Great marketers are…

William Kentridge — Man with Megaphone 1998
William Kentridge — Man with Megaphone 1998

Imagine you’re the founder of a startup. And you’ve built a product.

How do you promote it?

Social media, content marketing, newsletter, ads, etc. You know, the usual acquisition channels.

Okay, cool. But what after that? How do you retain customers?

This is the life and death question for startups.

So, why many startups just focus on acquiring customers?

Because acquiring customer help startups to grow in short-term. So they’ll able to raise money.

That’s why so many startups (nearly 90%) fail.

Our mindset is the problem.

Let’s back to basics. What’s the marketing?

According to Investopedia:

Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product or service.

Is it true? Are we just a bunch of people with megaphones?

Is marketing just pushing, yelling, and interrupting?

Keep reading. 👇

I founded my first startup around 2017…

At that time, I didn’t have any idea what the heck is marketing. But I knew one thing: the customer is the boss.

The startup was a tech blog. Before even starting, we face some challenges:

  • The market was statured. We couldn’t be just another tech blog.
  • We didn’t have extra money. So we couldn’t spend on ads.

We needed to be different and also be creative.

We position ourselves as a tech blog just for teenagers (16–19 years old) who passionate about tech gadgets.

Then, we reach out to the first potential users.

“Let’s send DM to people who may be interested in our blog.” My friend said.

We sent cold messages to more than 400 people. For a few days traffic skyrocketed, but, there was a catch. After a while, we back to 0.

“Something should change here,” I said.

You know, I love counterintuitive ideas — Ideas that aren’t “normal”.

This is what we have done:

  • We closed the website for the public. Only people with a password and username could enter the website.
  • There wasn’t any signup button. Crazy, right?
  • People can earn membership by sending an email to us and explain why they want to join or get an invitation from the current users.
  • We sent personalized messages to our best friends. We invite 100 people.
  • We talk to people every day and make changes accordingly.

Are we get any results? Good question.

In just 7 months we go from nothing to nearly 500 unique users per day.

Without running any ads. Without spending a dime for customer acquisition.

We just make people feel values and we listen to them.

Marketing is about listening and making people feel valued

I know, I know, marketing is how you promote your product and grow your business.

But do you believe interrupting and making average things is the answer?

This is what most marketers do right now. They just have a megaphone on their hands and start yelling.

They don’t listen. They don’t make people feel valued.

They just want to sell. And you know, people hate being sold to.

Don’t believe me?

Okay, go over YouTube, open one of your favorite videos, and then you’ll see how marketers interrupt you. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?

Listen. People have many choices, thus their churn.

So, how can we lower the cost of acquisition, increase retention and grow our businesses?

Make people feel valued. Listen to them.

That’s it?

Yup. Simple, yet hard.

Your turn:

  • Do you constantly listen to your target audience?
  • How do you make people feel valued?
  • What’s a more ambitious version of your current systems look like?

Keep Rocking! 🤘

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