Why do startup marketers burn out (and startups sink)?

Click to watch my video walk-through below 👇

1. We are taught marketing is omnipotent

  • Misunderstood marketing magnitude “Remarkable marketing we can grow any business.”
  • We see ONLY marketing problems and keep pushing (the root cause is lack of “unmet need “in the market)
In the startup world, marketing amplifies the existing UNMET NEEDS. Creating artificial demand results in bad retention and low Word-of-Mouth (WOM).

2. Marketing goals are squeezed out of delusional company targets

  • Can’t sell ice cubes to the North Pole -> no market exists

Startups mix up PROBLEMS and UNEMT needs:

PROBLEM = Any problem we can make out. There are millions of problems with any given topic.

UNMET NEED = A pain that existing solutions don’t cure, and the pain should be a top 3 issue in a person’s mind.

As a result, we see ONLY a marketing problem; even the root cause is failing company strategy (WHAT problem we are solving and WHO).

And we keep pushing until we a stressed out.

Caption: You need to line up Problem -> Feature -> Unmet need
Healthy business and marketing goals require an unmet need on the market.

Meditation app example:

Startups often build solutions to vanity problems.

“The meditation app market is huge.”

“Let’s build a meditation app with 100x more meditation tracks than rivals.”

And this ends up in delusional goals like:

“We aim for 10 million users during the first two years…”


Because most likely, the number of mediation tracks is not the PROBLEM with existing solutions.

I’ve been using Headspace since 2015, and if I struggle with my meditation routine, the ISSUE is something else than the number of meditation tracks.

I might be too busy, too lazy, frustrated with results, my meditation technique is lacking etc…

And any reason above could be a real UNMET NEED. But the PROBLEM is NOT offering 100x meditation tracks compared to others.

With this kind of “shallow problem”, eventually, the first business challenge occurs when marketing can’t reach the goals.

You can’t sell ice cubes to the North Pole.

It’s not a MARKETING problem. It’s a COMPANY STRATEGY problem.

If you need help with these topics, you can always chat with me here: https://mypage.leadoo.com/jalmarikivinen

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