How Startups Create Effective Digital Marketing and Sales Funnels

Part 1: Developing the Strategic Infrastructure

Joe Procopio

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This is part 1 of a two-part series on how a startup can create effective funnels for digital marketing and sales (and not just throw advertising dollars at the wall to see what sticks).

When discussing marketing and sales strategy in the digital age, it helps to first ask this question: Why does most startup marketing fail?

Despite what conventional wisdom might lead you to believe, marketing is not a direct path to increased sales. This is especially true for startups and can be incredibly frustrating and costly in the early stages of the company.

Founders should be thinking about their marketing and sales plans from the very first conception of the product or service they’re developing. But marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s also a process. Most people think that marketing is like adding a megaphone to their messaging. But if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, a megaphone isn’t going to help.

Furthermore, since most startups in the digital era are focused on recurring revenue, marketing is no longer simply about bringing the customer into the store. It’s about keeping them there, increasing customer lifetime value (LTV) while lowering customer acquisition costs (CAC).

All this can be accomplished through a startup’s marketing and sales funnels. It’s a process that has worked for decades and, in the digital era, has become ever more automated and scalable.

Amplify, automate, scale. That’s modern startup marketing in a nutshell.

Start With a Strategic Approach

The problem with most startup marketing is that the marketing leaders (usually the founders) start with a tactical approach to marketing their product: They buy ads, they send emails, they post social hits, they write blogs.

That’s usually because all the “how-to” marketing documentation and education out there only covers the tactical approach. And that’s because the strategic approach needs to be unique to every startup, and therefore it’s difficult to teach.

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com