Across all startup categories, there are common mistakes and missed opportunities from marketing to unqualified customers to misunderstanding customer needs to under-estimating the competition. Here are two great documents on the Venture Beat website with cogent arguments for what startup marketers ought to keep in mind: Five Key Marketing Priorities for a Startup and Five Marketing Time Wasters. Unfortunately, their links are no longer live, but here’s what I read that’s worth repeating:
- Establish a web marketing presence. Of course, this is what Site was created to help you do, so we’re glad to see some other smart people think it’s a good idea.
- Track key marketing metrics. Another part of what we do and something we think terribly important. Startup marketers especially need to stay nimble, stay on top of what’s working and what’s not. Metrics-driven marketing optimization is a very smart thing for startups to invest in.
The articles drive home another critical point that’s right in line with what we’ve seen over the years. Don’t invest heavily in product planning, marketing or lead gen until you’ve validated your value proposition and your pricing directly with key customers. Maintain an agile marketing practice.
Of course we want you all to invest heavily in marketing (especially SEO, SEM and email marketing), but we want you to be smart and focused about it by remembering that your goal is to not just to find customers, but ideal customers.