5 Reasons to fail with your startup marketing
By Hayut Yogev
In one of the many researches of why startups fail, we found that 42% of over 100 startup founders interviewed, said the number-one reason for failure is the lack of a market need for their product.
Without being involved with this specific research, I can assure you they are wrong! The Number-one reason their startup failed is because they didn't know who their initial and secondary target audience are, and therefor they weren’t able to get their potential customers use their product or service.
That’s called marketing!
I spent the last eight and a half years meeting with hundreds of startup companies and entrepreneurs that came (throw our meetup group and other speaking events) to listen to my lecturers on Startup Marketing. And we worked with more than one hundred of them on their market researches and the marketing conclusions and plans to reach the right target audience and sale their products.
There are five main reasons for failing in reaching your startup clients:
- You don’t know who your customers are
- The fact you aimed for very specific need of very specific businesses or consumers does not necessarily mean they are truly your customers. Furthermore, most of the chances are that the heavy users you had in mind for your product or service are not the ones that will be capable of taking the risk trying a new unfamiliar product.
- Your potential clients don’t know your product exists
- That makes sense; No one is looking for a new unknown product on Google. In most cases your potential customers don’t know there is any solution to their pain or need
- Your definition of the new product doesn’t mean anything to those who really need it.
- The truth is that 99% of the companies we worked with didn’t even had one agreed definition for their product. Even the founders in the company has their own way to explain what the product is. The reason for that is because there is a real challenge to describe something that did not exist until now. You invented it! That’s the idea of a startup…
- You don’t really know where to find your customers and how to spread the word of the new solution
- This is really not only your problem! All of us marketing people who had no problem reaching their customers in the past, are straggling with this issue today. Especially with an unfamiliar product. In the past It was easy, we use to have TV, and Newspapers, and Radio, outdoor and direct marketing to reach the customers. Today in most cases these tools are not relevant for new products and the new tools (google, Social Media, Videos and more) are changing all the time. Moreover, most people are changing their media habits very often.
- You are changing your brand messages and sales approach every few weeks
- Since you don’t know who your customers are, what is their need and how to define your product, most entrepreneurs tend to change their approach and messages very often. Whenever you hear a new lecture that makes sense to you, read a new article or not happy with the results, the immediate response will be to change your current marketing and sales messages and activities. By doing that you are breaking one of the most important rules of marketing and especially startup marketing – The rule of consistency.
Three basic steps can help you avoid from taking the wrong directions that could lead to a failure
- Build your marketing and sales planes and activities based on customers’ behavior researches
While focusing on startups and new technologies adoption habits
- Find the right definitions for your target customers, the exact product and the market category you will lead (based on customers’ behavior researches results).
- Work with clear weekly and monthly plans and goals. Remember to keep consistency.
I’ll be happy to get your comments and answer any question about Startup marketing and startup successes and failures.