Last night, I flipped through the new June 2006 issue of Business2.0 which is usually a pretty good read. However, I got mad last night when I read this issue’s cover story about “the 16 steps to building a bulletproof startup”.
I became agitated about Phase 4 / Step 2 which is “Develop the Sales and Marketing Plan”.
It’s not the “how-to” I have an issue with here. It’s the placement within the process. When you list marketing as step #14 out of 16 steps, it’s no wonder so many startups fail.
Marketing should be thought of as early as possible in the process…nearer to steps #1 and #2. Of course, you’re not going to be able to hire salespeople, do advertising, etc at this stage, but you should be thinking of how marketing will interact with the product along each step of the start-up process.
As I’ve always said….Marketing is best built in…not slapped on.