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In: Digital Marketing, Marketing

Before reading this article, we recommend that you go to Google and search ‘startup failure’. It will give you an idea why having the right marketing strategy for your startup is not just about efficient resource utilisation but also imperative for a startup’s survival. For context, 90% of all startups fail. As a leading digital marketing agency in Pakistan, we have gained comprehensive insights into why a startup may fail. The following reasons are based on our own experience and market research:

Common Reasons Behind Startup Failure

No Money

There are several reasons contributing to a startup’s failure, including the money running out. Whenever starting any business, the owners either use their own money, get a bank loan, or ask their friends and family members to invest. In either case, the money is finite. If the startup is not earning any money, it won’t be long before you run out of money to pump into the business.

Too Much Competition

If you are trying your hand at a niche where there’s high competition, failure has a high probability. There are several reasons for it, including price cutting. Whenever a new competitor joins the industry, others may decide to lower their prices, making it difficult for the startup to survive.

Poor Business Idea

You may think that you have a brilliant idea but that’s not always the case. If you fail to conduct comprehensive market research, you can end up investing in an idea that’s not a money maker.

Bad Partnership

In many cases, startups fail simply because of the other person. You may think that your friend or family member is the perfect person to start a business with, but things don’t always turn out well. They may lose interest in the business or want to divest after some time.

Incorrect Market

Suppose Apple marketed the iPhone or iMac to people from the lower income bracket. Would Apple still exist today let alone be amongst the world’s most valuable companies? The answer is no. Whenever starting a business, it is important to know who your target audience is and what pain points you have to address. You can have a wonderful product but without focusing on the right people, you’ll never taste success.

Poor Marketing Strategies

Lastly, poor marketing strategy can prevent you from connecting with your audience and communicating your value proposition. Let’s understand this point with the help of an example. Refer to the below statistic.

Source: Statista

The above statistic shows social media usage by age group in the US. As you can see for yourself, Snapchat usage is quite low among those aged 50 – 64. If a startup uses Snapchat marketing to target this age group, would they be successful? Of course, not because that age group doesn’t even use this platform. This shows how selecting the right platform can make or break your startup.

Marketing Strategies to Ensure Startup Success in Pakistan

The following marketing strategies can boost your chances of running a successful startup in Pakistan.

  1. Industry Events

Whether your startup is related to tech, finance, marketing, real estate, or any other field, there are bound to be industry events happening on a regular basis. Of course, no event host will invite your startup. Instead, you’ll need to register yourself and even pay a participation fee. Trust us when we say that all this is going to be worth it. The small fee can help you increase your brand visibility and even land high value clients. The only thing you must ensure is that you interact with others during the event as much as possible.

  1. Search Engine Optimisation

This strategy will take time to show any tangible results. However, once the results are in, you’ll be more than impressed. In SEO, the purpose is to increase the quality and quantity of organic traffic. It is done by ranking the webpages against several keywords. Whenever a user searches the keyword, your webpage will be amongst the top search results. Over time, this can help you become an authoritative voice within your industry. The right content can also help you convert your online visitors to customers. If you are a startup or small business, we recommend you opt for WordPress. For more information, refer to our article on ‘Why Small Businesses Should Use WordPress?’.

  1. Social Media Marketing

Next up, we have SMM. Let’s face it, everyone uses social media, including your target audience. So, there’s no better way to interact with them then social media. However, you need to select the right platform. After that, the content needs to be engaging, creative, and fit for purpose. For example, there’s no point in uploading long articles on Facebook since no one will bother reading it. Instead, a video or an infographic is a much better option.

  1. Direct Calls

While it may seem oversimplistic, it can prove to be the most effective one if used correctly. Calling potential leads directly helps you build rapport and trust. It can help you land clients much quicker than other strategies. Do keep in mind that clients won’t listen to you for long. So, whatever you wish to pitch, make sure to do it quick and convincingly.

  1. Email Marketing

Often overlooked as an outdated marketing strategy, emails continue to be relevant in today’s world. A well-written and highly personalised email can do wonders for your startup. Ensure that the email is mobile-friendly i.e. easily viewable on a smartphone screen. Secondly, the subject line must be engaging yet professional. Remember, you are pitching your product to a potential client. If you sound too informal, the target audience may perceive you as a non-serious business. Lastly, send the email at the right time. It is usually between 10 – 11 am (recipient’s time).

  1. Guest Posting

Every industry has websites that are considered as authoritative voices. In this marketing strategy, the intent is to get featured on these websites. Of course, you’ll need to approach the website yourself. You can share your intention of writing an article for the website or making any other contribution. Remember, guest posts are an important revenue source for websites. Therefore, they may ask for a submission fee.

  1. Get Featured in Magazines

Like websites, every industry has a few magazines that enjoy a good reputation and readership. You can contact the magazine and explore ideas for featuring in it. The magazine may charge a fee for it.

  1. Affiliate Marketing

This strategy involves letting others do the hard work for you. All you need to do is offer them a commission or any other reward based on each successful sale. Top organisations, including Amazon have set up their affiliate marketing programs. For more information, refer to our article on ‘Top Affiliate Marketing Websites in UAE’. You’ll get valuable information on what is affiliate marketing and how to pursue a career in it. The affiliate program must be lucrative so that others have a natural inclination to market your product.

  1. Use Influencers

If nothing works, then its time to use the influencers. If you look around, every brand is using influencers to market their products and services. Of course, as a startup, funding can be an issue, preventing you from engaging a top-rated influencer. However, you don’t need such a high-level influencer. Instead, you can engage a micro influencer for marketing purposes. Do ensure that the influencer enjoys a good reputation and is relevant to your business field.

  1. Create Sense of Exclusivity

If you have a Toyota, you will want to have BMW. Once you get a BMW, you will want a Porsche or a Lamborghini. In short, its human nature to always want things that one doesn’t have. From a business perspective, you can exploit this human nature to your advantage. How? Well, set up a limited-edition program and you’ll get users racing to sign up for it. An example of this program can be providing exclusive access to a new product for 100 users or anything similar.


This concludes our article on the best marketing strategies for a startup in Pakistan. Of course, startups from other countries can use these strategies too. But they need to tailor them to their local conditions for best results. Contact us if you require help with marketing strategies or website development.

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