Utilizing visualization and marketing tools to sell an idea
An idea is only as good as the story it sells alongside. And a good investment story that most people will buy, requires effective marketing.
The ability to attract investors and venture capitalists is an incredibly tough job that most entrepreneurs are apprehensive about. Being a part of an ever-changing global market, defined by a shift in how people communicate and consume visual data, makes it crucial to get familiar with the latest tools and technologies that set your business up for success.
Here are a few tried and tested techniques that entrepreneurs can use to attract investors, and make sure their business concept receives the recognition it deserves.
It is quite visible in today’s world that conventional methods of dispersing text-based information is failing. The rise of infotainment is a great example of how visualization has become a more palatable and enjoyable way of consuming information.
With this, we have seen a rise in technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). The scope for the applications of such technologies in the marketing world is vast, providing an unparalleled way of creating impactful stories through visualization. Using AR to explore the consequences of climate change to our surroundings or the visualization of an architectural project pre-development are only two simple examples of this.
Here, this tool can be used to create shock-value in both explaining a problem in an impactful way and showing what their intended solution looks like. This visual impact is far more appealing than just words explaining things.
For businesses, this is a great tool to sell their idea to possible investors. Showcasing the reality of the problem they plan to solve or the efficiency of their proposed solution can help validate their trust in your product.
By creating scenarios and visualizing the use cases for your services or product, you create an experience that validates your claim. This is incredibly important for investors. They want to see that what you promise can be delivered.
Through this, you can not only show that its possible but also show what it will look like once achieved, making the end-goal feel closer to reality. This is why emerging technologies are such incredible tools for visual marketing.
Making solutions look closer to reality, helping visualize the benefits in a representational way rather than just numbers on board can help your business define your value in a meaningful way. This, in turn, can position the problem you’re solving and your solution as credible, achievable and most importantly believable for investors through visualization marketing tools.
Presentations and Graphical representations:
There is one catch to emerging technologies for startups. Their application is often limited due to their costs and you can only visualize a limited number of events or scenarios. This can reduce the extent of the problem.
Here, visual aids such as power-point presentations or graphical illustrations come in handy. The idea is to take that impact and scale it to a larger extent.
What presentations help with, is to show to the large-scale impact of the problem your business is trying to solve. This can be done by utilizing a creative touch. Instead of showing the number of people impacted through numerical representation, an image can be used on a graph to deliver a more human touch.
This presentation can use real or animated faces, showcase conversations while simultaneously using numbers. This helps in getting the message across better. The story with this transforms from a simple, “we are helping thousands of people” to “we are helping thousands of people, who look like us, speak like us and live their lives like ours.”
It helps create an emotional response and adds a personal touch, a barrier hard to break with simple numbers.
This is an incredibly important part of the process. At the end of the day, all marketing is about selling your idea, be it to consumers or investors. For this idea to be sold, the other party needs to care about the impact it creates.
Through these illustrations, you can cultivate a feeling of care to trigger an emotional response. Like we talked about earlier, most investments and purchases are spur-of-the-moment decisions, you can utilize this emotional trigger to convert more clients and get more investments.
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Minimal Viable Product:
Creating a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) for your business or idea is always a great decision. The process of prototyping is often overlooked either because of over-eagerness to move full-throttle or due to the fear of failure.
Getting a prototype for your business helps sell your idea due to one very simple reason; it is the primary evidence for the competence of your idea or product.
As a startup looking for investors, most Venture Capitalists or Angel investors like to feel secure when investing in a business. They need to have a reasonable belief that they will get returns against the investment.
This confidence requires a Proof-Of-Concept but a POC is often too vague or unreliable. An MVP is a functioning miniature that can be tested out in the real world, against real clients to see the results.
It is also easier to market this to gain early exposure for your brand and create a demand for it through testing.
The reason this strategy works so well with VCs is that you have something tangible to show. What you present to them is a real-life working prototype that proves that your idea is viable.
This is great to gain their confidence and belief in your idea and push them closer to making a decision in your favor. This is also true for pre-full-scale product development when it comes to client generation.
By marketing your MVP, you create a hype within the market for your product which helps it gain momentum by creating an eagerness in the market for its release.
This impacts not just its performance in the market when the full product is released, the eagerness is also a method of convincing investors that your idea has incredible potential.
This real-world evidence is a real confidence booster and belief inducer on VCs and other possible investors.
Brochures and other collaterals:
While brochures are considered old-school and outdated, they are very much important. Though it is true that in the modern world, they can’t be relied on as primary marketing tools that do not mean they can help in the process.
The purpose of brochures and other collaterals such as business cards have shifted to a more sensory impact.
This is also why most newsletters and brochures these days are visual than text-based. They serve the purpose of a reminder. The design of these collaterals should ideally remind people of what you have shown them through presentations, MVPs or through AR and VR.
These are tangible takeaways that can have an impact outside of a meeting room or a marketing drive. Often, people revisit their memories at their homes when they come across a brochure they took away from a meeting.
By having a more visual appeal, not only do you increase the chances of this revisiting but also tailor them to trigger specific talking points from your presentation.
This can trigger a memory where VCs or potential customers were excited by your idea or intrigued by its potential of success.
This creates an engagement outside of a planned structure, which can also impact a VC’s decision to invest in your business or startup. It adds more value and further pushes your idea forward, helping sell the story of your product and its potential impact.
Marketing Software Tools:
There are many marketing software that helps businesses put themselves out for people to see, raising awareness about their brand or idea. These tools can be used to create chatter amongst people but also generate potential leads pre-development.
Here, solutions such as MailChimp and Google Analytics come in to play. Email marketing can lead to a great about of outreach. Though what is important is for these emails to not be too text-based.
Using Gifs, memes or a magazine based email can be a great way to get people to interact with your startup or product. This can help you to penetrate the market early in the process and have an audience to show for when approaching potential investors.
This also works with social media, especially with analytics software mapping the popularity of your idea, the response from potential clients and the results of your marketing activities.
Social media has become even more visual, especially with the increased use of platforms like Tumblr and the rise of meme culture. By creating a more visual presence, you can better engage with an audience and draw out consumer activity.
These numbers can then be used to showcase a potential target audience and community chatter about your idea. This creates authenticity and provides validity to the demand for your idea in the market, making it easier to sell it as a value proposition.
About the Author
Ryan is an avid tech enthusiast and Regional Partner at Tekrevol, Houston, a leading app development firm. His passion lies in using technology to help people out, especially aspiring entrepreneurs. Among other things, Ryan has expertise in data analysis, business strategy development,leadership & management, strategic marketing, asset management, and portfolio management.
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