Why marketing begins before startups go to market

Bart Burggraaf

The sage advice often repeated in the startup world goes a little like this; Identify a problem, get some funding, build your product to solve the problem, adjust it to the market as you go and achieve Product/Market fit. Get some more funding and then focus on growth. But what this admittedly good advice skips […]

networks

The sage advice often repeated in the startup world goes a little like this; Identify a problem, get some funding, build your product to solve the problem, adjust it to the market as you go and achieve Product/Market fit. Get some more funding and then focus on growth. But what this admittedly good advice skips over is the part before identifying a problem.

So if there is one thing I would tell prospective startup founders, it is this; before you start building a product or solution, find an audience. Finding an audience big enough to make a viable business, underserved by current solutions and willing to spend money, comes before thinking about a product or solution because even the best products don’t sell enough to pay the rent if a viable audience isn’t there.

Once you found an audience (or build one by offering value) talk to them. Ask them what their frustrations are, how you could do better than the companies out there, if they would spend money on a solution. Then fine tune your product to do exactly that. THIS is what marketing should be all about. Starting with finding a niche and then building the product USPs to fit them.

unnamed

First in a category, awesome! 32nd in a category? Who cares, you found a niche audience that will buy your product if you make it just for them. And once you dominate a niche, it will be possible to branch out and dominate a larger market.

Marketing a product that exactly fits an audience is EASY because all you need to do is make sure they hear about it. No hard selling and annoying them with ads. Yes you will still need to do great and creative marketing and having a bunch of funding to spend on advertising certainly helps. But your audience will love your product so much that with time they will do much of the marketing for you.

What if you are the unlucky CMO that joins as employee number 8 at a startup that makes better widgets?

Find a different job. But if you insist on staying, the best you can do is finding and communicating the areas of the product that differentiate it and fits a subset of the market. Even if this product wasn’t made with this audience in mind, getting some traction in a specific niche might show the rest of the company the need to re-align their product for that niche. Being the best product in a niche is better than being the umpteenth product in a larger market.

Read this next

Digital Assets

Silvergate dismisses speculation of trouble, says BlockFi exposure is minimal

Crypto-friendly bank Silvergate Capital claimed on a Tuesday blog post that it had minimal exposure to crypto lender BlockFi, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week.

Retail FX

Fidelity launches crypto trading for retail investors

Fidelity Investments, one of the largest brokerages in the world, has officially rolled out a commission-free crypto trading product for retail investors, starting with zero-fee trading for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Digital Assets

ECB head calls for tougher crypto regulation after FTX collapse

President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, has called on lawmakers to start working on fresh crypto regulations to protect the financial system after the collapse of the FTX exchange.

Retail FX

CySEC updates rules for regulated brokers’ cross border activity

As CySEC’s attitude of adopting more stringent licensing guidelines and operating regulations becomes ever clearer, certain aspects of the rules and operations start to come into sharper focus.

Market News

Outlook for Gold: Can the Precious Metal Regain Power?

Gold set an all-time high at $2070 on March 08, 2022, when the price skyrocketed amid investors’ worries about the military conflict in Eastern Europe.

Crypto Insider

2022 Islamic Finance recap: as the space continues to evolve, blockchain stands to play a big part

Despite the global economy being ravaged by turmoil induced by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last couple of years, the Islamic finance industry has emerged relatively unscathed

Crypto Insider

Decentralized Exchanges and Pooled Trading Platform Applications

Decentralized exchanges are one-way blockchain companies take back the power of value creation.

Crypto Insider

How to maximize the safety of your digital tokens?

Digitalization is the future of the investment world. These are the most preferred and growing investments in the world.

Institutional FX, Interviews

FIA EXPO 2022: Interview with Trading Technologies

The derivatives trading industry has gathered in Chicago to attend the FIA EXPO 2022 on 14-15 November. 

<