Canadian Startups Suck at Marketing

As you know if you’ve been reading my previous posts, I went through quite the heart-wrenching process to have to choose WordPress for my blog instead of a Canadian solution.

Right out the gate, breaking the rules. Thanks, Justin Trudeau.

It definitely sucked to have to start out my experiment with an exception (never fear, there are stellar companies in this country and I will find them and I will use them to build an equally stellar company).

That being said, something pissed me off more than PageCloud not having a native blogging solution.

Canadian startups are un-findable

It took me so damn long even find Canadian brands.

I searched “Canadian website builder” and the first ad result was Wix. The first organic result was weebly.

canadian website builder google search
HostPapa at least made the first page (if scroll down a bit more, anyways), but it was so buried and not referenced anywhere that I didn’t know if it was legit or not.

PageCloud didn’t even show up at all. Not a good look, PageCloud.

This was after long and arduous searches for “WordPress alternatives,” and “Canadian WordPress alternatives,” and “WordPress competitors.”

All turned up American and European results, mostly.

Where was my Canada?

The only reason I knew anything about PageCloud is because they were a host sponsor for HackerNest Ottawa, a tech nonprofit that I used to work for. Even then, it was more of an “oh, duh!” moment that I remembered – the brand didn’t stick initially in my mind when I thought “website builder.”

Now maybe that’s my fault, since both HostPapa and PageCloud have thousands of customers.

Lacking SEO

But… where’s the SEO investment? Where’s the PR and branding teams going full tilt to make their brand so visible it feels like it’s imprinted behind your eyelids? Lord knows that’s WordPress’ strategy (or at least how it feels).

Further, in a WordPress-dominated web-world, other competitors are setting themselves up (in marketing language, anyways), as better than WP; more intuitive, or more insert-positive-attribute-here.

I’m not saying that this is a good strategy for your product development teams; I’m a firm believer in focusing on your customers, not competitors. However, in a marketing world it adds up!

It’s time for Canadian startups to step up their marketing

I’d love to see Canadian companies get more aggressive with marketing and getting their own name out there.

We’re polite, sure, but being polite doesn’t inhibit you from mentioning when you excel at a specific thing that you do indeed excel at.

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