Marketing for Startup, Are you doing it the Right.


Hello Readers, I am back with my new blog on the event, which I attended on 6th October at Headstart Kolkata. A detail of this event was shared to me by my friend on Facebook. I am a regular attendee to such events, and since it was in the afternoon and at a pocket-friendly price, I couldn’t avoid it. It started at around 2:45 since none of the speaker had turned up. It was raining since morning because Titli Storm had hit Kolkata city.

Events Details

Topic:- Marketing for Startup, Are you doing it the Right.
Speaker:- Amitava Bhattacharya, Dr. Kisholoy Roy, Kaushik Bhattacharya, and Amar Krishna Jha
Entry Fees:- Rs. 300 per head
Date & Timing:- 6th October 2018, 2 PM to 6 PM
Venue:- ICCR, 4th Floor, Opposite:- US Consulate, Kolkata. (Headstart Kolkata)

Amitava Bhattacharya:-

Mr. Amitava Bhattacharya was the first speaker for the day. He began his presentation without any PPT and tried to keep it as interactive Session. He is the co-founder of Ursdigitally Company.

He began his seminar, by saying that “Only Digital marketing “can help grow your business is a myth. He said that there is a lot of chaos surrounding Digital Marketing. Digital marketing is not a master key for success in Business.
Digital marketing is only a subset, a small part in Marketing. Digital Marketing, if not done correctly can be very costly and will not give the desired results.

Digital Marketing has advantages over traditional marketing like Personalisation, Conversion rate optimisation, segmentation of visitors to our website and can be started with as low as rupees one thousand.

He suggested to young Entrepreneur that during initial days, one should know at least 30 customers personally. One should know them by their names, characteristics, preference and interact with them often to get feedback.

Once, a pipeline of 30 customers is made, one can scale it to a large clientele.

He shared some of the growth hacking secrets of a large company. He said that Sabeer Bhatia, founder of Hotmail used growth hacking strategy like, he would automatically insert a link to join Hotmail in the mail body, whenever one sends mail using Hotmail.

He shared another Growth Hacking strategy of Airbnb when founder started this company; they did not have enough money to do any marketing campaign. So they used some software coding methodology, by which whenever somebody signed up on Airbnb, it immediately got shared on Craiglist, which was a sizeable classified site in the USA at that time. Doing this small hack, they were able to spread about their Brand and attract a lot of customer at free of cost, without spending a dime.


He also shared Growth Hacking Strategy of Dropbox. He said that during initial days, Company gave 5GB of free Space and when a user shares it among his friends and if his referral signs up, then both receive 500 MB free space.

Mr. Amitava Bhattacharya said that during the initial phase, it is essential to identify a small niche in Industry and become master of that particular segment and then scale up. It is necessary to study the customer persona of all clients by visiting their Facebook profile, Linkedin Profile or Twitter profile.

He said that entrepreneur could join relevant groups on Social media channel and in initial days, can be an only active listener. One can follow the competitor and learn how they are interacting with their client on social media.

He also said that people on Google, come with motivated and charged mind, they know what they want, whereas, on Facebook, people are leisurely browsing about their friends and family status and posts. Google is good for selling, and Facebook is good for branding.

He also said that when hiring Digital Marketing Agency, it is essential to be careful and give suggestion in Ad making and targeting customer, as the Agency will not think creatively for your business.
He concluded by saying that it takes more than seven touch points between Brand and Customer for sale.

Dr. kisholoy Roy

Next speaker for the day was Mr. kisholoy Roy, who has done Ph.D. in management from IIT (Dhanbad). He is an academician, speaker, trainer and visiting faculty at various B-school across East India. He has authored many books namely “czars of the East,” “case studies for marketing Students” and “Thoughts of a Novice Poet” and it can be bought from Amazon.

He began his session by asking everyone to define Marketing and later said that Marketing is the fulcrum activity in the organization and it is important aspects of Business.


Customer is always the focus of business and so we must understand and try to learn the pulse of the customer. He said that a customer journey begins from “Being Suspects” and then to “Prospects” and then to “Customer” or “Partner”.

He said that in previous decade product were sold based on differentiation, like price, taste, flavours etc.

He said that the in 21st century, Marketing must involve the customer. Active participation of customer is needed and customer’s help or feedback should be sought while devising product. He cited an example of Lays Chips, where Company asked the customer to send the recipe for making Potato Chips. He said that customer should feel excited about your Business.

He also briefly discussed about

4P’s of Marketing
Price, Product, Place and Promotion.
He also said that it is important to know the modified theory of
7P’s of Marketing
Price, Product, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence.
He quickly also mentioned about
4A’s of Rural Marketing
Affordability, Acceptability, Availability and Awareness.

He also said that Rural India has a lot of potential and scope for innovation and experiment.
He also mentioned about C.K. Prahlad’s management theory of “Fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid”. This theory tells that there are a lot of poor people living at the bottom of the Pyramid and Company or entrepreneur can make fortune by targeting such a mass crowd.

He also advised young entrepreneur in the room to focus on building Brand. He said that Company should create a mental association for the product. One should be consistent in building Brand and efforts should be to keep Brand Aura Alive.

He also spoke about
Brand Identity Vs Brand Image.

He said that Brand Identity is something which Company create and Brand Image is something which is perceived by Consumer. Company do not have any control over Brand Image, but it can meticulously create Brand Identity over time with the help of media.

He also quickly discussed about
CBBE Brand Building Model
He said that it is important to build strong Brand among consumers. A brand must evoke a strong feeling, sense of achievement, fulfilment in the minds of consumers.

Brand identity:- It is the Bottom of the pyramid and how consumers look at the Brand and differentiates among other Brand. It is the most crucial stage and the base of the CBBE Brand Building model. Company must be very cautious at this stage while giving any message at this stage.

Brand Meaning:– Once the Customer is aware of the brand, it wants to know more about the Brand . Customer is now curious and wants to do more research; it will start to judge your product or services based on Product features, Product Reliability, Designs, Price and Customer Support. Sometimes the , customer will start making imaginary perception about your Brand. Any negative trigger can cause your Prospects not to buy your product or services.

Brand Response:- Once the customer has bought your product or services. If he is satisfied with your product or services, then he gets positive feeling towards Brand else he will badmouth your product.

Resonance:- If the Customer is fully satisfied with your Brand and he strongly feels about it , then becomes your Brand Advocates. He will go about spreading positive word of mouth (WOM) about your Brand. Harley Davidson Bike is one such example of Customer having very strong resonance towards its products.


Mr. Kisholoy Roy concluded his seminar by saying that market dynamics have shift from Consumers to Prosumers. Prosumers are “Professional Consumer”. In the age of the Social Media, People are just not a consumer of products, but are PROSUMERS, who actively tweets, posts and share their opinion on Social Media.

Brand must identify and actively interact with this PROSUMERS and seek their help in building the positive Brand Image.

Kaushik Bhattacharya:-

We again assembled in the room after a short tea break. Next speaker was Mr. kaushik Bhattacharya; he is an IT Business Strategy Consultant. He advises Company on Growth hacking and provides mentoring to startup.
He began his seminar by saying that Marketing brings leads and Sales Team closes the deal.
He then spoke about

Buyer’s journey,
which has three stages namely Awareness Stage, Consideration Stage, and Decision Stage

Awareness Stage:-
The customer is facing some problem and is researching more to understand its symptoms.

Consideration stage:-
The customer has clearly understood his problem and given a name to it and has progressed into his researching mode.

Decision Stage:-
Now He has found a long list of vendor or service provider, who can solve his problem and
he is now deciding to buy products or services.

Digital Marketing Plan for Startup

  1. Customer Search Behaviour
  2. Customer Profile
  3. Competitor Research
  4. Influencer, Partner & Intermediary Research
  5. Market research
  6. Establish the goals
  7. Create Process
  8. Fill it with Strategy
  9. Break those into specific tactics

He then discussed
5 stages of startup metrics

  1. Acquisition:- How customer can reach out to you. It is the first touch point between customer and Business.
  2. Activation:- It is the stage where the customer uses your product or services. It is a critical stage as it can make or break your Business.
  3. Retention:- Now that the customer has made purchased and it has become a buyer, it is essential to retain him and make him often come to your store.
  4. Referral:- At this stage, it is important to provide better customer experience to Customer so that they can spread the good word about the product and company.
  5. Revenue:- This is the final stage of Growth funnel. At this stage, people use your product and regularly pay for your service. Repeat the process.

He also discussed this Process & how to do steps

  1. Create Goal
  2. Prioritize your ideas
  3. Breakdown into small milestones
  4. Create a plan, strategies & tactics
  5. Put metrics
  6. Measure ROI, Digital marketing has the scope of improvement
  7. Execute
  8. Analyze result
  9. Lesson learning
  10. Optimise, fine-tuning
  11. Formalize process
  12. Repeat

He also said that when your product is new, it is essential to talk to an early adopter. One Should spend more time to understand and get feedback from an early adopter. He narrated One incident where a customer has booked a family ticket to Bangkok from Mumbai, but unfortunately, for some member, it got scheduled in a different flight, and the customer was furious and frustrated, and he tweeted this incident, and suddenly Company jumped into action and quickly resolved his issues. This customer was a high profile in Mumbai. Later when the customer was appeased, he was requested to delete this tweet, and he did it.

Mr Kaushik Bhattacharya said that it is important to take feedback of customer and promptly resolve it. Customer, who leaves without even giving feedback, is very detrimental to the company, as Organization would not know the reason for their exit.

He narrated another incident, which has happened in Bangalore, where he was eating out in a restaurant, and while chatting with his friends, he said that he has trouble in his stomach. A waiter had overheard this private talk and the next day; he received a call from restaurant enquiring about his health. This small kind gesture made him feel happy that restaurant cares for his health and well being.

He said that philosophy of life like kind, love, empathy, care, etc. applies everywhere, be it personal space or Business.

He spoke about Earned marketing, which is 92% of customer prefer to buy from recommendation given by their close family member and friends than any other marketing channel.

Word of Mouth
He spoke about word of mouth, as it is the best and cheapest form of marketing. When a customer is delighted and becomes a Brand Advocate for a Company, he goes on to spread positive and encouraging word about product and services to others. A greater onus lies on Company to create something worth talking about and then actively encourage influencer or incentivize influencer to spread the right message about the product.

How do we do Word of Mouth Marketing

  1. Serve first – sell second
  2. Engage & Listen
  3. Identify Happy Customers
  4. Launch a Referral Program
  5. Have your Influencer Community Referral Program ready.

Some of the exciting Word of Mouth Marketing statistics (WOM)

  1. 43 % of social media user acknowledges buying a product after liking or favouriting it on Facebook or Twitter.
  2. 84% of consumer reported having taken action based on personal recommendation
  3. Millennials and baby boomers ranked Word of Mouth (WOM) as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions.

How to use Social Media for engagements
We should use Social media for engagements among our followers. 72% of Digital Marketers use Social Media to develop strong, loyal followers.

  1. Define your Buyer Persona
  2. Don’t let the relationship after the sale
  3. Make every effort to converse with your customer
  4. Engage with your local community
  5. Have a mailing list
  6. Create a on location feedback
  7. Be social with your customer
  8. Manage your online reputation
  9. Deal with a customer at a personal level
  10. Build a rapport with followers
    Make your follower feel special
    Engage with the audience
    Improve communication

Start-up Marketing Process

  1. Identify customers and competition
  2. Understand & Analyse market
  3. Decide Core Marketing message & Strategy
  4. Plan ATL/BTL/ Digital Strategy & Vehicle for Budget
  5. Monitor, Measure & Derive ROI

How You can take your Traditional Marketing to Digital Marketing

  1. Take word of mouth to Social Media as WOM
  2. Give away stickers as QR Code
  3. Bootcamp/Seminar/Workshop
  4. Draw traffic online from your physical location

Few New Marketing Tips

  1. Turn your product into your challenge
  2. Start with an exclusive beta
  3. Attend trade shows
  4. Get featured in a major publication
  5. Reach out to a specific publication
  6. Host a contest
  7. Convert users of a competing product
  8. Connect with another Brand
  9. Use your product for a social cause
  10. Make National headline
  11. Create a viral explainer video
  12. Book a flash mob

Mr Kaushik Bhattacharya took a long session; he was interrupted twice to wind up his seminar, as we had another speaker waiting and time had already crossed 5:45 PM.

Amar Krishna Jha

Mr. Amar Krishna Jha had very little time to present his seminar, we were already late, and so he quickly delivered his seminar in short time.
He began his talk by saying that we live in “GIVE ECONOMY,” we should first learn to give to our customer or bid adieu (goodbye) to the customer.

He suggested having a right Personal and Business Profile on Social Media Channel.


Checklist For Social Media

  1. Username (This is the link of your Personal Profile and Business Page) – Avoid having a number in it.
  2. Having a good Profile Pic is very important
  3. Cover Pic:- This should resonate well with your work.
  4. BIO:- Define yourself professionally with relevant keywords
  5. Update the About section properly
  6. Upload Featured photographs
  7. Add other social media links

Find your Target Audience

  1. Join Facebook Groups
  2. WhatsApp Groups
  3. Participate in existing Groups, solve the problem, and give suggestion

How you do it

  1. Don’t be perfect, be AUTHENTIC
  2. Find a Niche
  3. Pick the most relevant Platform
  4. Be Regular
  5. Join Groups
  6. Connect with Experts
  7. Get featured for more visibility
  8. Put Stories, Personal experiences, your struggles, Milestones, and Conversation
  9. Engagement on each post
  10. A post should always be kept public
  11. Use emoji in your post to boost engagement
  12. Align your social media topics with topics trending in the market
  13. Push your audience to react to your posts instead of just liking it.
  14. Facebook is a storytelling platform
  15. Instagram is about photos & visuals
  16. Twitter is a mini-blogging platform
  17. Youtube is videos
  18. Linkedin is a professional networking platform
  19. Pinterest is for inspiration

He did a small hack during the seminar, he asked for the audience “what is the time?” and everyone started saying time, and then he said sorry, I have a watch.
Then he said that it is important to ask a question to start a conversation with your audience.
Mr. Amar Krishna Jha winds up his seminar after repeated reminder that we were running short of time.


Overall, the seminar was excellent and value for money. Mr. Kaushik Bhattacharya gave a long, detailed presentation, but he was running short of time. He covered about the overall steps and process needed to do marketing for Startup.

Dr. Kisholoy Roy emphasized on building Brand for Business and long-term success for any Company is in creating Brand.

Mr. Amitava Bhattacharya insisted on knowing and closely interacting with first 30 clients. He said that Business could be successful even without Marketing or Digital Marketing. He cautioned us about the hype surrounding Digital Marketing.

Mr. Amar Krishna Jha had little time to present his seminar, but within that stipulated time, he delivered an excellent talk on using Facebook correctly for Lead generation. He spoke about every aspect of Digital Marketing, from Ad creation to choosing the right platform and using some free tools.

My only concern is, had it started on time; the entire speaker would have got ample time to deliver their talk and then it would have been very beneficial to all of us.

The audience was also fantastic, and one young lady was a dentist, we had CFO, people from real-estate industry, finance background, few were the founder of some successful startup, some students, working professional, and MBA graduates.

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