Start-up marketing plan example

What investors need to see in your start-up’s marketing plan

The business plan you pitch to investors needs to cover all of your start-up’s aims and objectives.

And while you might have a pitch deck full of market analysis, P&L projections, and cash flow forecasts, if you’re like some fledgling business owners you might not have even considered including a marketing plan within your pitch.

While there might be a line in your budget stating you require £80,000 for marketing, why should an investor trust you’ll spend that money wisely?

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to create a marketing plan for an investment pitch that will take your business plan to the next level and help you secure those marketing funds.

And you don’t need any marketing experience at all to put these actionable tips into practice.

So, read on if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of getting marketing investment for your business.

Going beyond projections and pricing

If you’re trying to raise investment for your start-up, chances are you’re a tech whizz or an entrepreneur rather than a marketer.

So, while you know marketing is going to be key to growing your business, you’re not necessarily an expert in growing a brand or increasing inbound leads.

In fact, you might be a technical founder with absolutely no experience of growing a company at all, never mind a clear vision of how you’re going to hit your target number of customers, clients, or users in year one, two, and three.

But this doesn’t mean you should avoid drilling down into the marketing aspect of your business plan.

In fact, if you don’t have any marketing experience you have even more reason to flesh out this side of your business plan.

Realistically, how many investors put money into a business whose marketing plan stops at having a yet-to-be-filled ‘Head of Marketing’ position in the org chart?

By showcasing that you’ve got a well-thought-out plan to attract your first users, bring in your first clients, or build your brand within your niche, you’ll make investors confident that they’ll get a return on their investment.

So if you want to be taken seriously by investors, you need to be doing a lot more with your business plan than trying to predict the future without any data to back you up.

Here’s how.

How to put the ROI factor into your business plan

How you’ll spend the marketing budget

Investors want to be assured they’re going to get a return on investing in your business. Realistically breaking down exactly how you’ll spend your marketing budget will help instil confidence in them.

How do you do that without any marketing experience?

You get specific…

Get specific

Marketing meeting

“We’re going to spend £10,000 in year one on advertising” is all well and good, but how does an investor know you haven’t plucked that figure from thin air?

Break it down into how much is going into the likes of Google Display Advertising, paid social media posts, print adverts and event sponsorships.

Suggest the budget you’ll use to test each channel and how much you’ll leave in reserve to double down on the approach that brings in the best results.

Remember: ROI is what investors are looking for here. If you’ve hired a consultant to carry out some analysis on your competition that has shown spending £20,000 in a year on Google Advertising will result in X visitors to your website, which would typically convert to Y number of sales, spell it out in your plan. It will show you know and understand the potential ROI.

By including details like this, you’re proving that you’ve thought this all through – it’s not just some back-of-the-napkin maths.

Show why you understand

Demonstrating ROI

Of course, don’t pluck those numbers from thin air. Carry out research or pay for a strategic marketing company to help you put together a top level marketing plan. This could be the difference between walking away with investment or nothing.

Metrics, metrics, metrics

Google Analytics example

Not every aspect of marketing is quantifiable, but every good marketing plan hinges on the key metrics you’re looking to move the needle on.

If you’re trying to build a brand from scratch or bring a brand new concept to market, then your plan should focus around getting eyeballs on your website, adverts, content marketing, and social media.

And if you’re trying to enter an established market and take sales away from the incumbent market leaders, your plan should focus on inbound leads and sales or even some guerrilla market techniques to help you stand out.

Investors will see straight through you if your marketing goals don’t match up to the reality of your position, so make sure you’re clear on your key metrics and why you’ve chosen them.

Whatever the metric is, just make sure you show investors you’ve set a realistic goal and how the capital they’ll be putting into your business will help you achieve it.

While some of this might seem baffling to you today, don’t try to baffle your investors. Seek advice, show your maths, and make sure that your route to market isn’t glossed over in a single paragraph.

And if you need help improving the marketing side of your business plan, read the rest of our insights or get in touch for one-on-one help putting together a rock-solid strategy.