4 Ways Founders Destroy Their Startups With Poor Marketing

January 11, 2017

12:50 pm

It’s no secret that startups are fragile entities and that a lot of things have to go the right way in order for them to survive and thrive. At the core of every startup, there has to be a superior product or service that people will adore and pay for. But there are lot of little things that can’t be ignored if you want to enjoy startup success.

Every startup owner needs to be aware of the fact that promoting their new enterprise is an essential part of their new reality. Without proper marketing, a startup will find it excruciatingly difficult to stand out among the competition and make a name for itself. 

Unfortunately, there is still a relatively large number of startup owners who decide to cut corners on their marketing efforts, putting their new ventures in jeopardy and often lead to their closing down. Check out a few things startup founders do that leads to their downfalls:

Ignoring the Numbers

Marketing is not homework. Marketing is not something you do because other people are doing it. Marketing is something you do in order to increase your sales and make more money. It’s as simple as that. Unfortunately, many a startup owner will see marketing as more of an art and less of a science.

In order for marketing to be effective, you simply have to determine which metrics matter to you. You have to start judging the success of your marketing efforts according to those metrics. This is especially true for certain modern marketing tactics, which are often “valued” according to metrics that will do little for your startup.

Not Being Consistent

People often think that marketing campaigns that last a couple of months can do wonders for them. This often happens once startup owners realize their sales aren’t where they thought they would be and that they are simply not attracting new customers quickly enough. In such situations, they reach for marketing and they think that a slapped-together two –month campaign will save them. But it won’t.

Doing startup marketing in bursts is simply not a good idea. Marketing a startup should start with creating a brand with all its intricacies, doing some digital marketing, and even taking advantage of the more affordable traditional marketing.. These things take time and trying to rush it will get you nowhere.

Underutilizing Your Website

Many startups have a tendency to present themselves as the next big thing. Often times, a way to do this is by featuring a website that looks like it came from the future – spectacularly innovative and impossibly beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, such websites are often excruciatingly slow to load and they convert poorly because of the emphasis on the looks. A startup’s website is more than just a pretty façade. A startup’s website is where they can share their story with a bit of blogging and  can turn visitors into customers by boosting their conversion rate.

In addition to this, many startup owners think that the job is done by simply getting their website online. It’s not. Luckily, there are innumerable places to promote one’s website and a savvy startup owner will at least consider them.

Leaving It To The Wrong People

Perhaps the biggest mistake startups make when doing marketing is letting the wrong people do it. Often, the owner or one of the very few early employees will take it on themselves to do it. As their regular tasks pile up, they tend to rush it, resulting in a big, fat nothing.

Another option is to hire an intern of some kind, usually a 15-year old who speaks solely in hashtags and whose idea of social life boils down to followers. Sure, they are able to post a gazillion Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram posts every three minutes, but they know little to nothing about actually attracting customers or influencing the bottom line in any noticeable way.

Marketing is not something people dabble in. It is a profession. There are schools for it. People hone their skills for years for a reason. Do not underestimate it.


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Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. His fields of expertise are company management and efficient work environment through latest technology trends, as well as internet marketing. He is also an editor in chief at