Three Marketing Mistakes That Kill Tech Startups
Just a decade ago, we could not imagine renting out someone's home, hailing a cab, or chatting on video with friends in other parts of the world - all with a single tap on our smartphones. Yet the Airbnbs, Ubers, and Facebooks of the tech world work hard to make these tech dreams a reality.
Against incredible odds, given that most startups fail, thousands of founders aspire to launch the next unicorn. Want to join the winning percent of startups that survive? Avoid making these three terrible marketing mistakes:
Chasing media fame too early
Startups are built on passion and faith. If you don't believe in the company's mission and product, then success is impossible.
This level of conviction, however, creates a blind spot for many entrepreneurs. Founders want to share their vision with the rest of the world and chase press coverage before the company has been tested and proven.
Before revealing your tech innovation to the world and aiming for features in top-tier media outlets, first establish that your audience actually exists (outside of your friends-and-family supportive circle). It doesn't matter how great your product is if it doesn't fulfill anyone's needs.
Relying on growth hacking
Responding to entrepreneurs' pursuit of a better - and most importantly faster - way to reach their goal, "growth hacking" has become a popular trend when marketing tech. While this is an agile way to quickly find channels that reach your audience, it ignores a fundamental aspect of marketing: relationships.
Focus on reaching your small group of believers first. Speak to what they want and need. In turn, they will eventually become brand advocates, spreading the word among other like-minded individuals and helping organically grow your reach. While this may take longer, it creates a stronger group of customers and allows you to avoid marketing mistakes that waste time and money.
Spreading yourself thin
Our world is inundated with content. From blogs to videos to social media, there are infinite ways to market tech. But, if you try to be present on every platform - especially as a startup founder short on time, people, and money - your overall efforts will suffer.
Instead of chasing every opportunity, do your research and discover where your audience is. Focus only on high quality and the channels tailored to your audience that bring your best results. Not everyone is a potential customer, and the sooner you realize that, the better.