Do You DO Marketing? (Lean Marketing Strategies)

As soon as you launch your business, you need to think about marketing. Follow this actionable advice to handle marketing on a budget.

“…When it came down to hiring a programmer or spending money on marketing, we hired the programmer because we viewed them as critical to our business. The marketing we did do was ‘helter-skelter,’ and as a result, we weren’t as successful as we could have been and eventually closed the business.”Bob Maiden, founder, The Maxwell Group, Ready, Launch, Brand: The Lean Marketing Guide for Startups

A common marketing myth is that a startup must wait years before it can spend money on marketing. I call it the “Nike Syndrome,” and I devote an entire chapter to it in my book, Ready, Launch, Brand. The thinking goes like this: “…it’s easy to market when you’re Nike. They’re the #1 sports brand in the world and they have deep pockets. I’m just a little company.”

What’s surprising is that this line of thinking doesn’t apply to expenses such as IT, legal and accounting. They are seen as investments in the success of their business. If you’re no longer able to upgrade your software and hardware, you know your business is in trouble. Since most startup founders think of marketing as an expense, it’s typically the first item that gets cut when business is slow.

The data tells a different story. It turns out that companies that invest in marketing do better in lean economic times than the ones that don’t. And when you cut marketing, it takes much more time to rebuild your content. In the meantime, you’ll have lost the momentum you built. Marketing is the engine to sales, and therefore critical to business growth and success.