• by William Mougayar
    Venture advisor, 4x entrepreneur, marketer & strategist. I live in Toronto, curate a lot, blog a bit, and help startups.

The Digital Native Marketing Trap, Another Startup CEO Blindspot

trapI’ve already alluded to the “digital native marketing trap”, a syndrome that plagues many startup CEOs who were birthed in and grew-up with online and the Internet. For them, everything can be done online, because they only see online marketing via growth-hacking techniques, user activity and analytics data.

And there is another parallel trap,- the startup CEO who is too focused on their product and its features, even if they are growing a community and creating new categories around their products. It’s a trap because they see that as the only answer to marketing.

In both cases, that’s not enough.

There are 3 types of marketing you need to think about:

  1. Product Marketing: focused on product features and their differentiation.
  2. Digital Marketing: manifested by online campaigns mostly (has almost replaced direct marketing).
  3. Corporate Marketing: brand and market position related.


Most startups do well in understanding product marketing and online marketing, but they fail at corporate brand marketing, and they ignore the power of the pull that a strong brand can give them.

I have written plenty about how to grow your brand as a startup, and why it’s important:


You can push push push, but at some point in time, you need to grow your brand, and that will pull customers and users to your product with less effort into it.

Get out of your online cocoon, and get into the real world which includes physical touch points, and also includes reaching the market that you don’t currently have, and let your prospects know that you exist.

Don’t be that digital native startup CEO who falls in the online+product only marketing trap.