Jumpstart Your Startup: Top 5 Marketing Challenges to Overcome

Founder of Orchid Agency
Mariya Finkelshteyn
June 6, 2022
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Establishing a startup is kind of like jumping into shark-infested waters. It takes a lot of guts, it can be dangerous, it can be risky, but you’ve got quite the story to tell if you survive. 

There's not a lot of brand recognition to help get your foot in the door, your budget is limited, and you’ve got a lot of competition. Not to mention the fact that you’re going to need to navigate the digital sphere if you want the best reach possible.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, for as many challenges each startup faces there are just as many solutions. You can learn from other businesses, professional opinions, online resources, and more. While learning from success is a good way of building your startup, it also helps to know what challenges you’ll be facing and what to avoid. 

To help grow your startup, here are 5 marketing challenges you should look out for.

 Lack of Marketing Strategy

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When building a startup, you can’t just “wing it” and hope for the best, you have to put in some effort. Now, no one goes into starting a business without some sort of marketing plan or strategy but it might not be enough. 

While it’s tempting to just do what you hear in a podcast or book from successful entrepreneurs or CEOs to help you chase after the next “big thing”. You can’t just throw caution to the wind and expect to strike oil. You’re going to need to develop a proper marketing strategy.

Developing a proper marketing strategy can provide your startup with a slew of benefits. Your marketing strategy will help you achieve your goals, stay on track within your target audience, filter out tempting distractions, and measure objectives and ROI.

But perhaps the most important reason for developing a marketing strategy is that it keeps you from spending money in the wrong places. Overall having a proper marketing strategy is important if you want to survive the first few years of your startup. 

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According to a survey from Beam, out of 1000 businesses, 56.9% of startups have dedicated marketing teams. Although, building a marketing team from the beginning isn’t always feasible. Hiring an advisor is more flexible, they have the marketing expertise to guide you in developing and executing your marketing strategy.

Poor and Inconsistent Messaging

A business is a relationship and like any good relationship, communication is key. With so much noise out there, delivering a clear and concise message to set your business apart from the competition is essential.

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Your message is tied to customer experience. Having relevant messaging for your startup can aid brand loyalty, reach, and most importantly customer satisfaction. Today businesses are communicating with their audience in more personalized ways than ever before.. According to a survey from Campaign Monitor, emails are the most common method startups use to communicate with customers at 71.8% followed by Facebook at 60.8%.

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Too often the customer experience can go undermined and unappreciated by inconsistent messaging.  

For instance, if your potential or current customer has issues or inquiries, responding promptly and intelligently can make for a fantastic customer experience. 

Overall, inconsistent messaging can lead to customers being confused, concerned, and unwilling to do business with you in the future. To avoid this problem, it helps to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

Generic or “Me-Too” Content

“Me-Too” content has become a default when it comes to marketing and often businesses will start making content to garner general interest. While it can be easy to reel in interest with generic content it can often come off as lacking any real value or unengaging.  Making generic content strategies can kill a company’s marketing budget and ROI so it’s best to avoid it.

Set up a plan, lean into your unique selling point (USP), and engage in compelling storytelling. It can be hard to avoid generic content and it’s easy to fall back into it when you’re out of ideas but helps if you have a solid plan. 

Analyze the situation, set up clear objectives, showcase how you’re different from the competition and don’t be afraid to stand out with your marketing plans.

Under Developing Your Brand

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When it comes to branding you don’t just stop at color schemes, themes, and a logo; branding is more than that. A brand is a voice, a purpose, a vision, and a promise. The longer you go without a clear brand the more confused your customers become.

Developing or investing in your brand can have a huge impact on your startup. It can foster brand recognition and loyalty, it can help you develop clear goals, and it can help you effectively target your audience. When you under-develop your brand, you run the risk of spending money on ineffective marketing campaigns. You can even push away customers with inconsistent branding.

Failing to develop your brand can cause irreparable damage to your business and image. While it might be good to proceed with caution before going all-in on your brand, indecisiveness in branding can hurt your startup. 

To avoid under-developing your brand it helps to foster your own identity, know your audience, understand your niche, and stay uniquely you. Most importantly you should stay authentic and consistent while being open to change and innovation. 

Time Management and Expectations

Unfortunately, success doesn’t come overnight. Marketing takes a lot of time, and it helps to have a little bit of patience. 

Despite the importance of time management in a business, according to Statista, almost half of all startups only spend 2 hours or less on marketing per week.

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Every business owner wants to see fast results while making things cost-effective. Another aspect of time you should take into consideration is the timing of your marketing campaigns. When setting up your marketing plan you should take into consideration how your marketing campaigns and channels align with your sales cycle.

Overall, setting up marketing plans for your startup can be a time-sensitive task. You’ll need to manage how much time you have, how to find the best time to maximize your sales, and how to manage expectations with long-term goals. 

While there are shortcuts to achieving your goals it’s not a good practice to rely on them too much. An example of bad timing is releasing special offers for products when you don’t have much of a client base or track record. An even worse scenario would be releasing a special offer when you know a competitor is releasing a much-anticipated product or service during your offer’s window. 

Overcoming these marketing challenges may seem hard, but if you are successful you will see your startup grow quickly. If you’d like to discuss the marketing challenges you’re currently facing please drop us a message.

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