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Stealth Marketing

Marketing “Under the Radar”
Frances Mann-Craik, CEO, Addison Marketing
frances@addisonmarketing.com 

Introduction:  Marketing “Under the Radar”

When it comes to building your brand, attracting market attention, and garnering customers, marketing communications is key. In this multi-part series Frances Mann-Craik, a veteran of high-tech multinationals and advisor to multiple European and US startups, will lead you through the fundamental steps of setting up your marketing communications program - from naming your company through the first product launch.

The first time you say to a friend, “I’ve got a great idea for a startup company,” you have begun your marketing communications and brand building.

Many people think marketing communications begins with the launch – the day the product is ready to ship; your service is available for purchase; or your website is open for business. Indeed, with your “launch” you start a PR storm and meet with the press to tell them the NEWS about your revolutionary concept with the hope of garnering an article on the front page of the Financial Times, EE Times, and a hundred other publications/websites that will result in customers and sales.

In reality, as a high-tech entrepreneur you spend much of your time and energy talking about your company well before the launch.  Though you may be using a safe and conservative strategy of remaining “stealth” until your product is ready to go out the door, the seeds of your future marketing program are being planted. 

Each lunch meeting with bankers, “non-disclosure” presentation with lawyers, venture capitalists, and accountants or catch up meeting at the pub with your buddies is a chance to start your “under the radar” marketing campaign.  Done well, you will begin to build marketplace awareness that can be crucial to your ultimate success.

A little hard thinking before the whispers begin can provide tremendous positive momentum and establish you as a serious player right from the start.  Of course, it starts with an idea for a product or service that provides meaningful value to its target customers.  Once you have decided the idea has “legs” and you’re going to build a company around it, you will want to think through some key marketing communications opportunities. 

Key elements of “under the radar” startup marketing communications – from first whispers through product launch.

  • Unique company name – register domain name and file for trade mark registration
  • Value proposition, competitive positioning, messages
  • Corporate look and feel, logo, style-guide to match company character/style
  • Corporate presentation and elevator pitch
  • Website during stealth-mode
  • “Insider” communications program
  • Preparing for Launch – Launch strategy
  • Preparing for Launch - Public relations plan and resources
  • Preparing for Launch – Metrics & ROI
  • Launch

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