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21 Dec

1st Digital Marketing Sin by Start-up’s!

You can “talk the talk” but can you “walk the walk?” What this tries to explain in a silly sort of way, is a not so silly, 1st “Sin” committed by most start-ups – Strategy & Ideas, without Execution Experience.

A Startup is cool, fun, and exciting. It provides a range of possibilities to the founding team on how to acquire, retain, and re-market to customers. The founding team may have had past experience and may have read or heard enough about “growth-hacking” and they believe that applying what AirBnB did to acquire customers or BYJU’s method of brand building can be easily applied to their own. But what they are unable to see or know is that the ‘Theory of marketing’ without ‘experienced execution’ is essential, a ‘concept without follow-through’.

This is one of the 7 Digital Marketing Sins, most commonly noticed in budding start-ups.

Let’s look at this in a bit more detail:

  1. Execute & Evaluate – Let the Data speak
    1. Start-ups devote the majority of their time thinking, planning, or debating with their agency, based on hidden-biases or previous experience and a context from past campaigns. They spend months on a Strategy that will probably become obsolete in the next few months. The quickest way to know what works is to execute. Execution provides you with data that helps you adjust your strategy and scale fast. When it comes to digital marketing, time & evolution play a major role. What you knew about Instagram just two months ago, will not be relevant anymore. What you knew about consumer behavior may have been completely altered due to external factors.
      Marketing Execution Skills
  2. Focus on Continuous Improvement – No perfect plan
    1. If any member of your marketing team or agency tells you that “this is a perfect plan”, they are wrong. There is no such thing. What you have instead is a ‘trial & error’ system in the digital world. Agree on brand guidelines (“my campaigns should have these colors or images or copy text that looks like this”) and business objectives (“I’m hoping that this campaign makes my customers think that we are a big company” or “I’m hoping to get people to visit our website”). Once that’s out of the way, start your campaign – with a small budget. Test and iterate, continuously. Look at the data closely for the first three months, every week, and then work with those that run your campaign to keep adjusting and editing the execution. Your actual ‘Strategic Roadmap’ will only emerge at the end of the first three months.
  3. Experiment with the New – Try the Trending
    1. You are a new company. You can experiment. Start-ups are best positioned to experiment with new technological trends in the digital marketing world. Take advantage of it. Imagine being among the first few brands when Instagram came out. Or the first few brands that tried out WhatsApp Marketing. Take a chance, it can be hugely rewarding, and if it is not, you will have known why it does not work and explain that to an investor when she tells you, “You guys should be trying this out in your marketing.”
  4. Trust the Experts – They have more experience

Expertise is nothing but the wisdom of experience. That experience comes from knowing what works and what doesn’t. There is a reason why big companies trust their digital marketing agencies. The agencies do this every day, for different brands, across different mediums. Like you know your business, they know theirs (at least the good agencies do). So trust them. Give them the freedom to experiment. Treat them like an extension of your marketing department. Collaborate and learn along with them. The worst thing you can do is to treat them like a ‘vendor’.

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