The term “scale-up” nowadays refers to companies with a turnover of more than 5 million euros per year. Over three years, they have observed a minimum average growth of 10 to 20%, proof that they must quickly transform into a more solid structure that is more open to the world.
Internationalization, recruitment, improvement of techniques, of the financial aspect, search for new partnerships, so many elements must be resolved narrowly. But how do you go about making the transition from startup to scale-up ? How to make your business more profitable, like BlaBlaCar? Here are 4 important marketing issues to prioritize to get there.
BlablaCar: the benchmark in scale-up
At present, France has nearly 203 startups transformed into scale-ups, BlablaCar appearing there. This company focused on the world of carpooling remains the benchmark in scale-up. Indeed, present in more than twenty countries, it has an estimated turnover of 1.6 billion dollars thanks to the numerous fundraising activities it carries out.
BlablaCar employs more than 500 people worldwide and is of interest to nearly 25 million partners and potential customers on an international scale. It would be hard to imagine that its beginnings can be traced back to a budding idea between four idealistic students. Today, the brand’s success story inspires more than one start-up. Many of them want to build their entrepreneurial empire from the same strategy.
Frédéric Mazzella, the co-founder of the carpooling site, reveals three major pillars that have enabled BlablaCar to currently achieve its position in the global market. From start-up to scale-up, it has built its international business thanks to:
- the conservation of its DNA;
- the development of a strategy consistent with its objectives;
- optimizing the customer journey.
In addition to these three major challenges, a fourth is to be added: the personalization of the customer experience through marketing automation.
# 1 Keep your startup’s DNA: be unique
Like the human body, each company has its own DNA, the one that defines it and sets it apart from others in the tough entrepreneurial market. Its DNA is characterized by its visual identity, its market, its cultural, social and economic values, its history, its corporate culture, its strategic approaches …
In moving from startup to scale-up, the company must adapt to other environmental, social, economic, financial and organizational factors. At this point, many make the mistake of completely changing their identity by stupidly copying the marketing strategies of certain scale-ups. However, the best way to attract attention and increase awareness is to retain its core DNA, more precisely, the elements that may have made it’s brand unique and exceptional.
With a view to preserving its DNA, care must be taken to respect its values, its codes, its history, its means of exchange with customers and partners in defining its new approach strategies. In practice, the decisions to be taken should always refer to the characteristic elements of the structure. However, do not hesitate to change certain marketing techniques if old ideas lack originality.
# 2 Establish a strategy consistent with your goals
In the world of entrepreneurship, there are no previously defined objectives. Each structure sets its own objectives according to its methods, challenges, priorities, values and even its sector of activity. From startup to scale-up, you have certainly already developed several points to achieve as objectives. And now that you are in the process of becoming a scale-up in the near future, it is not uncommon for the idea of imposing new goals to arise in your minds.
There are mainly three types of objectives, namely:
- volume targets;
- penetration targets;
- profitability targets.
The volume objectives focus on increasing turnover, its market share. The penetration objectives emphasize the actions to be taken in order to boost its notoriety or the image of its brand. It can revolve around a target, a geographical area, a specific market or even a production circuit. Finally, setting precise profitability goals over a predefined period of time is essential to becoming a successful scale-up.
In all respects, it remains important to establish a strategy consistent with its objectives of volume, penetration and profitability. This new strategy to be adopted must be able to continuously ensure reliable resources for the internal and external development of the startup before and after its internationalization phase.
# 3 Make customer journey optimization your priority
Optimizing the customer journey must be at the centre of a startup’s marketing strategy if it really wants to move from startup to scale-up. Upstream, you must first and foremost understand your customers and identify at this point the positive points, the negative points and the flaws of your old marketing methods. The feedback from them can help you define a better optimization strategy.
Essential data can be collected at different stages of the purchasing journey, more specifically on social networks, the brand’s website, customer service channels (email, newsletter, telephone, etc.), digital channels (chatbots, FAQs, etc. ).
The new measures to be taken to optimize their customer journey apply from prospecting campaigns to the end of their purchase. You even have to think about his long-term commitment to make him an ambassador for your brand. And to get there, offering personalized experiences is more than necessary.
# 4 Offer personalized experiences with marketing automation
The best way for a scale-up to offer more personalized experiences to its customers, prospects and employees is to use a marketing automation tool like HubSpot. The tool provides a more optimal marketing automation system to identify purchasing behaviour during the conversion process. It offers for this purpose an excellent index on the ROI or return on investment.
From startup to scale-up, surveys conducted by emailmonday.com demonstrate the significant benefits of marketing automation on the customer journey. It is responsible for an increase:
- 64% sales;
- 80% leads;
- 68% interactions with prospects;
- 74% time savings.
Marketing automation makes it possible to consolidate the bases of its business, to structure a generation of leads, to multiply its business opportunities and to generate better customer acquisition.
HubSpot, the essential Swiss army knife of marketing automation
A true Swiss army knife of marketing automation, HubSpot remains the essential tool to have to develop your business from startup to scale-up. The CRM tool offers endless possibilities to automate bulky tasks so that you can better focus on internationalizing your brand.
At the scale-up stage, opt for the full version of HubSpot CRM which is certainly more expensive than the classic version, but offers you high-level features. With the HubSpot Growth Suite, you can take advantage of the advantages of the Sales Hub, Hub Services and HubSpot Marketing for a single marketing automation software.