10 Reasons Why Startups Fail in Digital Marketing
September 15, 2016 Nashaat Quadri
It’s observed worldwide that 90% of the startups fail. Some of them fail because of lack of vision and strategy, some because of lack of funds and most fail because business owners aren’t able to run their marketing campaigns successfully.
Most of the startups usually have no clue as to why their marketing (digital marketing in the present context) campaigns aren’t successful. Experts at Techmagnate, a leading digital marketing agency, analyzed this issue, studied various case studies and then prepared a list of top 10 reasons why startups fail in digital marketing. Here we go:
1. Expecting Overnight Success
You’ll find some exciting stats about successful digital marketing campaigns in almost every online journal. However, these stories and facts aren’t that common in the real world. So, these stats shouldn’t be treated as benchmarks for success for every other campaign that you undertake. You may encounter sudden surprises and complexities based on diverse real-life situations. There is no magic wand here and you can’t expect overnight success.
Digital media is powerful, but to achieve sustainable growth and visibility, you need to wait for a “gestation period” when your actions actually start yielding any significant and consistent results.
Moblyng, a company with a total equity finance of $17.4M, based in Redwood City, California, was a developer and publisher of HTML5 social games. The company was founded in 2008 and shut down in 2012. It was a classic example of wrong forecasting of the time required to get some traction, as far as generating revenues are concerned. Their HTML5 social games took too much time to get some traction and by that time, the company had run out of cash and time. The games were launched in October, but audiences started growing only in December. Even a strong platform like Facebook couldn’t help much in this.
2. Not Measuring the Cost Per Acquisition
Measurability is a great advantage as far as digital marketing campaigns are concerned and we need more data-driven campaigns to achieve it.
A campaign has to be data-driven to be effective. Most of the successful startups and MNCs implement data-driven strategies in order to be successful.
So, apart from being able to measure incoming traffic, we should also be able to measure conversion rate, which is the true indicator of a campaign’s performance.
If the cost per acquisition is not measured in advance, you’re likely to overspend and run out of money soon bringing your digital marketing campaign to its dead end.
3. Outsourcing Remains the Only Mantra
Nothing can be more disastrous if you choose to outsource and think that your responsibility is over. In fact, you need to understand your campaign and assign someone in your marketing department to track and control your campaign even if it’s outsourced.
It’s true that agencies have the required expertise and play an important role, but you’re living in an illusion if you think that they will take care of end to end execution of the campaign. A high rate of campaign failures occurs because of a clients’ lack of proper control on the campaign and a lack of communication between the agency and the client. For this, the people in charge of marketing should educate themselves about digital marketing processes.
4. Technology Team Alone Taking Business Decisions
Marketing is an activity which requires specialized knowledge and skills and this becomes even more true in the case of digital marketing. Technology supports marketing functions, but we can’t authorize technology teams to take charge of the entire campaign. Somehow, the person who executes the campaign should be aware of the key strategies, the market, and customer behavior. Without considering these three factors, a successful campaign can’t be run, regardless of the technology you are using. Digital marketing is 70% marketing and 30% technology. Though marketing leverages technology for the execution of campaigns, measurability and scaling them up, it’s largely a marketing activity.
5. Losing the Focus on Customer
Every business loves singing the chorus of customer friendliness and customer oriented strategies and policies but sometimes they lose the focus on the customer while running their marketing campaigns. Customers are at the core of every business and if you lose your focus, it will affect the results.
6. Hiring Without Vision and Plan
Hiring is an important activity as far as building a digital marketing team is concerned. At times, you don’t have a sound strategy and vision for digital marketing of your business. It is more or less the same as outsourcing your digital marketing activities to an agency, where you are almost clueless about the nature, objectives and impact of your campaign.
As a business owner you and your marketing team have an important role to play, regardless of whether you outsource digital marketing or recruit in-house professionals.
7. Tacky Social Media Management
The biggest mistake people make while running their online camping on social media is following what others are doing, while it’ not necessary sometimes to even initiate a social media campaign, especially if your audience comes from some other channels. A mere popularity of a medium (a social media channel) shouldn’t determine its inclusion in our digital marketing campaign. It should be determined on our business objectives and target audience.
In general, search engine marketing and paid advertising is found to be more effective for startups as compared to social media marketing, as far as lead generations are concerned. Social media is very helpful in Enterprise SEO, i.e. SEO for large and established companies.
8. Underestimating the Importance of Content
Content is often said to be the queen of digital marketing, whereas distribution is considered to be the king. Quality content is as important for content marketing campaigns, as pure blood is to health. Regardless of how good your tactics are, you will not succeed much, if your campaign is not supported by quality content.
If a regular flow of high-quality content is not maintained, as it happens with most of the small businesses, you can’t achieve any traction in your campaign.
Scarcity and poor quality of content lead to poor results and consequently failure of a digital marketing campaign.
9. Not Using the Latest Technologies
Another reason why digital marketing campaigns fail is the use of outdated technology, software and tools. If you are not using up to date tools and software, even the most creative ideas and best strategy can fail. Companies that are successful rely on latest tools.
10. Assuming Digital Marketing is One Trick Pony
We can’t depend on just one channel or a tactic while running a campaign. It’s one of the surest ways to disaster in the uncertain world of web marketing. There is no dearth of marketing channels in the web space. Your strategy should be aimed at covering all the customer touch -points for maximum visibility and results.