Establishing a Successful Startup Marketing Strategy with Product-Led Acquisition

Learn how startups can achieve successful marketing through a Product-Led Acquisition (PLA) strategy.

Consider Customer Acquisition from Product Design

One of the biggest concerns when starting a startup is how to acquire customers. In fact, devising a proper market entry strategy is key to success. Isn’t it the same for you? As Peter Thiel said, “Consider how to promote your product as an essential element of product design”. Customer acquisition strategies should be included from the product creation stage. Now, let’s explore the importance and methods of Product-Led Acquisition (PLA).


Why is PLA Important?

There are three key reasons why PLA is important.

  • Viral Effect: PLA enables users to invite new users, leading to organic expansion. Unlike advertising or SEO, it grows much faster.
  • Platform Independence: PLA is not affected by changes in other platforms’ algorithms. For example, it is not influenced by changes in Facebook ad targeting or Google’s search algorithm updates.
  • Cost Efficiency: PLA can scale without additional costs. Unlike ads or sponsorships, the costs do not increase with scale.

PLA Strategy 1

Natural User Invitations

The first method to successfully utilize PLA is to enable users to naturally invite other users. For example, in the case of Zoom, the person who creates a chat room invites others to install Zoom. This kind of natural invitation greatly helps in acquiring new users.

Additionally, there is a way to “make the recipient create an account to receive money sent via PayPal”. Such natural invitations encourage users to use the product without discomfort.


PLA Strategy 2

Turn the Product into a Billboard

The second strategy is to make the product itself a billboard. When people wear Apple AirPods in public, others see them and consider purchasing. This creates an effect where every Apple user becomes a walking billboard.

Similarly, when you send an email from an iPhone, the signature automatically includes “Sent from my iPhone”, creating a natural advertising effect.

PLA Strategy 3

Create Shareable Content

The third strategy is to encourage users to create shareable content. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube allow users to create content and share it with others. When users share content, they naturally promote the product.

PLA Strategy 4

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Lastly, word-of-mouth marketing is crucial. Make users enjoy the product so much that they naturally recommend it to others. For instance, like saying, “Have you watched Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’? You must watch it!”, the product should be included in users’ everyday conversations.


Creating a Successful Startup with PLA

Product-Led Acquisition is a key strategy for a successful startup. It is essential to enable users to invite other users, turn the product into a billboard, create shareable content, and encourage word-of-mouth marketing. Now, apply this strategy to your startup. You too can build a unicorn startup!

Reference: Julian Shapiro, “Acquiring Customers”

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