In this module, you’ll learn about the important role that marketing strategy plays in supporting corporate strategy. When a company has a mission and a set of corporate-level objectives, the marketing strategy must support those goals, which is perhaps the most important lesson that the following companies—and many others like them—failed to learn:
“With Kolos, we did a lot of things right, but it was useless because we ignored the single most important aspect every startup should focus on first: the right product.”
“We didn’t spend enough time talking with customers and were rolling out features that I thought were great, but we didn’t gather enough input from clients. We didn’t realize it until it was too late. It’s easy to get tricked into thinking your thing is cool. You have to pay attention to your customers and adapt to their needs.”
“What I didn’t understand was, you charge not for how much work it is for you. You charge how much the service is worth.
As these companies attest, a lot of things can go wrong in the startup world, and learning the hard way can mean going out of business. Take a look at the following list, which reveals the major reasons startups fail:
Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail
Note: You may notice that the percentages in this equal far greater than 100%. This is because there are often multiple reasons a startup failed.
- No Market Need (42%)
- Ran Out of Cash (29%)
- Not the Right Team (23%)
- Get Outcompeted (19%)
- Pricing/Cost Issues (18%)
- Poor Product (17%)
- Need/Lack Business Model (17%)
- Poor Marketing (14%)
- Ignore Customers (14%)
- Product Mis-Timed (13%)
- Lose Focus (13%)
- Disharmony on Team/Investors (13%)
- Pivot gone bad (10%)
- Lack of Passion (9%)
- Bad Location (9%)
- No Financing/Investor Interest (8%)
- Legal Challenges (8%)
- Don’t Use Network/Advisors (8%)
- Burn Out (8%)
- Failure to Pivot (7%)
Many businesses go under because their products are inferior, because they don’t match a need, their pricing strategy is ill-conceived, their marketing lacks focus, or because of other issues related to product, price, promotion, or distribution. In essence, they fail to have a good plan that supports the goals of the company.
It is exceptionally difficult to get marketing strategy right. It is easy to get busy doing the work of the company, rather than planning the work that will ensure the company’s survival and success. Successful companies have a good corporate strategy that is supported by an effective marketing strategy. In this module, you’ll begin to understand why that’s so important.
- CB Insights. (2019, November 6). The top 20 reasons startups fail. https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/ ↵