvement).

Emotional power, influencer marketing and need-based value propositions

When crafting your company's advertising campaigns, focus on striking an emotional tone that plays on the hopes and dreams of your audience. If you can parlay the support of an influencer in your market, you'll reach significantly more people.

Focus your message on why your customers absolutely need your product right now to solve a major problem in their life, and you'll find new customers rushing to open their wallets for you.

Faizan Raza contributed to the writing and research in this article.

Image Credit: Jacob Lund / Shutterstock
Rachelle Gordon
Rachelle Gordon
business.com Contributing Writer
Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based content writer who has written extensively on topics such as finance, marketing, cannabis, sustainability and tech. Her work has appeared in Benzinga, SlickDeals, and High Times. Prior to her career in journalism, Rachelle was an educator and has a passion for sharing knowledge. She enjoys helping businesses maximize efficiency while staying true to their core values.