Most startups are doomed because of their ignorant views on marketing

Most startups I consult for (growth/biz dev) are doomed because of their ignorant views on marketing (vague term, but I’ll use it as a catch-all). The bar is so low to start a business right now that you have a ton of really skilled engineers building things because they can, without nearly enough thought into how they’ll get customers and partners, never mind retaining them. I can’t tell you how many times a founding team makes a product and then looks for a “marketing guy” with the cliched If you build it, they will come assumption. “I figure you’ll need maybe 10% or 20% of your time to get us from 0 to 30,000 users” – this was actually said to me by a CEO with a straight face.

Marketing involves strategy and planning and measuring and tweaking and monitoring and negotiations and relationships. Give this function (and its many moving parts) its just due or suffer from it. 

  • Or they hire a marketing guru, are dissapointed with the results and then fire and hire more marketing people.

    • Yup , but they forget those all , including tinder all are really vc projects with automatic connections to tons @ of free press and have dinner with Michael Arrington once a month

  • I get what you mean, and I used to be naive like this as well years ago when I started out. I thought that there were people and services out there who you could throw money at and they would bring you customers. Now I know that it’s much more complicated than that.

    Of course, I can pay out of the ass for clicks on Google or ads on Facebook, etc. and get very few conversions for the amount of money that I spent advertising. That option is always available to everyone, but not worth it.

    The best kind of marketing is done for free or very cheaply by understanding your desired users and their habits. I know that sounds vague but there’s no single solution for every business.

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