Does your Startup need marketing?
It’s a question a lot of Founders ask themselves.
So in this video I’m going to answer 4 key questions to help you decide whether or not marketing can help your Startup grow.
So question No.1 -
Will my startup fail if I don't have any marketing?
Now the simple answer is…..of course it won’t.
Because marketing isn’t a silver bullet.
It’s not going to make up for a poorly built MVP.
Or acquire customers if you don’t have product-market fit.
And it certainly won’t be solely responsible for helping you successfully raise some money.
If you’re a Startup Founder, you’ll know exactly what I mean. A Startups growth and ultimate success...is down to...
- Some really good people.
- A good product that solves some problems that people would pay for.
- And then of course some money to grow it.
So the good news is that your Startup won’t fail if you don’t have marketing.
However...Your Startup won’t grow as fast if you don’t have marketing.
Because the behaviour of buyers has changed and so has the positive impact that good B2B marketers can have on sales pipeline.
So if you’ve just completed a seed round or a series A and you’re looking to seriously scale your business, then marketing needs to be something you look at fairly early on.
So that leads nicely onto question 2 -
Why do startups need marketing in the first place?
And this isn’t necessarily an easy question to answer. Because B2B marketing is such a big topic.
But for your Startup generally, in my opinion, you’re going to need two types of marketing.
If you’re still early on in your product development or just starting to get some traction in the market, then you probably need a product marketing.
And product marketing will help you accelerate growth because it takes a more strategic view of your product or solution.
In product marketing, you’ll want to know -
- Who are the competitors
- Who’s your audience
- Who are the persona’s within that target audience
- What are their pain points etc.
And from there it’ll help with the messaging, building the go to market plans and then give you the ability to give your sales team them the knowledge and tools to sell more effectively.
And then the other type of marketing you might need in your startup - is one that’s focussed on lead generation.
Some Startups call them growth marketing or performance marketing.
But essentially once product - market fit is there, lead generation is all about executing a variety of programs to help you generate more leads for your sales team.
And of course depending on what you sell and to who, then that could mean;
- content marketing
- inbound marketing
- account based marketing
- partner marketing
There’s a ton of lead generation tactics to help you scale these days.
Now your next question to me might be, so you’re saying marketing can help us scale, but by how much.
And that’s a good question and segways nicely onto my next question.
What companies do marketing successfully?
And I’m going to talk about a company called Drift.
They’re a US headquartered SaaS business, their CEO is David Cancel and their VP of Marketing is Dave Gerhardht.
And they’ve created their own category which is Conversational Marketing.
But basically you would install their chat widget on your website and that would help you with a number of things;
- Helping answer your prospects questions when they arrive at your website.
- Using bots to book meetings for your sales team when prospects qualify themselves.
- And then personalising your messaging when prospects and customers come back to your site.
So it’s a great tool to help businesses accelerate sales.
Now, the reason I think their marketing is great is because of their success.
They started in 2004 and have already raised over $100m in funding. And I think they’re the fastest growing SaaS business globally.
And I’m sure there are many aspects to their success. But one certainly has to be their marketing.
Dave Gerhardht, their VP of Marketing, started as their sole marketer and has built a team of 20.
Their branding is on point, the content they produce is off the charts, and they’ve created so much noise and traction, it’s fuelling their growth.
And probably most interesting, is they Dave was hired before they’d achieved product - market fit. It’s counterintuitive. But their strategy was to create an audience first by sharing a ton of useful content, so you build this base of fans.
Then when they were ready to launch their solution they had hundreds of people sign up because they were already engaged.
And that’s what great marketing can do for your Startup.
So, finally, but not least -
How do I start marketing at my Startup?
So if you’re a Founder and have some marketing in your background, then I’d suggest you start doing some marketing and using some external help from agencies to help you test and scale it.
Once you then get to a point where it’s starting to work and it becomes more predictable, and you’re starting to get too busy, then that’s probably the time to hire your first marketer.
And that’s also a good option if you’re bootstrapping your Startup.
But if your skillset is on the technical side and especially if you’ve raised some money and now need to scale fast to satisfy your investors, then you probably need to hire in a senior level marketer to help you build that marketing engine.
And hiring in that first marketer is a crucial and critical first step to your growth.
Because if you get the right type of marketers - boom, I’m confident you’ll smashing it.