Australian startups crave media coverage but need more marketing skills, report finds

Media exposure is the biggest challenge facing Australian startups and lacking marketing skills in their founding team is their biggest regret, the 2018 Startup Muster report says.

This year’s report, which surveyed 3,476 Australian startup founders and their supporters, found 42% of them said their ventures needed media exposure in the next six months.

Startup Muster founder Monica Wulff expressed concern fewer women are entering the startup space

Founders also said they missed having PR skills with saying 11.6% regretting not having members of the team with that experience while 10.9% would have liked more social media expertise.

However 29% of Australian startup founders claimed have marketing skills or experience and 22.7% said they are outsourcing marketing functions, while another 10.2% are outsourcing PR.

Of the industries being targeted by Australian startups, 12.8% are aiming at the marketing industry while 15% are focusing on content and media. The biggest areas are the Internet of Things with 40%, medtech with 38.3% and fintech with 35.6%.

More generally, nearly half of Australia’s startups are looking for capital with most, 64%, relying on the founders’ own cash for funding.

Domestic sales were the biggest short term objective for founders with 64% saying their priorities were to domestic sales in the next 12 months while in the longer term, 51% were looking at boosting their international revenues.

In commenting on this year’s report, Startup Muster founder Monica Wulff said she was concerned that fewer women responded to the survey this year, 22.3%, reversing the increasing trend of the previous four years and down from 25.4% last year.

“As a startup founder and a woman the latest statistic about women founding startups is alarming. We need to look at what factors are causing this decline and set about correcting them and making this community more inclusive,” Wulff said.

“Australian startups are looking to compete in the global arena and having artificial intelligence stand out as the top industry is reflective of that.

“Availability of tech talent is strangling the progress of the Australian startup ecosystem. Only half of all startups have software development in their founding team. It is a high cost resource and without access to tech talent the probability of success diminishes.”


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