Don’t think “And we got here with no marketing!” is impressive

A Founder's Notebook

Edited excerpt from “No Marketing” Isn’t as Impressive as You Think by Ben Yoskovitz:

Almost every early stage startup that pitches me these days talks about the traction they’ve had with absolutely no marketing whatsoever. When you tell me that you’ve done no marketing what I hear is: “I don’t really know who my customer is yet. I have no idea how to find them. I don’t really understand my value proposition. But trust me, when we do start marketing everything will be awesome.”

Marketing is about genuinely understanding your customer and the pain they have. It’s about reaching out through many channels, multiple times and building relationships with people such that they immediately recognize that you get them. It’s about speaking the right language and using the right messages.

If a smattering of users show up at your website and sign up you don’t know anything about them…

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