I used this title for possibly the most regrettable blog post I have written on AVC back in 2011.
My friend Alex’s post on the topic this weekend has made me revisit my thoughts on the subject of marketing.
Alex starts off his post with this assertion:
2019 was the year when VCs and startup founders soured on paid acquisition.
I am not sure if that is true, but if it is, it suggests a dramatic change in the startup playbook.
Back in 2011, I wrote:
He said “every company needs a marketing budget.” It seemed like a strong reply but in truth not one of our top performing companies had a marketing budget in their initial business plan.
That is certainly no longer true. The 2010s were a decade in which startups mastered marketing and channels like Facebook and Instagram emerged to satisfy their demand.
But what if that game is over? What if that well has gone dry?
Alex suggests we have to go back to virality and customer to customer marketing in his post.
I think we are more likely headed to something new and I am not entirely sure what that is.
And the Google/Facebook/Instagram well has not exactly “gone dry”. But it sure feels like steady-state to me now. It is a must-do but you can’t beat the competition there anymore because everyone is there.
So here we are. At the cusp of something new because we need it. Now we need to figure out what it is.