I’ve worked with a bunch of different startups both formally and informally, and often some variation of the below process has been undertaken before they’ve decided they might want help with marketing:
1) Create Awesome Product
2) Launch Awesome Product
3) Realize that merely posting existence of Awesome Product on their Twitter feed did not lead to 1,000,000 people beating down doors for Awesome Product
4) Try some Facebook ads because their seed investor asked them why they weren’t. And more Twitter posts. And…Google? And what is SEO again? And the other investor keeps asking us about our viral loops?
5) Hire a PR firm
6) Look at reports showing lots of clicks on ads and a big list of PR placements and try to connect that with demand for Awesome Product
7) Bury hands in face like girl above
In short, for a lot of companies I talk to I find that there has been a bunch of money and/or time invested and very little idea of what has worked and what hasn’t. It’s not that they aren’t creative and thorough about looking at and trying all the options that are out there for a modern internet marketer, it’s that they haven’t set up processes that will give them confidence that what they are trying is or isn’t useful for them. So money gets spent, results are inconclusive, and everyone comes away feeling frustrated. In the worst case scenario a company becomes jaded on the whole concept of marketing and everyone who purveys it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the goals of Lean Startup methodology is to help companies spend money and time more wisely and to understand what works and what doesn’t. This will be explored more in the next slide: Build, Measure, Learn.