Startups must fight their way into the marketplace without the benefit of a familiar brand name, big money for flashy advertising campaigns, dream-team corporate talent, or large-scale Product Development programs. As a result, many new companies start with a whimper and fade out fast. Yet, some new companies start fast and accelerating. Startup Marketing Essentials is written to help new businesses and small business owners battle long odds and challenge Big Business. By learning the essentials, readers can start smart by learning from field-tested entrepreneurs who have trained themselves to see the world of Products and Marketing in ways that markedly improve their chances for success.

Suppose you have an idea and are preparing to launch a new venture. What's your Competitive Angle? What tactic will you use to break through customer hurdles? How will you turn your good competitive angle into a great one? How will you obtain funding? How will you leverage your competitive angle and go about marketing your startup with little or no money? When working with student entrepreneurs, we used to give top-of-mind textbook answers that sounded reasonable, but we soon came to realize how the textbook answers lacked real-world relevance. We then decided to throw out the textbook and find actionable answers. After ten years of observing and interviewing over 100 entrepreneurs and starting five new ventures ourselves, we believe we have found a simple framework that provides the practical answers most new entrepreneurs are looking for.

Admittedly, startup marketing is not something taught particularly well in business schools. Many of the entrepreneurs we use as examples quit school before graduation to build their businesses. Consequently, we’ve taken a non-business-school approach for this book by looking at startup marketing as a series of best practices. With the help of entrepreneur mentors, we’ve identified five categories of Best Practices; (1) Bottom-up Mindset, (2) Leveraging Competitive Angle, (3) Leveraging Leverage, (4) Think Big and Act Big, and (5) Launching Tactics. Each category includes numerous entrepreneur-approved best practices that have contributed to successful new products and businesses.

To The Dreamers and The Doers