Marketing or Product?
12 replies
As an early-stage startupper, which strategy would you choose to lead to early sales/MRR? Please mention the reasons for your choice and has that got you 5000$+ MRR, a 5x growth, and a steady stream of paid users? At Qinaps we are currently focused on the product!


ᗰᗩ᙭ ᒍ.
Ppl should come automatically once your product is good enough!
@max15 Hmm but what about the interface and the specifics like which audience am I catering to? Despite having a good product, the word still needs to go around right?
Victor Eduoh
As a marketer for B2B SaaS, I'll say you need both. But it all starts with an excellent product that's going to solve a real problem. Once you have this, whether it's still in the making or in beta (and you're sure about its value), you need marketing. Specifically, you need content. With content, you can educate the market, start nailing a positioning for your brand, build an audience, and drive qualified traffic to your product. For instance, I've seen founders successfully launch ebooks on PH as a way of building an audience before their product launch. By doing this, I'm sure it gave them interested people to beta-test their product and give real feedback. One product I know did this is, although I'm sure here on PH. Before they launched, they created a detailed ebook on how their previous startup failed (you can still find it on the internet). After that, they launched follow-up guides, which all helped in building an audience. When they launched, they sold lifetime access to people in that audience, proved product value via real-time feedback from their ICPs, and have since gone to build a more solid product. I remember this because that's how I got to into using their product too. So yes, you need a blend of product and [content] marketing.
Mohsen Kamrani
@victor_eduoh Really useful tips, loved the example. Do you have a blog or somewhere you usually write?
Victor Eduoh
@m_kamrani yes. I run a Product-Led Storytelling studio for B2B SaaS & VCs, and write a lot there ( You can join our newsletter there too.
From what I've seen in general most of the solo-founders here are focused on the product. The problem I see with that is that even if the product is good it may not get the traction needed to make it sustainable for that founder.
Roberto Robles
Both are needed, there's no way around that.
My advice before continuing to build the product is to make sure its something people want as Paul Graham says. Then launch MVP,/Version 1 of the product. Too many solopreneurs build a product nobody wants, then they wonder why they struggle with marketing.
Fabian Maume
What is your activation rate (visit to subscription)? What is your average retention time? If those 2 metrics are bad, marketing will be useless as you will just be filling a liking bucket => focus your investment on the product. Once those metrics are good you can shift to marketing, but I would spend a max of 70% on marketing. The product is your most valuable marketing asset.
Alina Ihnatiuk
I think. that more marketing is needed at the beginning of the journey.
Mohsen Kamrani
It really depends on the product and your capacity. We're building a highly technical product which has taken around three years to build and get to the stage of public Alpha! However, it doesn't mean you can carry on without putting in the effort for marketing. For us it was very clear who has the problem we're solving, everyone building any software that should be hosted on cloud! but, now it's time for us to build the relationship with our audience, and to tell them our story. So, after building the core functionalities of our product and making it solid to a good extent, and few months before taking the final steps, we've started the marketing phase.