Frequently Asked Marketing Question

What kind of strategy and marketing efforts do we need to put in for a services start-up?

Answer: Here at MarketingProfs we're always getting questions about what kind of marketing know-how you need for a start-up company. It turns out we have lots of articles on our site that are crucial for understanding the marketing of a start-up company.
So what do start-ups really need to know? Here is our list, summarized from a MarketingProfs article by Allen Weiss (which you can read in its entirety at
- Beware of the First Mover Myth
Aside from the fact that established companies with much larger funds usually take over the market from first movers, first movers have a huge task in educating the market.
- Don't Push your Services or Products
Most start-ups begin with a good idea, and people in the start-up company are typically thrilled with it. The problem is that many of these start-ups don't do enough research to find out if anybody wants their new idea.
If you're in a start-up, don't push your services or products onto your customers…they won't buy them!
- Don't Plan without Robustness
Most marketing plans of start-ups are shortsighted. While the plan may be good for today, the world always changes. Think about all those start-up internet companies that relied heavily on advertising for income, but are now facing bankruptcy. Why? The world changed like it always does. But if your marketing plan was robust, these changes wouldn't be so devastating.
- Short Cuts and Bad Thinking
Often start-ups operate in a mode of quick thinking, a fast pace, and extreme forms of uncertainty. While exciting, this is precisely the condition when people make use of short cuts in thinking. These short cuts are what we in academics call "heuristics." The important point is to understand how these heuristics work for or against you in the high uncertainty situations in which start-ups often operate.
- Compatibility is not Just About Relationships
We've written several articles on this site trying to emphasize the importance of compatibility in marketing. An example of such an article is "What You can Learn from Infomercials" One reason this is so important is that the history of innovations and new ideas (and many start-ups begin with a "new" idea) shows that the adoption of new innovations is highly dependent on how compatible they are with existing ways of doing things.
- Service Can Save You
Why is service on the Internet (and in the offline world as well) so bad? There are many reasons for this I suspect, but one reason is likely to be that people just believe they know how to provide good service (of course, understanding is one thing, implementation is another). Many start-ups get so focused on the cool tactics of marketing (advertising, press coverage, handing out samples) and cool technologies that the basic concepts of good service are simply assumed.
Anything Else?
Of course there are several other things that every start-up should know (e.g., How to Segment Markets, Predict Competitive Reactions, Create a Brand Platform, and if you're going to do advertising you better understand The Hierarchy of Communications).
Start by reading the whole article at
and from there you’ll find a number of useful links to other related pieces that you’ll find difficult to resist stop reading!

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