It is essential for a startup to be aware of the mistakes that can damage their marketing program. Being conscious about these mistakes allows them to timely mitigate any associated risks. Following are the most common mistakes made by startups:
1. Lack of testing
Startups tend to replicate the marketing strategies which have particularly worked well for others in the past. Blindly implementing such strategies leads to disappointing results because expectations cannot be merely formulated based on benchmarking. Testing is a pre-requisite to implementation as it helps you gauge the viability of a marketing strategy before investing in it. It helps in estimating the performance of a marketing effort and gives an idea about the expected outcome. In short you will be making a much more informed decision on budget, time and resource allocation if you perform tests before executing any strategy.
2. Being in a rush
Startup’s are always in a rush to enter the market and end up launching unrefined products. To top it up they expect marketing to spin its magic wand and acquire customers/users. Unfortunately they don’t realize that adaptability has more to do with the product itself rather than marketing. Even executing a great marketing strategy cannot save a mediocre product from failure. Firstly they launch a poor quality product, if that was not enough they spend time and money on its marketing and start expecting great returns. They should realize that they are not only wasting their investments (time, effort & money) but also ruining their reputation. Just because they can launch quickly doesn’t mean they should. They should first focus on creating a product that completely satisfies the user expectations and later market it extensively to get high returns.
3. Dabbling between social networks
In social media marketing a number of things might need your attention at the same time e.g. blogs wait to be written, videos need to be created etc. There’s a lot you can do but spend your time wisely to do things that create the maximum impact. For example if you can’t be both on Facebook and Google+ then pick one. Instead of dabbling between both networks, create a strong presence on one to generate better results.
4. Focussing too much on the features
Most startups sell “what you can do” rather than “why you need to do it”. They keep on promoting their product features whereas the user is always more interested in knowing about the problem their product is solving.
5. Lack of Measurement
Which strategy had the biggest impact on the customers and why?What’s the optimum marketing spend needed to hit the targets? It will be difficult for most startup’s to answer these questions unless they don’t continuously evaluate results of their on-going marketing efforts. Measurement is essential if you need to:
- maximize your returns from the investment in marketing
- take well informed marketing decisions in future
6. Inconsistent Marketing Efforts
A startup is definitely inconsistent in its marketing efforts if:
- It’s marketing task list continues to grow; and
- It is trying new things but can’t see any success
Most of the times startup’s having a winning marketing strategy in place abandon it for trying a new strategy. They might have stopped this marketing effort just when it would have started to pay off. Your commitment to a campaign should last long enough for you to measure results before trying something else. Shifting between strategies will never allow you to notice which marketing strategy is paying off and which is not.
7. Starving Marketing Budget
Startup’s keeping a low budget for marketing may save some bucks initially but it will cause them business in the long run.If you believe in your idea and the consequent product than you should not hesitate investing in tested marketing campaigns.
8. Advertising your aspirations
Every startup aspires to be the best but there is no need to market your aspirations. This will give a chance to others for catching you when you fail to live up to what you had promised. Word of mouth will do the rest to spoil your reputation. Therefore don’t ever announce your aspirations instead try to live by them.