Today I had a long and interesting conversation with a tech company who had it all, and may stand to loose it all having forgotten to do marketing for 2 years.

NB. I posted without proof reading. So… yeeeah…

The company, who shall remain anon, wanted to speak to me because of my work in user acquisition in the developer market, had an great polished product, and even had a well funded to start, but as we spoke they had 2 months of funding left, and nowhere near enough users to keep running without a fresh injection of cash, and some big issues with visibility online.

I spent an hour and a half with their new CEO covering some marketing activity which I would consider some basics, but which had been overlooked in a developer heavy company focused 100% on product. And that really is the issue here…

The tech startup has forgotten one of the most important issues facing a new technology. Adoption and growth.

The money a VC or angel gives you is NOT just to develop the product but also to drive a generation of users who will act as your foundation for future growth. BUT, and I hate to say this to any developer/founder who is reading… you are not the tech messiah. You need someone focusing on your marketing… NOT just promotion and advertising…. Marketing… from day one. That covers:

  1. Product
  2. Prices
  3. Promotion
  4. Place
  5. Packaging
  6. Positioning
  7. People

In this specific conversation I had, I was talking to a company with a FINISHED product, who had never thought about:

How to communicate with their potential customers about the things they needed and the real benefits of the product they had produced…

  • they only had a very rough idea about who there users were,
  • Didn’t talk about there Saas product support, or or offer a product around that
  • The use-cases they were seeing around their product.
  • How to convince a person to become an ambassador.
  • The importance of understanding CPA and Cost per Paying customer
  • How to use ‘In product discovery’ to up/cross sell within a freemium model
  • How to judge limits on the freemium product based on the actual users and use cases

Despite all this, even though they only have a two months of funding left, I am confident that with the right guidance and a lazer sharp focus on marketing efforts in the next two months they can meet there ‘break even’ goals and secure a great future. It’s just a shame to see such a good product come this close to the line for the lack of investment in marketing knowledge and skill.

So remember people, marketing is not just glitter you sprinkle on the end. Forget this and you will suffer dearly.

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