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Are you starting a new business in Finland? You have the money, the idea and a burning desire to leave your mark on the world? Great! You are on the right track.
In this article, we will go through a general overview of what a new business needs for its marketing. We’ll also list partners you can ask for help in different situations.
The article is particularly suitable for local businesses or smaller companies expanding to Finland. As scale increases, complexity often increases. At the end of the article is a checklist for a small start-up with prices and possible partners.
On the Aalho Media website we have written about the differences between advertising and marketing.
A broad definition of marketing: marketing is about creating value for customers and partners.
Narrow definition of marketing: marketing is the enabling and promoting the sale of products and services.
Advertising is paid, targeted communication, often on third-party channels.
To sum up: marketing is everything you do to make a customer want to and buy something from you.
Everything a company does is marketing. So you need everything and nothing to get started.
The customer experience goes something like this:
temptation > payment > experience > sharing experience
The necessary marketing elements include, for example:
corporate identity > ability to sell > ability to deliver a service > ability to influence the message to be shared
And in practice, these are the things that fall into these categories:
Sometimes you hear wild whispers of companies that grew into the unucorn category without any marketing at all. It’s like saying you grew six feet tall without eating any food at all – when you’ve never eaten a potato.
However, not all companies can buy a branding starter set for a couple of million from the outset. Even a few grand can seem like a lot at first. A start-up company can get an indication of the appropriate marketing budget by mirroring it against the desired turnover.
Start with these and adapt them to your own situation:
For example, if you were to reach a turnover of €100 000, the marketing cost for a start-up would be between €5 000 and €10 000. This amount is usually enough to go stand outside the most coveted brand agency in your town.
But there is nothing wrong with advertising agencies’ pricing. They’re in business just like you are, and you may well not be a good match.
Let’s sketch out some scenarios based on how much money you have.
Creativity is born in tight spots. So let’s imagine a situation where a new company wants to take off and has set aside €10 000 for marketing. So this includes creative services and an advertising budget.
Let’s split it 50/50: €5 000 for materials and €5 000 for advertising.
You’ll need at least these:
We’ve written before about affordable logo design. The cheapest way to get one is for a handful of euros is on Fiverr, for example. In most cases, the best value for money is to commission a logo from small local private entrepreneurs.
A brand identity is more than just a logo, but they should be defined in the same package. A small local private entrepreneur can help with this too.
Set aside €2 000 for the branding.
After that, there are still major investments in physical and digital office space. Invest in what matters most to your business. We also have an article on how to create a website for new businesses, which you should read.
If you’re not really doing business with your website, a simple Squarespace page is often enough, with a price range between time and money. You can make them yourself or pay someone a few hundred (or a few thousand) to make them for you.
But if your website is at the heart of your business, save on everything else and invest in your website.
So we put €2 500 into physical and digital space. You have to cut corners, but your customers may not notice.
The remaining €500 will be spent on all the little things. The €5 000 advertising budget will be used for Google Ads, some small ads in the local newspaper and Meta post boosting.
Let’s increase the budget a little and see what the marketing budget could be used for, if we don’t have to spend our own money but can use inverstor’s money instead.
With this budget, you can already hire an advertising agency or creative agency. They are professionals and you pay them to see the job through to the finish line.
The budget’s already gone.
Marketing – like any other area of business – is something that you can spend as much as you want on. There’s an old saying that half of it is wasted, but nobody knows which half.
Let’s get back to reality. You have to skimp on everything and not much money is flowing in. The assumption is that you do a lot yourself, or that you already have someone in your company who does a lot of grassroots marketing work.
Here’s a common sense marketing checklist:
Branding and messaging clarity are worth investing in up front, because you get to work on them in the early days. Other things you can build and develop as your business grows.
When business is doing great, it’s worth trying the services of more traditional advertising agencies.