6 Ways Startups Waste Money on Marketing

Marketing will be where the majority of startups spend most of their budgets. The average B2B marketer spends 42 percent of their budgets on marketing. Yet there are so many startups that don’t always get the results they want simply because most of their dollars are being wasted. If you are failing due to ineffective tactics and tools, this guide is going to show you some of the most common mistakes you may already be making, and how to turn things around.

Building a Following on Social Media

Your marketing budget should be spent partly on social media. But so many startups are convinced that building a following is going to lead to success. The problem with this is that social media reach is no longer what’s best for business. Facebook has seen organic reach crippled. Investing all this time into building a following is nearly pointless because what you’ll quickly discover is that you can have 100 likes on Facebook yet still make more money through advertising than someone with a thousand likes.

When only a fraction of your following will ever see your posts, building a following on social media is an entirely fruitless pursuit, so save your money.

Building a following remains important, but it should come through purchases of your products not through ‘like’ building campaigns.

Giving Up Too Soon

Startup owners believe that their product is so great that it’s sure to gain traction within a matter of days. Many small businesses begin with a twinkle in their eye and then realize they are not going to have an easy time.

Rather than persevering, they give up too soon. Many small business owners begin with high expectations and then when these aren’t met they believe it’s a problem with their business. You have unrealistic expectations if you demand that your business become a success within two years.

Not Understanding Your Audience

You can target any niche in the world with advanced marketing and advertising tools these days. To make the most of this you have to actually understand your audience, though. It’s necessary to have the image of your perfect customer, along with their likes/dislikes, and where they hang out.

If you are unable to understand your target audience, your targeting is always going to be slightly off. Conduct customer research before you start to waste your marketing dollars.

You Have No Idea How You Attracted Your Loyal Customers

The most loyal customers in your brand will be the ones who purchase every new product or service without question. These are the people you can rely on. At the same time, you need to know how you got them in the first place. It’s important for you to have a good idea for how you found your most loyal customers, so you can continue to replicate these tactics.

With most startups, the top fifth of your customers may account for up to 70 percent of your overall revenue, and this won’t change much as you grow.

Wagering Everything on One Marketing Campaign

Marketing is a game of trial and error whether you’re a small business or a large business. There are lots of things you can try and part of your growth period is to test out all these different tactics. But it’s difficult to do this when you’re wagering your entire marketing budget on a single campaign.

Don’t give yourself one shot to make your startup work. There’s a time and a place for this, but it’s not now. The best way to handle marketing as a startup is to start with extremely small scale tests.

Scaling up your marketing efforts should be done with extreme caution and only when you are sure that you are actually getting results. If it doesn’t work at a small level, it’s certainly not going to work at a higher spending level.

Not Tracking Your Results Well Enough

And then there are times where you are simply not tracking your results well enough. This tends to happen when startups gain a little bit of success in the beginning. They become so caught up in their success that they forget to track their results and compare them against the past.

Only by keeping track of your marketing results can you keep an accurate record of what works and what doesn’t. Without accurate measurements, you are going to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

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Written by:
AJ Agrawal is an entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. He is the CEO and Co-Founder at Alumnify Inc.
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