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Startup Marketing: Do You Have the Right Team?

May 16, 2011

Outside of their core technology, we find that our startup clients love to talk about data—specifically marketing metrics and analytics. It’s a positive development to see our clients consulting data—and not just their ‘gut feel’ to make important early decisions about market penetration, customer profiling and marketing investments.

But two questions persist: are they using the right data, and do they have the right people working with it?

Many of our startup clients are struggling with the basics of marketing; clarifying their goals, among other things. That means they need to create a plan, and that plan requires having the right positioning, message, and programs. But more than anything else, it means having the right people in the right jobs who know what they don’t know. And they know how to ask for help.

When startups are busy building their marketing plan, we tell them don’t forget to look at your team. In fact, start with your team. Here are four questions to help evaluate your team:

  1. Do they understand your customers’ core needs and can they give the company pitch?
  2. Do they know what success looks like to someone at the company above where they are now?
  3. Can they toggle between thinking big at the white board and actually doing the work themselves?
  4. Imagine that the job they are in is vacant. Would you hire them to fill the job?

No audit or design of the marketing program mix and spend is complete until you examine the caliber and track record of your team, and their ability to meet the goals of your startup. If you discover that you need to make a change to your marketing team, you probably already know what we’re going to say: do it sooner rather than later.

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