More often than not, when I say the words “marketing foundations,” people’s eyes start to glaze over a little bit. After all, the foundations aren’t the fun part — the leads and sales are. To be honest, setting up your marketing foundations is not all that different from eating your vegetables before moving on to dessert. Vegetables have great nutritional value that help keep your body in tip-top shape, and marketing foundations have strong value that will keep your strategies and initiatives in tip-top shape so you can generate all of those leads and sales.

I love working with B2B tech startups because they move quickly. They’re not constrained by the same red tape as bigger organizations are, so messaging, products, content, and websites can get into market much sooner. But if you hustle right past the foundational portions of your marketing, you will end up paying the price in time, energy, and money later. It may not always be fun, but the rewards of getting the right foundations in place from day one are well worth it.

Here’s why:

Skipping the foundations can waste money

For B2B tech startups, everything goes back to the bottom line. Most live by the adage “time is money,” so there’s good chance you’re in a hurry to skip over the foundations and head straight to paid media and lead generation. When you do that, though, it can burn through your budget.

When one of our clients was struggling with their paid search campaigns, we discovered nine foundational elements that weren’t set up correctly in Google AdWords. The result? A whopping $3,000 in wasted ad spend each year.

Not having the right foundations hurts your hustle

One of our clients was planning an important event for the biggest C-suite leaders in its industry — the first in-person event since the pandemic. However, that planning came to a screeching halt when they discovered their marketing automation platform had been set up without “Job Title” as a field. Instead of being able to quickly segment their list to high-priority C-suite invitees, their sales team had to manually dig through contact records and update each one — delaying their first email invitation by over a week.

Foundations ensure you don’t confuse your target audience

During one of our Fast Starts, we discovered that a new client had different corporate messaging on each of its channels. The way they described the company in their LinkedIn “About” section was completely different from their Twitter bio, which was completely different than their homepage copy, which was completely different from the meta description for the homepage. You get the point.

What may seem like a small foundational mistake can actually have big consequences on how the market perceives you. In this client’s case, the different descriptions made it unclear as to what they actually DO and what makes them different from the competition.

The foundations are just that — foundations for future successes

When one of our clients launched a new website, we recommended that it was the perfect time to go in and clean out their Marketo instance. While archiving campaigns, building new campaign templates, and creating new naming conventions may not sound like the most exciting things in the world, they led to exciting results. When all was said and done, it was easy to rout new leads to segmented nurture campaigns, ensure that all form fills received the proper response, and create more efficient campaigns.

Technical foundations aren’t the only thing you need to worry about, though. We implemented content foundations for one of our clients — including a website refresh strategy, an editorial calendar, quarterly content themes, and an action plan to create dozens of net-new assets throughout their marketing funnel. It took months to execute everything, but it’s proof that really important marketing foundations don’t always convert immediately. Sometimes success is a marathon that drives long-term results.

Once your foundations are in place, you’re still not done though.

Unlike those old-school infomercials, marketing foundations aren’t the kind of thing you can set and forget. Just like you periodically look for cracks in the foundation of your home, you need to periodically look to see if there are cracks in your marketing foundations. Depending on the amount of peoplepower you have, this can be done either quarterly or annually.

Bottom line, consider your marketing foundations to be just that — a foundation for everything you do. Whether it’s marTech, content, SEO, or paid foundations, each one ultimately ties back to a specific business goal. Without them, reaching your goals and hitting your KPIs will be very difficult, if not impossible.

Before you go:
Unlocking Success in Startup Marketing: Segmentation Strategies for Targeting the Right Audience

In the realm of startup marketing, sending generic campaigns is a perilous misstep. The solution? Segmentation strategies. Dive into our Read more

Startups’ End Game: Building a Holistic Marketing Strategy’s Foundations

Turn your startup’s marketing organization into an impact driver with these three elements detailed on The StartUp Marketer blog.

The Strategic Art of Prioritization: A Startup Marketer’s Compass to Success

Learn how startup marketers can perfect the art and science of prioritization in this StartUp Marketer blog post.

Back to Basics: Unveiling Startup Marketing’s Fundamentals

Startup success requires understanding marketing’s fundamentals, like taking a customer-centric approach. Learn more on The StartUp Marketer blog.

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