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Startup Marketing challenges and lessons from 2014

Jan 10, 2015 / by Vitaly Pecherskiy

At StackAdapt we love topics of entrepreneurship and startups, so for this piece I figured I’d share some startup marketing lessons we learned in 2014. Even though I write with startups in mind, I am sure the fundamentals transfer over to large enterprises too.

1. Most distribution channels that you hear about are really crowded.

Ask any marketer about the channels to reach their customers, and you will hear more or less the same answer: sales, SEO, paid search, social. There is no point in denying that these channels can do wonders, but they have simply become so crowded that it is now very difficult and expensive for a startup to break through the noise. These may work for large brands with massive budgets and established sales processes, but small new companies need to start thinking startup marketing and find new creative channels to get the message out. We have come up with 20 distribution channels. Can you?

2. Content amplification will haunt you.

Everyone seems to have gone crazy over content marketing, and rightfully so. What many people aren’t talking about is – how do I reach the target audience with this content?

Whereas content creation can be centralized in-house, content amplification calls for building external ‘pipes’ to reach the right audience. See the point above on crowded social networks as a distribution channel.

3. Get ready to deal with broken attribution.

Log into your Google Analytics and you will either think Google is The Second Coming, or you will start questioning whether something is wrong. 95% leads coming from Google Search even though you pump dollars like crazy on Facebook and Twitter? Well, it seems it’s simply easier for a user to type your company’s name in the Chrome’s search bar, rather than clicking on a social ad, get redirected to your fan page, and then look for your company’s URL.

Regardless how awesome you are on social networks, get ready to accept that a massive percentage of your conversions/traffic will come from Google whether it rightfully earned it or not. Awareness tactic, unfortunately, doesn't belong only in large brands' vocabulary.

4. [Bonus] Most people on the web aren’t startup marketers!

This one is somewhat of a positive one! To this day I am shocked to see how involved many people are on the web. They read articles from people they don’t know, they learn about companies they will never buy from, and they share stories within their networks! (Sometimes I wonder if anything would ever go viral if an average user shared and ‘liked’ stories around the web the same way I do it.)

What more marketers need to start realizing is that on the scale of the Internet, there are virtually no startup marketers! We, a tech startup, get hundreds of shares at times from people who aren’t related to our industry in any shape or form. What I am surprised to see is how hungry people still are for information and knowledge!

What I would suggest startup marketers is to assume people want to learn about your story and hear what you have to say, make this message valuable, and you will be surprised just how big the Internet is.


By Vitaly Pecherskiy, Co-Founder/COO

Topics: Startup culture, Blog Posts

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