It seems that every five seconds, another accelerator or incubator holds a demo day somewhere in the world. Thanks to a flood of seed-stage investment dollars and falling costs to launch, there have never been more digital startups entering the marketplace. Many of them have built business models around serving the world's brand managers -- and yet marketers have never had a harder time buying new ideas. If startups have any chance to get a meeting, much less a purchase order, they must step into their clients' shoes and make it as easy as possible to say "yes."
Thanks to consumer control and media fragmentation, marketers struggle to deliver 50 tactics to market where they once had scale with five. Budgets and headcount are down, while email inboxes and meeting requests are up. I have been in the unique position to gain perspective on these challenges on the client side, the agency side, and now as an investor helping to shepherd dozens of startups onto corporate campuses. Based on these 15 years of experience, I offer these five ways for startups to overcome client brand barriers.