Chris Dixon wrote a post last week titled, The default state of a startup is failure, that I think is a must read for startup marketers. Chris shares the following ideas around building something new,
On the flip side, first-time entrepreneurs often fail to realize that when you build something new, no one will care. People won’t use your product, won’t tell people about it, and almost certainly won’t pay for it. (There are exceptions – but these are as rare as winning the lottery). This doesn’t mean you’ll fail. It means you need to be smarter and harder working, and surround yourself with extraordinary people.
While aimed at entrepreneurs, I think there is an important take away here for startup marketers as well.
No one cares about your slick UX and new features. It doesn’t matter how great that data sheet is or how fancy your new logo looks. Your snazzy email marketing is going right into the spam folder and your web site traffic is a joke.
The fact that nobody cares about your product is something that you need to embrace. It needs to be something that you are not only aware of but also motivated by. You have a challenge in front of you but also the opportunity to do something really special.
Where do you start? Here’s my recommendation:
- Add marketing from the start – building a great customer experience doesn’t happen by accident. Plan to add “remarkable-ness” at the beginning.
- Find ways to be different – decide where you are going to invest and what areas you are going to pass on. The hardest challenge is often saying no and realizing you can’t be everything to everyone.
- Bake your differentiators into your product, your teams and your entire organization. Give people something to talk about.
- Forget about your product, create a memorable story. Your (potential) customers don’t care about you. They care about their problems. Educate them on how you can make their life better and they will pay attention.
- Nail your product launch and don’t forget to make it easy to figure out what it is that you do (bonus points for the awesome “what we do” video intro).
Image Credit: jcoterhals