Start-up to Mainstream: When to Shift Your Focus From Tech to Consumer PR
August 14th 2015
Recently, we’ve witnessed a growth spurt in online retail and digital organizations seeking the counsel of consumer product PR professionals, sometimes shifting away from the tech focused PR support that saw them through the stages of start-up. The .com business model is certainly not new, which has left us wondering about this boom. And, how many more start-ups would’ve succeeded had they shifted toward the consumer audience sooner?
The infancy of a start-up is focused on garnering attention in the tech world – to pique the interest of the VC community or get the nod as the ‘next best’ product or business model. There’s no denying that this is critical. But, when is the right time to shift your focus and resources to reaching the broader consumer base?
From our perspective, the earlier the better. Do you have a confirmed launch date? If the answer is yes, then now is the time!
While it may sound predictable for an agency to recommend an early investment in PR, making a connection with your target audience is imperative. After all, the public reigns supreme on the ultimate success or failure of a brand, no matter if their address is physical or virtual.
Your consumer PR team is key to shaping the messaging and strategy to reach your coveted consumer. In the grand scheme of starting a business, one of the most fun challenges is defining the audience and how to best reach them. What will make us stand out? How can we form a human connection to e-commerce? The excitement lies in the opportunity and it’s best to take this on early. One final word to the (very) wise, as you make the shift to focusing on consumer PR: embrace the tech naiveté of your team. It can be used to your advantage if you pay attention to their questions and glean the knowledge of their own areas of expertise. After all, a good consumer PR pro is both your translator from and mouthpiece to the general public.
By Laura Anderson
Laura is Mfa’s Director of Strategy & Innovation. Laura recently re-joined the agency after a seven year run with Target, where she managed the communication program around the mass retailer’s Lifestyle Marketing program, along with the Millennial marketing and content development efforts of the Experiential Marketing & Alliances team. She is thrilled to be back with Mfa, always ready with an opinion and a strategy session plan for the agency’s diverse roster of clients. Laura is proud to represent the Midwest, holding down Mfa’s Milwaukee office.