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  • Matthew Lerner

The 3 Most Dangerous Words in Startup Marketing

The meeting is going fine, until... the founder says we need to "educate the market.” 😳 At this point, employees, founders, and investors should get very nervous.


After the 1,000 marketing plans I've heard as a VC investor, marketing advisor and coach, “educate" still makes me wince every time I hear it.


You aren’t going to educate anyone. (That’s not a thing). If people don’t realise they need your product, they will not even notice it, let alone use or buy it.


Instead, start with something people actually realise they need.


Have you ever watched a three-year-old use an iPad? They don’t need to be educated. It’s a good, intuitive product.


Please, in the name of all that is holy if you ever think you need to “educate” the market, ask yourself this: “What do our customers believe they need? And how can we give them that?” (Good news, it might be as simple as correctly positioning your product, or offering a lead magnet).


Go forth and prosper! (But do not educate 😏)


If you'd like to know what to do instead, check out my next post about what to do instead of educating the market.


P.S. No, the irony of posting this blog entry to “educate you” about why you should not “educate the market” is not lost on me. While I run an education business, I understand that for you, learning is a means to an end: What you really want to do is impress some combination of your customers, co-workers, employees, or investors. And that’s why the “hook” of this email talked about “marketers, founders and investors” - the thing you care about. 😏

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