Startups are in a war for attention and need to compete fiercely for sales — and marketing plays a vital role in their success. In fact, poor marketing is one of the main reasons startups fail (CB Insights), and it’s a key driver for valuation (CFI). You need an unfair advantage when it comes to marketing. That might come from a lightning-in-a-bottle marketing program, but that’s not a repeatable or scalable approach.

If you are a marketing agency, you can’t just rely on lightning striking every time. To truly be a hit factory, you need a proven approach. One that repeatedly creates an unfair advantage for clients. One that is sustainable and can’t just be copied. It can’t rely on a software tool, it has to be something fundamental. That’s a tall order — but we have one. We’re calling it ‘Multiplier Marketing’.

Multiplier marketing consists of intensity multipliers, creative multipliers, and efficiency multipliers.

What is Multiplier Marketing?

Multiplier Marketing is a strategic integrated marketing approach delivering a compound impact for startups. The compound part is important as any financial advisor will tell you.

Unlike traditional siloed programs, Multiplier Marketing harmonizes public relations, content marketing and growth marketing efforts to spike awareness and quickly move buyers down the funnel. 

Multiplier Marketing unlocks intensity, creativity, and efficiency multipliers to spark stronger ideas that are better executed in sync across channels. Each tactical improvement has a compound impact to help startups outperform their competitors.

So what are those multipliers?

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Efficiency multipliers stem from better operations, unified processes, technical consistency, more agility, scale effects and consistent measurement, all of which reduce the delays and friction that hamper marketing programs.

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Intensity multipliers increase the consistency of the message with greater frequency and duration, while also amplifying the volume of the program to achieve breakthrough awareness.

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Creativity multipliers deliver more robust ideas by bringing together different practices with varied channel expertise and with diverse cognitive approaches, while at the same time enhancing trust and alignment among the team.

Multiplier Marketing delivers stronger performance for pure-play PR, content marketing, paid media and SEO programs, and then leverages the impact with each additional campaign. 

A traditional approach to marketing overlooks these multiplier gains. Efficiency drivers alone provide strong yields from integrated Multiplier Marketing. Creative and intensity multipliers can create a breakout impact for startups without increasing overall spend — which is ideal for organizations that, by nature, are always trying to do more with less.

But isn’t this just integrated marketing?

Few startups or agencies actually deliver integrated marketing. Most agencies are siloed PR, digital marketing or content shops — they are great firms but they aren’t multi-practice. Internally, how closely do the corporate marketing and growth marketing teams work together? Even within demand gen, you get different SEO and paid media agencies, not to mention email marketing or social media firms. They might all work to a similar calendar but anyone who has tried will know that it requires significant effort to get in sync. Now do that consistently each month and quarter. 

Plus we have seen there is a level beyond those efficiency multipliers most commonly associated with integrated marketing, that tap greater creativity and stronger program intensity.

Let me give you a basic example that is part of the standard demand gen playbook — launching a gated asset like an ebook to act as a conversion event. Operationally this is a cross-functional process between the content team, design, paid media, demand gen, web and marketing ops. In our process, we choose a search-inspired and topical subject, the copywriting is on-message first draft, it’s designed, we’ve built a search-optimized landing page with all the UTMs, the PPC program is ready to go as is the email nurture flow, and the attribution reporting is dialed in. We’re driving all that in parallel in as little as 30 days. This is a basic activity but so many startups can get bogged down due to a lack of resources, conflicting priorities, approvals and misalignment. There are more fun cross-pollinations between search and PR, or paid and content marketing but this is a simple efficiency multiplier.

Even if this is all just academic, you want your agency to be a force for cohesion and coordination not confusion. There just aren’t many agencies with a robust PR, content marketing and growth marketing team. One of those is normally an afterthought. And very few of those firms are focused on startups.

Hence the multiplier. If you can get the outsized results for one campaign through this truly multidisciplinary approach, great. You bought low and sold high. But how about doing that consistently over time? That’s when you start to pull ahead of the competition who might put together a decent launch campaign or strike lightning but it’s not sustainable. 

If you’d like to learn more, there’s a whole page of detail on our site here. We’re also happy to share some examples or jump on a call to talk it through. Multiplier Marketing will uplevel our clients who only work with us as their PR agency, SEO firm, or on content marketing and paid media programs. We love those but there is a maturity model to Multiplier Marketing that increases over time and with more disciplines. We need to earn that trust — but our clients who are already there have an unfair advantage and are crushing their marketing goals.

About the Author

Morgan McLintic is the founder of Firebrand. With over 25 years’ experience in the tech sector, he advises clients about their marketing and PR strategy. Prior to Firebrand, he was the founder of digital communications agency, LEWIS in the US, growing it to 250 staff and $35m revenue.