Are You Really Ready for Startup Marketing?

marketing 101Earlier this week, I attracted a new client in less than an hour. In fact, we shook on the deal even before an agreement was put together.

Now, I’d like to think it had to do with my sales skills but, truth be told, it had more to do with the client being ready to do marketing.

It sounds like a straightforward proposition but marketing is something that needs to be embraced as a way that will add value to a company and help drive its growth.

If, on the other hand, a startup isn’t completely convinced about marketing, their efforts will be less than successful, leaving them even less convinced about marketing.

It means startups need to recognize and accept the need for marketing. They have to realize there will be costs involved, some of the work will seem strange or different, and results may not happen overnight.

They can’t get into marketing because the board thinks it’s a good idea, the CEO is excited about getting media attention, or their competitors are doing it. These are reasons to think about marketing but they’re not drivers to take the plunge.

So how does a startup know they’re ready for marketing?

1. They have a good story to tell that an audience needs to discover. It’s a story that will drive awareness of what they’re working on or a product that’s starting to gain traction. In either case, the story is interesting enough that it will resonate.

2. There is a willingness and budget to make marketing happen. No matter how you do it, marketing costs money. It’s an investment in a long-term commitment that may not see customers break down the doors right away.

3. The company is ready for the spotlight and able to take the scrutiny it will bring. If a product hasn’t been launched yet, the people, the idea and the problem being solved are rock-solid. If the product is being sold, it works, it delights and the sales and marketing funnel is smooth and seamless.

4. Marketing is part of an integrated strategical and tactical plan to drive success. It is not seen as something latched on to the business or something that will magically generate more business. Instead, it is treated an important cog in the growth engine.

For any startups considering marketing, these are important questions to ask. If you have any doubts, marketing may not be the top priority or you may need more time to get ready for it.

If you’re looking for advice on how to jump-start your marketing, let’s talk about how I can meet your needs.

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  • Ruth Zive

    Unfortunately, so many startups wait too long, approach their marketing with knee jerk reactions and then have to scramble to clean up the debris and position themselves more strategically. The companies that have the frame of mind that you’ve described are certainly going to have the most meaningful impact with their marketing efforts. I would suggest that given the fast-changing landscape of the digital marketing arena, this should be on the radar of all startups pretty early.