The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on November 28, 2018

Young startups don’t need a marketing strategy — they need tactics

Young startups don’t need a marketing strategy — they need tactics Image by: MediaVillage
Natasha Schön
Story by

Natasha Schön

Writer, travel fanatic, and Digital Marketer for Open Social -- in that order. Natasha is also the marketer for THX, a blockchain solution Writer, travel fanatic, and Digital Marketer for Open Social -- in that order. Natasha is also the marketer for THX, a blockchain solution for online communities that’s worth checking out. Follow her on Medium for more awesome content.

We know that marketing is essential for business. But it’s not for everybody, amirite? That’s totally understandable given the obscene pressure to stand out in a sea of competition when all you really want to do is focus on creating an awesome product or service.

Warning: I’m not here to tell you that you can skimp on marketing.

Marketing is especially important for startups because the truth is: A great product alone is not enough to succeed. It’s the way you speak, persuade, and build relationships with your (future) customers that helps your company take off.

On top of that, startups are a total marketing edge case. No other type of company is more hungry for growth. It doesn’t matter if you’re a SaaS business or a new corner store selling vegan snacks.

The fact is, you need great marketing to spread the word and propel your company forward.

But I have good news: It doesn’t have to require all your time and effort to become successful at it.

I’ll be showing you an alternative way to approach marketing for your startup that will attract enough new customers for little time and almost no cost.

Ditch the myth that you need a strategy

You don’t need an elaborate marketing strategy to get the word out about your product. At least not right away. When I talk about strategy, I’m referring to a framework. A plan of action, rather than actions. A long-term view rather than a short-term one.

Having a strategy has always been epitomized. And rightly so, since it guides decisions and helps companies avoid running in too many directions. A well-thought-out plan can often be the key to maintaining success.

Creating a marketing strategy may not be the best starting point for a startup 

However, in the beginning, you should focus on tactics instead. If you’re a startup and are juggling a bazillion (it’s a number, ok?) tasks, then tactics are a much friendlier approach to your marketing.

Sean Ellis, the founder of Growth Hackers, has described how in the early days of, the most crucial task was to come up with a steady flow of tactics. It’s especially important to keep coming up with ideas, executing on them, and measuring the results.

Because you’ll be fighting for attention online, and not just with your competitors, but with everything. It’s not going to be obvious what will work from the start.

So, why choose tactics?

  • Tactics will allow you to implement fast, rather than spending time thinking too far ahead. This leaves you with more time for other tasks.
  • Tactics are amenable; they are easy to control and have shorter feedback loops that help you see what works.
  • Tactics allow room from creativity. If a tactic isn’t working, then you can try something completely different. Because why not?

I call it a bottom-up approach. You come up with a set of tactics, execute them, see what works, and then re-adjust. Sounds easy enough, right? The best part is that if you effectively implement a few tactics, then it eventually becomes a great strategy.

Hope isn’t lost

If you don’t have time or money for a marketing strategy or fancy techniques, not all hope is lost. Hopefully, I’ve been able to persuade you that tactics maybe be the right approach for your startup — at first.

Building a strong online presence is more important than ever, and all you need to start doing is implement tactics that you have time for and see what works. Keep in mind that as you grow, a strategy becomes necessary to balance different teams and tasks.

Back to top