Too many startup entrepreneurs give little or no thought to a marketing strategy. They focus instead on products or the size of the market opportunity without defining the marketing strategy and sales plan that will help them capitalize on the opportunity. Right from the start, you need a marketer at the table with the founder and product developer or tech team.
Hire a marketing professional who is both strategic and tactical, a hands-on marketer. You want someone who is both a strategic thinker and willing to put hands on the keyboard, someone who can actually do the wireframe for the website, still willing to get dirty hands. Once you are ready to execute your marketing strategy, you require help with synthesizing the information and research, which an experienced professional can do. This process is a grind because there will be barrels of information about the industry or about the competition, but you have to absorb it all so you can develop a distinct position in the market.