Marketing Mistakes Start Ups Make

Published: 3/19/2007 9:31:57 AM

I recently came across a list of marketing mistakes that start up companies make.  Thanks to Rosemary Remacle of Market Focus for her insights.  I thought I would use that list as the basis for a series on marketing for start ups.

The first mistake in the series is waiting to staff the marketing function until the product is far along in development.  This is a classic situation where the founders, who are frequently techie-types,  have determined to build a product to satisfy a demand they perceive to exist in the marketplace.  Maybe they even know some people or companies that have indicated a desire to purchase or pilot test their product or service.

They continue in product development, secure financing and then hire the marketing person.  That's usually when the wheels fall off the vehicle.  The lack of early marketing input results in a number of assumptions that were built into the product that later marketing discovers are not desired by the wider marketplace, or even the new target market.

The result is a company and product set that has to be re-engineered just as it is getting off the ground.  Not a pretty picture.  The first marketing hire should be a product marketing specialist, who is capable of working with the engineering team and reconciling the market research with the product benefits.  Waiting until the product is far along in development before getting marketing input is a risky way to go.

Don Jones


Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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