5 Common Myths of Marketing: Debunked!

THE HANGAR Booster Programme highlights: Marketing 101

Contributed by Rebecca Tan Li Qi

“Marketing in start-ups is too important to do it wrong”, says Thibaut Briere, Founder of Growth Marketing Studio.

Yet, many start-up founders may not understand what marketing really is.

In the first week of THE HANGAR Booster Programme, we invited Thibaut to debunk the common myths of marketing.

Myth #1: “If my products or services are good, they will sell themselves.”

Actually, that’s not the case.

Look at the mere number of start-ups that deliver quality products and services but are still struggling to survive and expand.

The reality is, many competitors are offering alternative solutions to the problem your start-up is solving. Even if you operate in a niche market, there is no guarantee that no other start-up is selling the same product or service as you.

Selling your brand and solution is critical to your start-ups’ success.

Not convinced? Think about why leading tech companies like Apple and Disney continue to invest heavily in marketing (and of course while improving their offerings at the same time).

Myth #2: “Marketing is advertising.”

In fact, advertising is only one aspect of marketing.

Marketing is not only about creating aesthetic Instagram posts or websites, or speaking faster or more confidently.

It’s about the process of understanding the psychology, demographics and firmographics of your target customers. Only when you can visualise the specific personas of your customers, then you can develop products and services that meet their needs.

Myth #3: “My marketing message needs to be inspirational.”

That’s only if your start-up is already highly established.

Else, stick to simple language when articulating your product value proposition to your customers — with no jargon and fluff.

Show how you are different but do it in simple language. In that way, you will attract your target audience to your product.

Myth #4: “Having a nice logo is important.”

“Your logo has zero influence”, emphasises Thibaut.

Surprised?

“When it comes to marketing, it’s more about building trust with your potential customers”, he adds.

People don’t trust companies. People trust people.

Focus on building your personal brand, share your start-up journey (not technical things because most people don’t care about them), share your wins and failures, share your values and above all, be vulnerable so that people can relate to you.

Once you have established trust with your customers, things get much easier.

Myth #5: “I need to have a mature product or service first before I start marketing.”

Can you imagine developing your product, then paying an agency to design your logo and build your website? And when everything is ready, you run Facebook advertisements only to realise you have no customers.

Imagine all the time, money and effort (and perhaps tears) you invested all come to nothing.

It’s painful.

Start marketing from the moment you identify your problem statement.

Seek to understand your potential customers, the problems they have, the alternative solutions in the market and how they feel when they face this problem (okay, you get it, the list goes on). Then, refine your marketing strategy along the way.

Ultimately, marketing is a learning process that requires consistent trial and error. With patience and endurance, you can be confident that your marketing strategy will improve.

Stay tuned to this space for more updates on the current run of THE HANGAR Booster Programme (June intake)!

Want to take your start-up to the next level but missed the application for this run? Reach out to us at enterprise@nus.edu.sg to find out more about our next run in October 2021!

NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.