Yesterday we talked about the changing nature of the sales person’s role at the #napkinStage of a startup. While many people still prefer the “closer” to the pipeline builder, I think if you have a great product that customers can try, use and then buy you dont need to “close”. Customers will “buy” or “close” themselves. Enterprise and SMB software use to be “sold” not “bought” – that’s now changed. Only if you have a poor quality product or an expensive one, do you need to “force” people to buy.
Today I am going to talk about the role of Marketing folks in the #NapkinStage of a startup. While many startups may not hire a marketing person early, I think the role of the “marketer” is being performed by someone who is responsible for “getting traction”.
10 years ago, the Marketing person at a startup was focused on building analyst relations, attending and participating at events and building a “brand”. They spent a lot of time with agencies building the right creatives, making sure they had good “brochures”, giveaways and promotional content.
The marketing person’s role is now more like an early stage product manager – I call them opportunity managers than product managers actually.
If you have a good product, then it sells itself in a 15 min demo (or a 3 min video). Yesterday, one of our companies (Beagel) told me about how they have a 70% conversion to paid customers in less than 30 min, so this is not a rarity.
The role if marketing manager is now focused a lot more on metrics like Customer LifeTime Value (LTV), CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs) and CTR (Click Through Rate), then results of “Brand surveys”, or “generated leads” and analyst reviews. They are becoming more data driven.
Attending events, writing whitepapers and delivering webinars is being replaced by creative copy writing – SEO, engaging on social media (Twitter, etc.).
With this change it is becoming obvious that most marketing is now focused on measurable outcomes associated with revenues, business and product than purely brand.
Surprisingly, even at larger companies (such as Microsoft), I am finding that most Marketing folks are coming to learn about these techniques of “Lean marketing” from the startups at our accelerator.
Tomorrow I will talk about the changing role of the #NapkinStage development team and how they are becoming more Customer service organizations than product engineering.