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Finding the Right Marketing Tools for Your Startup

Updated: Mar 6

Part Two: Shiny Object Syndrome

Consider this a PSA. Startups, don’t let this happen to your marketing.

Let’s Recap

The nimble, rapid pace of most startups are perfect breeding grounds for “shiny object syndrome”: where your attention is caught by one item, only to be caught by something even shinier, and so on and so forth. And while this syndrome can apply to your overall business, it also applies to your marketing, leading to frustration, wasted time, and poor results.

In order to counteract shiny object syndrome, you need a plan, a guide, and a strategy. Part one of this three-part blog series covered the foundation of any good marketing strategy: messaging. Specifically, how ‘Cleaning up your Messaging’ is essential to avoiding shiny object syndrome. Clear effective messaging is essential to creating a business that stands out, has purpose, and solves customer's problems. Like any good foundation, it must be built first. Once you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to work on shiny object trap number two: marketing tools.

Part Two) Finding the Right Marketing Tools

Finding the right marketing tools for your startup is key to building scale, streamlining process, and nurturing leads. And there is no shortage of tools and software available to help with your marketing. In fact, the sheer number of options is overwhelming to the point of being unhelpful. But don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of shiny objects when l when researching the next cool tool that can optimize your marketing (even for this marketer.)

The good news is that help is out there and today it happens to be in this blog post. While every startup’s needs will be slightly different, here are the basics to get you off the ground:

  • A CRM like HubSpot

  • An email service provider like Mailchimp

  • A social media management platform like Hootsuite

  • And maybe a graphic design software like Canva or

  • A grammar checker like Grammarly if you are feeling adventurous

These 3-5 tools cover the basics of your marketing tech stack needs. They provide you with a system to track prospects and customer engagement, a tool for communication and marketing automation, a way to schedule and track your social media, and a way to make sure your brand is looking and sounding on point. Not a fan of the options listed? Don’t worry. This is where having options comes in handy. There are tons of other tools you can choose from, and some will be better suited to your industry or budget.

Having a process for finding new tools is also helpful. You can always make your own but the following four steps seem to work nicely:

  1. Do some research. Google is your friend but also an enabler for shiny object syndrome. When you search, keep in mind why you need this software, who will use it, and how much you want to spend.

  2. Limit your demos. You don’t have to demo every software. Be selective with your time and limit yourself to no more than 3 demos of tools that meet your budget and business needs.

  3. Get curious. Come up with a good list of questions about how the software will benefit your business prior to the demo. Don’t like the answers?… remove them from the list.

  4. Enjoy the show. It’s exciting to find a new tool that can help you save time, communicate more easily, or produce content faster. Make the most of the demos…they also act as free training and research!

Get comfortable but not too comfortable with distraction

Let’s face it wearing multiple hats and warding off distraction is part of startup culture. However, this does not mean shiny object syndrome has to be alive and kicking in your organization. Recognizing that too much distraction is not a good thing will help your marketing stay on task with the goal of producing quality, not quantity. Clean up your messaging, get tools to keep you running smoothly, and find help when you need it. It’s really that simple.

Next up…Part Three: Enlist an Advocate

Anne Laffin is the founder of Fin Marketing Management. She created this consultancy out of her experience watching startups try to navigate marketing during their foundational years. She understands the hazards of suffering from shiny object syndrome and created a solution that keeps you focused and effective.

Want to learn more about how Fin can help with your startup marketing needs? Schedule a free consultation today.


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