101 Marketing and Growth Tips From Top Entrepreneurs

“Make something people want” by Paul Graham
I started with this quote because it’s the first thing you need to face when building a product. If no one wants what you are building, by definition, why build it at all? When starting, you need to obsess over knowing your users and building a product for them.

“Do things that don’t scale” by Paul Graham
One of the advantages startups have is that they can do things big companies can’t. Often, things that don’t scale are extremely effective to test things fast or get amazing customer loyalty. It doesn’t matter you can’t scale, that’s not what you need right now.

“It’s better to make a few people really happy than to make a lot of people semi-happy” by Paul Graham
Your startup needs to make an impact if you want to succeed. When you make a lot of people semi-happy, you are not making a big enough impact. However, if a handful of users REALLY love you, you can start building a business from there.

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“Launch fast” by Paul Graham
When launching your product, or even an extra feature, don’t forget these two quotes by PG and Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s CEO & founder. Don’t over-optimize everything, don’t aim for perfection. Get it out there so you can start getting feedback as soon as possible.

“Offer surprisingly good customer service” by Paul Graham
Many startups were built on the backbone of this advice: Buffer, Groove and Help Scout are some outstanding examples. People are used to being mistreated by big companies. Don’t make the same mistake, just because that’s what people expect from businesses. Offering amazing customer service will skyrocket your retention and life-time value metrics.

“Be a cockroach” by Paul Graham
According to Y Combinator’s founder and former president, startups need to focus on one thing: don’t die. Cockroaches are insanely hard to kill. Be one of them.

“The best startup ideas are the ones that seem like bad ideas but are good ideas” by Sam Altman

“Tell me how I’m acquiring people, tell me how we are doing getting them to the ‘aha moment’, and tell me core engagement… Don’t focus on things that destroy long term value” by Chamath Palihapitya
Chamath is the former Head of Growth at Facebook. His advice is to find out as soon as possible where your users are getting the core product value, and obsessively lead them there. For Facebook, most users who got to 14 friends in 7 days, stayed in the platform as active users. His team’s only focus was to get as many people as possible to that point, and it worked: he put Facebook in the path to 1 billion users.

“Keep your burn rate very low until you’re sure you’ve built something people love” by Sam Altman
This is one of the best startup advice ever given. At first, when you don’t have a clue what your customers want, you need as much time as possible to figure that out.

“Virality isn’t luck. It’s not magic. And it’s not random. There’s a science behind why people talk and share. A recipe. A formula, even” by Jonah Berger
Every now and then, there are some things that go viral unexpectedly. In the startup world, this is very rare. For instance, the Mailbox pre-launch waiting list had hundreds of thousands of users waiting, but it wasn’t luck. It was a perfectly engineered system designed to foster virality and sharing. A few months later they got acquired by Dropbox.

“Our first idea is a grand opening, a big launch, a press release, or major media coverage. We default to thinking we need an advertising budget. Our delusion is that we should be Transformers and not The Blair Witch Project” by Ryan Holiday
This is one of the most striking quotes in the list. Ego lets us believe that we should get major attention when we launch our product, but the reality is that you need to get something out there fast, and start iterating based on customer feedback. Be scrappy, like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity.

“Test things quickly with ads” by Tim Ferriss
When launching ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’, Tim couldn’t decide which combination of book title and sub headline was the right one, so he let his target audience decide. He ran some PPC ads for a week, and went with the one with more clicks. The rest is history. You can use this tactics to A/B test headlines, approaches, images, book covers, color schemes and much more.

“Don’t copy your competition. Why assume they know what they are doing?” by Tucker Max
I’ve seen this happen all the time. When someone starts a business, and they see their competitors going after a content strategy, they are inclined to do the same thing. The problem is, you have no idea if your competitors tested other acquisition channels, or are actually having real sales because of that. Always question assumptions and default to testing.

“Growth is nothing without the product” by Morgan Brown
Morgan Brown is the Head of Growth at He’s been working alongside Sean Ellis for some time now, and has become an amazing growth hacker. He states that, without having a solid product people want, growth is nothing. In other words, you should focus on engaging your users and delivering an amazing product before digging into growth.

“Retention is the single most important thing in growth” by Alex Shultz
This quote is strictly related to the previous one. Alex was part of the core team that led Facebook to the path to a billion users. In his opinion, retention is the most important metric you can optimize, because if users don’t continue using your product, there is nothing to optimize for. Wise words.

“Build a ‘copy-first’ design” by Alex Turnbull from Groove
The Groove team had a problem: their landing page’s conversion rate was 2.3%. Not nearly as good as they wanted. To solve that, they set out to redesign their landing page, using a counterintuitive approach: copy first. They talked to hundreds of users, found out what their needs and pain where, and started drafting some copy. Only then, they put a quick design together and launched. The result? A 4.3% conversion rate.

“Focus on the pirate metrics – AARRR” by Dave McClure from 500 Startups
The AARRR metrics is one of the most effective, and one of my personal favorite growth frameworks. It describes the steps a user goes through when moving through a funnel: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue and Referral. Dave advises to only focus on that while growing, and he might be right: many of his portfolio companies have followed that framework successfully.

“Startups don’t win by attacking. They win by transcending. There are exceptions of course, but usually the way to win is to race ahead, not to stop & fight” by Paul Graham
Another clear piece of advice from Paul Graham – don’t focus on the competition, but focus on creating a solid product people love and grow it. If you do that fast enough, the rest usually takes care of itself.

“Marketing is a contest for people’s attention” by Seth Godin
This isn’t actual actionable advice, but a high level abstraction of the essence of marketing. People’s attention span is decreasing every day, and so is your opportunity to attract their eyeballs. Understanding this will help you craft a unique marketing strategy for your startup.

“The Net is not television. It is the finest direct-marketing mechanism in the history of mankind. It is direct mail with free stamps, and it allows you to create richer and deeper relationships than you’ve ever been able to create before.” by Seth Godin

“A growth hacker is a person whose true north is growth. Everything they do is scrutinized by its potential impact on scalable growth.” by Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis is the guy who actually coined the term ‘growth hacker’. He ran growth for LogMeIn, Eventbrite and Dropbox. Now he runs Qualaroo and, two ridiculously successful businesses.

“Marketing has always been about the same thing – who your customers are and where they are” by Noah Kagan
Noah was employee #30 at Facebook, and #4 at Mint. Now, he runs AppSumo and SumoMe, which delivered over a billion impressions in 2014. He is one of the most brilliant direct marketers today, and one of the main reasons is because he understands who he is marketing to. If you understand who your audience is (how to talk to them) and where they are (how to find them), then marketing will suddenly get much easier.

“To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop” by Brian Halligan
Brian Halligan is right on this one. The way you market your product, more precisely the way you make people know what your product is and why they should buy it, should match the intuitive way your customer or prospect sees your product. You should aim for something that goes deep into the consumer’s mind.

“Make things worth sharing” by Will Fraser
If your product isn’t worth sharing, well, your customer chain will eventually wither and die. One of the best ways for a product to become viral is the traditional mouth to mouth communication. If I want to tell my friends and coworkers about your product, you have success, right there.

“Growth Hacking is more of a mindset than a toolkit” by Aaron Ginn
Aaron Ginn tells us that growth hacking, while being a number of tools you can implement to generate growth, can be much more. Not something you implement to fix a certain mistake, or to create a certain desired response. Growth Hacking is the way you should think, continuously, for your product to succeed.


“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” by Seth Godin
This quote refers to the power of storytelling. Seth Godin states that people don’t buy just products, they buy the benefits and the story behind it because that’s our nature. We are hardwired to pay attention to stories, because that’s how knowledge spread in the ancient ages.

“Marketing is about values. It’s a complicated and noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. So we have to be really clear about what we want them to know about us.” by Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs is an undeniable marketing and branding genius. This quote is one of the best advice he ever gave us. There’s so much flying around, so many products and companies and services, that the only way to stand out is being really sure about who you are and how to convey that to your prospects.

“It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.” by Seth Godin
Over the past few years, a new way of marketing started resurging: amazing customer service. If, in every interaction, a brand shows they value and appreciate you and your business, then you’ll start loving it back. There is no stronger marketing machine than an engaged fan.

“Finding new ways, more clever ways to interrupt people doesn’t work.” by Seth Godin
This is a great quote from the bestseller ‘Permission Marketing’. You shouldn’t look for new ways to interrupt people, you should build a community and earn permission to communicate with them by offering amazing value.

“This is what we call the 50% rule: spend 50% of your time on product and 50% on traction.” by Gabriel Weinberg
Product isn’t everything and neither is traction. You can have an amazing product with no traction and the odds are that you will fail. Have a shitty product with an immense amount of traction and sure, people will talk about it for a while, but in the end your product will die. Why? Because it’s still a shitty product.

“The only essential thing is growth. Everything else we associate with startups follows from growth.” by Gabriel Weinberg
In order for a startup to function, you need people using the product you are offering. You are, after all, creating something for someone to use it. That’s why growth comes first, second and third in your company’s to-do list. This comes in line with an old Paul Graham’s quote from his essay Startups = Growth: ‘if you grow fast, everything else tends to fall into place’.

“The pursuit of traction is what defines a startup.” by Gabriel Weinberg
This quote is very much related to the one above. I’ve always liked Naval Ravikant’s basic definition of what traction is: “Quantitative evidence of market demand.” Traction is proof that somebody wants your product.

“The Product Trap: the fallacy that the best use of your time is always improving your product.” by Gabriel Weinberg
I’m especially fond of this quote because it talks about a loophole many entrepreneurs fall into, very easily, especially designer and developer. Your product is a key part of your organization, but it isn’t everything. Getting people to use it is equally as important.

“Don’t worry, be crappy. Revolutionary means you ship and then test… Lots of things made the first Mac in 1984 a piece of crap – but it was a revolutionary piece of crap.” by Guy Kawasaki
A great advice from Guy Kawasaki. You can spend months in preparation for launching the perfect product, but in the end something will always go wrong. So don’t worry, be crappy. If you are sure that your product will make a difference, don’t be afraid to launch. There will be time to fix things later. If your idea is worth remembering, people will remember.

“Create something, sell it, make it better, sell it some more and then create something that obsoletes what you used to make.” by Guy Kawasaki
What do people like Pep Guardiola, Richard Branson and Elon Musk have in common? They did one thing that distinguished them from others. Once they were on the top, they kept innovating. And that’s what I think Guy Kawasaki is trying to tell us. Just because you are on the top, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep changing and improving your product.

“A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike.” by Al Ries & Laura Ries
A great quote from the authors of “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” and a must follow to achieve something most startups seek: creating a name for themselves. Branding, is in Al Ries and Laura Ries words, being someone else. Standing out from a crowd of equals and making a difference.

“Behind every tweet, share & purchase there is a person. Care less about the shares & more about the person.” by Shafqat Islam
This quotes refers to the fact that, if you really want to make a difference with your current or potential product user, you should indeed focus on something that we tend to forget: We are dealing with people and not numbers. It’s something difficult to remember, especially when looking at your analytics, but it’s a must-do.

“It’s not that we need more content; we need more relevant content.” by Jason Miller
It may sound like a cliché, I know, but it is a fact that we live in the era of information. People receive tons and tons of information, from everywhere, everyday. If you want to stand out from all the nonsense that’s floating out there, stop creating massive amounts of useless content. Quality trumps quantity, always.

“Growth hacking is not anti-marketing, it is the evolution of marketing, it is pro-growth.” by Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis plays with the fact that hacking is usually understood for something negative and putting it side by side with the idea of anti-marketing. Actually, it’s exactly the opposite: growth hacking is pro-growth. Once you know what something isn’t, the actual definition sticks to your head much easily.

“80% of new products/service fail… too many marketers don’t understand how their own and their consumers’ mind interact.” by Gerald Zaltman
This quote refers to, much like the one by Shafqat Islam above, to the idea of really understanding the consumer’s mind. But Zaltman mention a key component that adds a lot to this concept. It’s the interaction between the consumer’s and the marketer’s mind that makes a difference.


“Prospects do not buy how good you are at what you do. They buy how good you are at who you are.” by Harry Beckwith
Harry Beckwith speaks about the idea of you, your company, your product, having an identity worth remembering. Not being good at doing something, but being good at being yourself. Remember: being real and transparent with who you are always pays off.

“A successful branding program is based on the concept of singularity. It creates in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no product on the market quite like your product.” by Al Ries & Laura Ries
Another great quote from Al and Laura Ries. Every marketer should aim to create this illusion. If you can make the prospective user believe your product is second to none, you have a product that everyone will remember.

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” by Seth Godin
The marketing expert Seth Godin has some amazing thoughts, and this is one of my favourites. Be different, stand out, never fit and you will be okay. Invisibility can kill businesses.

“Hierarchy of Startup Skills (in ascending order): business, technical, product/design and growth” by David Sacks
David Sacks is the founder of CEO of Yammer, and as someone with a non-technical education, he believes business is the most important skill a founder should have. Taking his advice isn’t a bad idea: Yammer was sold to Microsoft for $1.2 billion in 2012.

“Be suspicious of any work that is not building product or getting customers. It’s easy to get sucked into an infrastructure rewrite death spiral” by Sam Altman
Sam is an expert on early stage companies. As the founder of Loopt and now president of Y Combinator, Altman has pools of data showing what works best. He advises to focus on building an amazing product, or getting customers. Anything else is a waste of time.

“Create something, sell it, make it better, sell it some more and then create something that obsoletes what you used to make.” by Guy Kawasaki
Usually, when you create a product and sell it successfully, new people enter the market and try to disrupt your offering by selling something better. Guy Kawasaki suggests that you should be the one innovating and making your own product obsolete, not the competition. This is what Apple constantly does, and they are the highest valued company in history.

“The biggest daily challenge of social media is finding enough content to share. We call this ‘feeding the Content Monster.’ There are two ways to do this: content creation and content curation. Content creation involves writing long posts, taking pictures, or making videos. Our experience is that it’s difficult to create more than two pieces of content per week on a sustained basis, and two pieces are not enough for social media. Content curation involves finding other people’s good stuff, summarizing it, and sharing it. Curation is a win-win-win: you need content to share; blogs and websites need more traffic; and people need filters to reduce the flow of information.” by Guy Kawasaki
There’s so much valuable content out there, why not try carefully curating and selecting the best of it and sharing that with your audience, instead of trying to continuously create new content. Leveraging someone else’s work is a great way to grow fast.

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“Lie or spin the truth, and you will be found out. People will take you to task. Your organization will suffer from decreased sales, lower stock prices, and a tarnished reputation. The digital Web has forever changed the way we communicate. It’s changed the way we all do business. And it has forever changed the way we, the PR professionals, perform our jobs.” by Gini Dietrich
As PR expert and author of Spin Sucks, Gini Dietrich strongly advises against manipulating the truth to obtain a benefit. Often, honesty and transparency is the best policy. When Dollar Shave Club went viral, gathering 20,000 subscribers in less than a week, the team was screwed. There was no way in earth they could deliver so many razors so they sent a real email detailing what had happened. Customers loved it and most of them are still with the company.

“When you can’t see any daylight between what you believe, what you practice, what you offer, and what you say about yourself, you are doing what great brands do.” by Denise Lee Yohn
This is a great lesson on consistency. People like McDonalds because every time they go in, they expect the same thing, and they get it. Hamburgers and fries there are ridiculously consistent. The same concept applies to your brand.

“Humans are genetically hardwired to notice differences, and differences are often what attract people to your brand in the first place” by Denise Lee Yohn
Memorable lesson on differentiation by the expert brand-builder Denise Lee Yohn. If you learn how to differentiate and communicate that uniqueness around your brand to your customers, then it will be noticed.

“We are all drawn to people who express certainty about who they are… great brands make the most of this attraction.” by Denise Lee Yohn
Another great quote by Denise Lee Yohn. This refers to companies like Buffer, Patagonia or Metal Mulisha, who clearly express who they are, their values and how they do business and see the world. This draws people who share their perspective, eventually becoming fans or customers.

“80% of all market research serves mainly to reinforce existing conclusions, not to test or develop new possibilities.” by Gerald Zaltman
Gerald Zaltman, professor emeritus at Harvard and author of more than 20 books, explains something that many startups nowadays seem to get. Don’t do market research, it will only reinforce what you think. Instead, get out of the building and talk to users. Watch them as they use your product. That will yield you far better insights.

“He who cares less wins” by Tim Ferriss
This is great advice on negotiation by best-selling author and investor Tim Ferriss. If you care less about the outcome than your counterpart, and you express this (in words or body language), your odds of getting the better end of the deal automatically increase.

“Offer irresistible incentives” by Tim Ferriss
For his past 2 book launches, Tim created an amazing giveaway to incentivize pre-orders. The Land Rush: 48 Hours To Claim $4,000,000 in Prizes is the perfect example of offering irresistible incentives. The result? Over 15,000 books for pre-order and a bestselling title in the end.

“Carpet-bomb the internet: or brief period of intense noise-making” by Tim Ferris
When trying to promote something, Tim advises to condense as much promotion and PR in the shortest timeframe possible, usually a couple of days or a week. This effect provides the illusion that you are everywhere, instantly elevating your status. Really effective when trying to sell something.

“Build a product that’s greater than just the sum of its features because at the end of the day, it’s just as important to understand the reason why you’re building your product as it is to actually build it.” by Hiten Shah
When trying to create something, Hiten Shah advices to go a little further and try and build something that has a reason to exist. An identity. Something that exceeds the sum of all parts. You need to know why you are doing something as much as knowing how you are going to do it.

“If you’re thinking about launching a business, abandon the notion that Sean Parker’s going to take you out for cocktails and blow your mind in the first week. It’s really not ever like that except in the movies.” by Hiten Shah
Building a business isn’t all glory and fireworks. That’s what Hiten Shah is trying to tell us. You’ll need to work really hard if you want to succeed. Always. And things aren’t always as easy and spectacular as in movies.

“Just fix things that seem broken, regardless of whether it seems like the problem is important enough to build a company on.” by Paul Graham
Attention to details builds a company. Never overlook a minor flaw or mistake just because it’s minor. You never know what can happen in the future, and maybe that minor flaw can end up being why your company flanked.

“It’s OK to start out with a small idea. People are bad at looking at seeds and guessing what size tree will grow out of them… If you try to do some big thing, you don’t just need it to be big; you need it to be good. And it’s really hard to do big and good simultaneously. So, what that means is you can either do something small and good and then gradually make it bigger, or do something big and bad and gradually make it better.” by Paul Graham
I love this quote. Paul Graham states very clearly the two possible paths to build a startup: Go small and good (and make it bigger) or big and bad (and make it better). You should always aim to big and good at the same time, but it can be kinda hard to try and start that way.

“You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.” by Paul Graham
You need a great team – you are going to be spending an awesome lot of time together – a good idea and the mindset to spend as little money as possible while doing as much as possible. It’s that simple.

“It’s not accidental that products get worse over time; it’s because companies stop paying attention to them. They stop caring as much about maintaining the same quality they did when they were just trying to fight for survival and no one would pay attention unless they had the best technology.” by Aaron Levie
Box’s Cofounder and CEO Aaron Levie gives us an example of a great quote. When no one believes in them and they need to prove them wrong and make them notice, companies tend to fight hard and do everything that’s possible. But when they get to the top, it’s very easy to get carried away and stop caring about the product they would had killed for once. And that’s just wrong.

“If you’re working on the wrong problem, it doesn’t matter how hard you work at it. There are two things I go back to again and again: having the right people and working on the right problem.” by Caterina Fake
Again pops up the idea of having a great time and solving problems. But not just any problem, the right problem. It’s very easy to entertain yourself with minor details that may seem as problems. It’s just a form of procrastination. You need a great time, one that isn’t afraid to tackle the problems that actually matter.

“Make your product easier to buy than your competition, or you will find your customers buying from them, not you.” by Mark Cuban
Mark Cuban is right. Customers will, without doubt, grab and buy what’s easier and closer. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors and make a product that actually sells, the act of buying should be as easy and fluent as possible. It doesn’t matter if you yourself need to deliver the product to your customer’s door. You get it done.

“If you’re looking where everybody else is looking, you’re looking in the wrong spot.” by Mark Cuban
You need to think differently. It’s very easy to see what all the others can see. It’s not so easy to look another way and know you are looking the right way.

“Your website is your greatest asset. More people view your webpages than anything else.” by Amanda Sibley
Amanda Sibley speaks to the idea that all internet based companies should start and have a website. It’s necessary. Despite the growing use of mobile apps and other alternatives, the web is still, and will be for a long time, the most visited place in the internet.

“People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.” by Malorie Lucich
Malorie here has a great point. We are, indeed, much more prone to trust and assimilate something when it comes from somebody we know and trust. That’s why your product should be something worth sharing.

“You can’t expect to just write and have visitors come to you. That’s too passive.” by Anita Campbell
Very few men or women in the history of our world were so brilliant that all they did was write and people would come knocking on their doors, wanting more. And I’m pretty sure you are not one of those men or women. Neither am I. So stop being so damn passive and try and get yourself out there.

“Not viewing your email marketing as content is a mistake.” by Chris Baggott
Email marketing is a delicate subject. It’s very easy to fall in the pitfall of email marketing as a way to communicate freely and send useless stuff to your prospects and users. That’s why you should treat email marketing as content. If you have something important to say, you should. If not, don’t do it. Only share delightful content.


“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” by David Packard
David Packard is 100% right. Marketing shouldn’t be a job that needs to be done in a section of your company. Marketing, especially growth, should be the mindset everyone in your company has, all the time.

“Our jobs as marketers are to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them do so.” by Bryan Eisenberg
Returning to Mark Cuban’s idea of making the act of buying one that is simple and easy. That’s the very end game of marketing. Making people buy your product.

“The consumer is not a moron; she is your wife.” by David Ogilvy
Amazing lesson by the legendary David Ogilvy. The consumer is the every man and women out there. The consumer is someone like you, with a life, a job and a family. They aren’t numbers and, most certainly, they aren’t stupid. You should show respect towards the consumer.

“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.” by Seth Godin
People won’t use your product just because it’s out there. You need to make people want it. You need to engage and make them believe your product is the one they should be using. The competition is too big. It’s that simple.

“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” by Jonah Sachs
As we mentioned before, storytelling is a core element of brand building. You need to convince people about the why of your product, in order for them to connect emotionally with it. That’s how you create a brand.

“Use your own experiences and pain points to identify an opportunity. Be arrogant thinking you can do it better than others.” by Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes is one of the co-founders at Facebook, and now, owner of The New Republic. He states that, when coming up with ideas and identifying opportunities, you should look at what you’ve been through, and the pains you’ve experienced along the way. Then, you need to be confident enough to go after that open door.

“I’ve heard people define a brand as a company’s name, logo, image, advertising, aura, personality, look and feel, attitude, reputation, or trademark. But the fact is that none of these are your brand. These are manifestations, symbols, or expressions of your brand–and by limiting the definition of your brand to this external, surface level, you fail to realize its full business value. As you examine the principles that drive the world’s greatest brands, you will see the correct, complete view: A brand is a bundle of values and attributes that define the value you deliver to people through the entire customer experience.” by Denise Lee Yohn
Branding is perhaps the ultimate form of marketing. That’s why I really like this Denise Lee Yohn’s quote. Creating a brand is making something worth remembering. Combining the entire experience of using your product into one simple thing.

“Social and cultural considerations have always influenced how we shop and what we buy, and especially how we use products to connect and communicate with others. It’s no surprise then that a decade of especially swift and stunning sociological changes would have a profound effect on how and why people shop and buy.” by Kit Yarrow
This is a great advice. Be always aware of where and when you are while building a company. Things that worked before or that may work in the future are of no worth to you. Paying enough attention to the present, or knowing how to anticipate what is about to come, that’s what you should be doing.

“How do you react when you see or hear a name you like? You smile. We enjoy names that surprise us, entertain us, and make us feel smart because we get them. Names that make us smile are infectious.” by Alexandra Watkins
Naming is ridiculously difficult. You need something catchy. Something relevant. Something that makes people smile. Once you have all that, you can be certain you found the right name.

“I don’t care if the video I produce doesn’t sell shoes right away. I’m trying to create a culture and feel around New Balance.” by Patrick Cassidy
Patrick Cassidy, founder of New Balance, argues that immediate ROI isn’t the only thing that matters. Sometimes, there are indirect benefits from some marketing efforts that you’ll be able to see 1, 2 or 5 years down the line. Always think with the long term in mind.

“The difference between a good content marketer and a great content marketer is a documented strategy.” by Joe Pulizzi
Knowing what you are doing and what you are going to be doing in the future is extremely important. Have a strategy, stick to it. Joe Pulizzi tells us that to be great, you should always be thinking two steps ahead of what you are doing.


“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.” by Malcolm Gladwell
We would all love to experience this particular phenomena. It’s not easy to achieve, and not many of us will. But when it happens, it’s just beautiful. When marketing, you should always strive and engineer things to get to that tipping point. Companies like Dropbox, Facebook or Reddit were built on top of that.

“Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking.” by Malcolm Gladwell
Never be too cautious or too reckless at decision making. You need to find a middle ground, where you know what you are doing but are trusting your instincts at the same time.

“There is a simple way to package information that, under the right circumstances, can make it irresistible. All you have to do is find it.” by Malcolm Gladwell
What Malcolm is trying to tell us here is that, there is always a way to market your product and make it something people would use. You just need to continuously test and research until you find it.

“When people are overwhelmed with information and develop immunity to traditional forms of communication, they turn instead for advice and information to the people in their lives whom they respect, admire, and trust. The cure for immunity is finding Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen.” by Malcolm Gladwell
We spoke before about the fact that people trust those closer to them. Friends, family, those they admire. If you find someone or something of your own making that can replace that feeling in your consumers, your product is going to spread increasingly fast, because it comes from a trusted source.

“While consumers changed beyond recognition, marketing has not. The world has changed, but our methods for understanding consumers have not. We keep relying on ineffective research techniques and consequently misread consumers’ actions and thoughts.” by Gerald Zaltman
A great quote from Harvard’s professor Gerald Zaltman. If everything around us is changing, why do us marketers keep making the same mistakes? We need to evolve and modify the way we do research and understand consumers. The optimal way to do it is to get out of the office and talk to customers.

“95% of consumers’ thinking occurs in their unconscious mind; much thinking surfaces through metaphors; memories are more malleable than we thought.” by Gerald Zaltman
This is a more scientific approach at how you should be selling your product. Tell a story, instead of just explaining what your product is. People are hardwired to connect with stories and tend to remember them over facts.

“Marketers believe that consumers’ thought occur only as words. Words do play an important role, but they don’t provide the whole picture.” by Gerald Zaltman
Words aren’t everything. You have a whole array of feelings and images you could be showing to your prospects. You need to use everything at your disposal.

“There’s a need for an interdisciplinary approach. For example, neurological research revealed that people don’t think linear, hierarchical ways; figuratively speaking, they don’t experience a cake by sampling a sequence of raw ingredients. They experience fully baked cakes. That insight changed companies how they engaged consumers.” by Gerald Zaltman
Your product isn’t the sum of it’s parts. The consumers won’t experience every part separately. You will be handing them something that works as a whole, not as different ingredients put together.

“Without a deep understanding of consumers – that is, without knowing consumers’ hidden thoughts and feelings and the forces behind it – marketeers can’t accurately anticipate consumers’ responses to product design, features, and ideas.” by Gerald Zaltman
You need to be inside your consumer’s head. Know their cravings, their goals, their fears and passions. Once you have all that, you can create and market an amazing product.

“Product distinctions, the historic centerpiece of product marketing, exist only briefly—and in the prospects’ minds, often not at all.” by Harry Beckwith
Prospects tend to forget there was something different before. Things are ‘new’ only for a limited amount of time. You should be aware of this, and plan ahead. Innovate, and don’t let your competitors release the ‘new’ thing. You should be the one doing it.

“We view Big Business as business but equate small business with art; we call it entrepreneurship.” by Harry Beckwith
Harry Beckwith has a point: Entrepreneurship is as much of a big business as a big business itself. It isn’t art, or anything like it. People tend to romanticize the idea of entrepreneurship, but the reality is that building a startup is an enormous challenge.

“A successful branding program is based on the concept of singularity. It creates in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no product on the market quite like your product.” by Al Ries & Laura Ries
Another great quote from Al and Laura Ries. Every marketer should aim to create this illusion. If you can make the prospective user believe your product is second to none, you have a product that everyone will remember.

“And just how do you generate publicity? The best way to generate publicity is by being first. In other words, by being the first brand in a new category.” by Al Ries & Laura Ries
If you are the creator of your own niche, like Uber, or the first one there, well, generating publicity will suddenly become a smooth task. People, and therefore journalists, are always after the ‘new’ thing. It’s their job. You should be aware of that and leverage it to your favor.

“Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” by Bob Parsons, GoDaddy founder
This quote goes back to the idea of growth hacking. If you measure everything that’s going on in your business, not only you’ll be more accountable, but you’ll be able to discover what’s working and what’s not. If it’s working, double down on it and optimize it. If it isn’t, kill it and test something else.

“80 percent of marketers are unhappy with their ability to measure marketing return on investment (ROI). Not because the tools aren’t good enough, but because they’re too good, and marketers are seeing for the first time that their marketing strategies are “often flawed and their spending is inefficient.” by Ryan Holiday
I have nothing but respect for Ryan Holiday. He knows how to identify flaws, even those he may sometimes share. Here he speaks about the fact that marketers are realizing that what they are doing isn’t working as soundly as they thought. You need to know that not everything you try will succeed. The key is continuous testing and optimization.

“If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness” by Jezz Bezos
Creativity and inventiveness comes primarily from trial and error, seeking every possibility out there. If you try enough, you will find something worth keeping. James Altucher speaks of ‘becoming an idea’ machine by continuously thinking about new ideas. Mr. Bezos shares his thinking.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” by Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson
Don’t try and convince people that they need to be interested in what you are offering. If you are offering something they are already interested in, your job will come much easier, as people will care.

“Marketing used to be about making a myth and telling it. Now it’s about telling a truth and sharing it.“ by Marc Mathieu, Global SVP of Marketing at Unilever
Marketing has changed, Marc Mathieu has that one right. In a world full of misleading information and click-bait headlines, telling the truth is perhaps one of the most powerful things you can hope to do.

“Marketing without the data is like driving with your eyes closed” by Dan Zarrella
Marketing is based on facts. You can’t expect to think you know what you are doing and go blindly just because you trust yourself. You need information and data on a daily basis to make the right decisions for you business. The lesson: measure stuff.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” by Bill Gates.

This is a great quote suggested by a fellow Piktocharter in the comments. If someone isn’t completely happy with your product, then that’s a sign that there is an unfulfilled need for at least a segment of the market.

Thanks for staying with us! Is there any quote on marketing, startups or growth that you love? Share it with us in the comments!

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