Marketing and sales, the key functions of any business to generate the revenues to keep you in operation. But when is the right time to start marketing and sales activity when you are a start-up business?

marketing, outbound marketing, social media


This question needs a bit of thought. When you are ready is the right answer, but what on earth does that actually mean?

Are those who shout their intentions from the roof-tops and let the world know that they are coming before they actually do correct?

Or is it more appropriate to stay quiet working away diligently in a “black box” only targeting a selected audience to achieve your purpose.

Marketing and Sales : Start early to raise awareness?

Conscious of the fact that marketing and sales are different functions, for the purpose of this article, I am going to discuss the two under the umbrella of “awareness”. For the experts in either – I apologise in advance for any misrepresentation.

I had an interesting chat with a colleague today about his previous life in a major start-up in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. When they started out, the company had thirty people working for it all of whom were told to say absolutely nothing to anyone about what they are doing.

There was no marketing. Sales meetings with potential targeted clients were undertaken without fuss. This tactic was continued until the company floated in the stock exchange 10 years later and they are now making revenues of about $500million/quarter.

Essentially they operated black box and managed to grow without shouting their names from the roof tops when they were in start-up mode. They built a strong business by creating a very definite set of rules on their approach and sticking to their guns.

This contrasts strongly with the shout it from the roof-tops (e.g.  social media marketing) approach. This tactic is about raising the product/service awareness to as wide an audience as possible. Many newer businesses, ourselves included, have raised awareness even before commercial launch as a way of generating interest that will (hopefully) be converted into sales post launch.

So which is the right way to go?

For us, the decision to start our marketing and sales in advance was made for two reasons;

Firstly, to start generating an engagement with possible clients so that we were not starting blind at commercial launch.  Secondly because we are an open company and are happy to share our experiences as we progress with people who might be interested in such things. Openness is good currency in my view.

This does not necessarily make the decision we made the “right one” though. We are open for criticisms, potentially showing our hand to competitors etc. We are happy we made the right call for ourselves, but this does not make it right for you and your business.

What are your thoughts on when the right time to start marketing and sales is?

Photo : Suneko

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