The startup market is booming. With investment in new businesses at an all-time high, the time to test yourself and launch the next influencer / disrupter brand is now!
Specialising in recruiting senior level Marketing and Digital specialists within the startup market, I’m in the fortunate position of talking to companies that look to disrupt and influence the market on a daily basis. Some are going through the first stages of investment while others are more advanced in their journey, however all have put themselves on the line and are striving to create something great.
The thing that surprises me when talking to founders is the variance in appreciation for marketing and where it fits into their organisation’s “road map”. Some feel it is an unnecessary expense to the business and that their product is key while some feel that they can get by without for a while. “We can begin marketing after launch” is a surprisingly common response. However many understand that marketing is the book ends that hold a business together.
I don’t want this to be a piece based on my thoughts and ramblings as a recruiter giving my two pence worth on a subject that I am not wholly qualified to debate so I spoke to an expert that knows what it takes to run a start-up business.
Ian McCaig is a proven entrepreneur with experience scaling high growth companies. He spent 5 years at Google, 7 years as Founder and CMO of Qubit (a leading European SaaS business) and most recently Founded Fiit; a digital disrupter in the health and fitness industry. He knows a thing or two about marketing and its place in the startup market…..
Ian is aware that in many businesses, the perception of marketing is poor and understands why people don’t include it as a key hire at the outset. Marketing has become too focused and not inclusive in its approach. PPC and SEO are great but how do companies utilise other disciplines to progress?
The customer has to be key to the business. There are two steps to understanding your customer; firstly you have to go out to meet them and secondly you have to put the time in to properly segment and analyse them. Only then are you to enable able to offer the best product / service you can.
Currently there is a lot of talk about data and how it’s the most important part of any business. This is true to an extent. Data marketing is now mostly automated, so where data used to be 20% strategy and 80% implementation, now it is 80% strategy and 20% implementation. So what do you do with all this time that has been freed up?
Well Ian believes you should be meeting your customer. Merge sales, product and marketing into a cohesive team that talks and understands the customer but most importantly each other. Marketing should be more than just PR, just digital, just comms. It needs to be an amalgamation of everything.
Marketing is, in Ian’s eyes, key. By under investing in marketing you’re setting yourself up to fail. I agree, however marketing needs to be relevant and carefully planned out. PR stunts work for a while but if there’s no follow up customers will get bored. Social media is important but unless you engage with your audience they will stop sharing and caring. Bring people into your business that are passionate but most importantly be focused on delivering a strong and robust marketing plan that will help scale your business!
With over 13 years’ experience in marketing recruitment and a focus on the startup and growth business market, I talk to and meet candidates every day that can do this for you so if you would like to discuss how they can impact your business, please give me a call on 0203 879 9731.