Pushing for greater visibility of tech startups

Having a good visibility can make impacts on business sales and it can also help entrepreneurs discover new opportunities. Visibility is important regardless if a business competes in a domestic market or on a global platform.

As fundamental as the subject of visibility may seem or sound, it is not, however, something that is always well taken care of in many business situations. The reasons may vary. If you look around at some company websites, findings might plunge you into head-scratching. It is obvious some of these sites struggle with content. Further, lack of online engagement makes it tough to find what cyber community says about some products or companies.

In the context of tech startup ecosystem in Malaysia, concerns about visibility have actually garnered attention at the industry level. To give you an example, Cradle Fund, the organization that manages Cradle Investment Program, has brought over the Echelon pitching event to Malaysia since three years ago to help with visibility of local startups. Visibility was also discussed by Cradle’s CEO in a recent interview about tech startup landscape with BFM radio station. The interview can be found here.

The Silicon Valley Comes To Malaysia (SVC2M) held in 2011 is another event that has helped in creating visibility for startups in Malaysia on a global stage.

Needless to say, the tech startup industry is continuously supported with various initiatives and programs held through direct involvement from government-backed agencies that collaborate with private entities to spur its growth.

Initiatives at the industry level like these are helpful to the local startup ecosystem. At the same time, individual startup entrepreneurs are still responsible for their own game plan to create visibility for the business they lead and in the markets they serve.

To create visibility startup entrepreneurs should remember to focus on both offline and online aspects of it.

As far as offline is concerned, startup entrepreneurs should take an initiative to get to know and communicate with not just customers or investors but to also connect with others like industry pundits and journalists. In addition, by participating in events like a trade show or a seminar, entrepreneurs can build a reputation in the public arena.

When it comes to creating visibility online, the spectrum of options is very wide which can be overwhelming to entrepreneurs who lack skills and knowledge about important subjects like marketing and communications. It is impossible to identify a one-size-fits-all solution for creating visibility for all businesses across industry. However, tackling it from an integrated marketing communications approach can be effective to provide a startup with perspectives that will lead into actions that suit its goals in business. Among components may be integrated in a plan include advertising, public relations, SEO, social media, government relations and content marketing.

So yes, there are different approaches to creating visibility depending upon goals of the business. Having a sound game plan right from the beginning of a startup journey can leave positive impacts on the business in a long run.

All in all, time is an essence. Entrepreneurs need to be willing to spend time to address their own visibility concerns through whatever approach that has values they would appreciate. In taking on fierce competition, swift actions can make a difference in winning – another point that should be duly noted.

The bottom line: It doesn’t matter how innovative a product is, if the entrepreneur does not know how to communicate it effectively, visibility will become an issue.

May the best startup win!

 

By Kam Hashim

 

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