What do most startups get wrong about marketing? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Christine Tsai, CEO and Founding Partner, 500 Startups, on Quora:
That they don’t need it.
This mistake fundamentally stems from failing to understand what marketing is – which is the greatest irony. Marketing is supposed to tell the world about your business, yet no one understands what marketing does. Because of how broad the function can be, many people have exposure to a specific facet or tactic of marketing and decide “that’s what marketing is”, without realizing that what works for one type of business won’t work for another.
It is important to nail the positioning and messaging for your product and understand exactly who your customer is. That is a core principle of marketing, which many people don’t realize. From there, a good marketing strategy is to identify how you will tell the world about this in a way that helps accomplish both the qualitative and quantitive KPIs. For some companies, branding is more critical. For others, performance marketing is. The common link is that you are trying to get access to a specific audience, convince them why they should care about your product or business, and incite them to take a desired action. The “build it and they will come” mentality never works.