In reading Peter Kellogg’s blog post on how marketing shouldn’t be left to the marketing department, it got me thinking about why marketing sits low on the list of priorities for many startups.

Startups see marketing as an evil necessity that happens when something has to be fixed or things aren’t going well.

Few startups begin their day by happily proclaiming that it’s time to do some marketing. Instead, it is a realization that marketing needs to happen otherwise the business is going to struggle or not perform .

So why is marketing often a second-class citizen? Why isn’t marketing as important as product development and sales?

Maybe it’s a lack of appreciation or knowledge of marketing and the role that it plays. Maybe marketing is viewed as a cost center, rather than an investment. Maybe marketing doesn’t generate the quick wins that lean, fast-moving startups expect or want.

In an ideal world, marketing sits at the table along with sales and product development because it is an important part of the mix in convincing customers to use a startup’s product. 

Marketing tells a company’s story, highlights a product’s value, establishes brand presence and gets consumers engaged.

Without marketing, a startup is gambling that its product can survive and thrive without a support system. A product without marketing needs to tell its own story, which is a huge challenge unless the product is ultra-compelling.

As a marketer, it is disappointing to see startups struggle because their marketing is inadequate or non-existent. It’s like they’re operating with one hand tied behind their backs.

Startups need to do marketing to drive their success. It’s an integral part of doing business. In my next blog post, I’ll talk about how startups can get going with marketing.

More: Tim Matthews says startups that claim they do marketing are “full of it”.

 If you’re looking to jump-start your startup marketing, I can help you make it happen – everything from messaging and brand positioning to strategic planning and content development. Here’s how you can explore the different ways we can work together.