1. Not having a strategy. This may seem obvious but not having a clear direction on where you going can leave you blindsided. You need to make your marketing strategy matches up with your company’s goals. You then develop the marketing tactics to help you get there.
This is something that I have been thinking about for awhile now. I work with a lot of companies that are in the beginning stages in their lifecycle. Most of them are self-funded or have an angel investor. They have some money for marketing but they need to watch their budget. They need to get the most value for their money and their is very little room for failure.
This brings excitement and it’s own set of challenges when working with startups. There is a core set of best practices that makes a company successful. If you do not incorporate good business processes then your marketing will fail. The reason why I am writing this post is to help educate business owners not to fall into bad practices. The list that I am going to give you may sound general but I have seen these missteps first hand.
2. Not using data for decisions. You want to use data from Google Analytics or any tool that will help you understand your traffic. You need to know which traffic source is producing leads for your business. One tip is to start using UTM codes for your advertising campaigns.
3. Keep on changing your mind. You do not want to put your time and money into developing ads. You use several people to do the research and put time to develop the buyer persona. Right before launch you then change your mind and do SEO instead. You would have wasted time and resources to help you gain a competitive advantage. You want to be consistent with your decision making.
4. Communication. You need to have an open dialogue with the people who are going to put in place your vision. You need to know what they are doing and how are they going to do the work. Also, the people who are doing the work need to know your vision. A lot of problems can go away by talking with each other.
5. Live in the moment. Sometimes there is a lot to do to get where you need to go. There is a time when you can pat your self on the back and congratulate the team for a job well done. A war is not won in a single blow but by battles. Celebrate your small victories. Keep your team happy.
These are some of the mistakes that startups make. All businesses are different and have different capabilities. This is what makes working in the startup industry so much fun. Tell us what are your recommendations on some of the mistakes that startups make. The more information that is out there for people to access then better chances of success.