Marketing Skills for Startups

Marketing Skills for Startups is the secret sauce of success of businesses. Many a times, businesses are started by solopreneurs and they may not have all the skills required to run a startup.

 The starting team must have domain knowledge expertise and revenue driver in the team. Technical/Digital world startups are by tech. savvy persons. They can build a world class product or service but if they cannot reach potential audience the business is a nonstarter.

The following statement from twitter amply illustrates why startups should understand the need for marketing skills.

The Digital Skills Gap for Startup Businesses: More than 90% of startups do not know what is digital marketing.

Marketing Skills for Startups- Experiential Learning

Marketing has to be learnt only by doing and is an ideal example of experiential learning. Experience cannot be substituted with any amount of knowledge from seminars, webinars, books etc. Facing the customer and of course, getting rejected is the best experience. 


The following quote by Marketing Guru amply supports this.

 “Marketing takes a day to learn.  Unfortunately, it takes a lifetime to master.”  by Philip Kotler

This one requires little explanation.  While the concepts behind marketing are (hopefully) fairly intuitive to the savvy businessperson, the many best practices, enablers, and knowledge to balance creativity with data-driven decision-making come with time, experience, and a never-ending appetite for continuous innovation and improvement.

Marketing Skills for Startups - Why ?

Marketing is essentially a communication or dialogue with prospects to make them take action or referred to as Call to Action by customers. The Internet makes communication more important than ever.

In this era of digital world any startup needs to use both direct marketing tools and digital marketing tools. Digital Marketing calls for content creation. Content creation depends on good writing skills and this has suddenly become a must have skill for any business team.

 Key Challenges for Startups

Virtual world skills

We are all aware that there is content overload in the virtual world.  Anyone can direct any mail to SPAM or use spam filters so that messages never reach them. (May be target audience)

This is a real challenge for any startup.

When small businesses communicate with their customers by providing information instead of offering a sales pitch, the consumers will listen.

SEO skills and data analytical skills have become important as this can help in targeting the right fishing holes.

Marketing Skills for Startups- The Coveted e- Mail List

Getting a prospect to share their e-mail is a great challenge. The statistics reveal if you have 1000 e- mail list the conversion is in the range of 1-10%. This is really challenging as how to make those who convert to make repeat purchases.

One has to learn how to write an effective e-mail to get attention.

Marketing Skills for Startups - B-B Startups

The startup in B-B space is a real challenge as the buyers may be risk averse and may not want to buy from a startup. This requires, basically, relationship skills. It may take several rounds of visits or even if sales are made, the cash cycle can become longer. 

Marketing Skills for Startups- Conclusion

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Success in marketing comes from experimentation. Successful marketing programs take time to build. It’s very easy, as a result, to become distracted.

Specialized skills like SEO optimization, online marketing and data analytics services can be entrusted to specialists. Customer interface should be handled by startup team members.

If the startup can afford for lead generation, fresh graduates can be hired as it involves legwork.

Be creative, and do not be afraid to try experiments. Measure your efforts and discard those that do not yield result. May be a new  business is born as a Marketing Skill coach with all this experimentation