Viral coefficient

Startup Marketing Is Never Just About Marketing

We can all pretty much agree that working in silos causes more harm than good to an organisation.

It’s comfortable, in both the workplace and our lives, to put people and things into categories so we feel we can better understand them. However, the results are better and stronger if you take a step back and consider the whole mix.

That is why Makk, the fractional CMO offering, brings with it a breadth of experience and skillsets that help an organisation prepare for growth. Internally and with its consumer.

Particularly during this time of tech investment decline and subsequent results from the current market, it is crucial to take advantage of the downturn to build solid, effective foundations and processes for your company. 

This means looking at the structure of the organisation – not just marketing. What roles do you NEED to be successful? What skills are needed for those roles? Have you undergone a business plan review? Is there a brand strategy for the business, do you know who your audience really is and what they would want to hear? 

From our experience, the key areas that help startups and scaleups succeed are: 

  • Leaders who are empathetic and part of the team and a CEO who is a CEO. The CEO doesn’t have to be the founder and, in many cases, might not be the right person for the skills it takes – there are other crucial roles that founders can have to ensure the business is successful in developing and evolving their vision
  • Organisations that prioritise the pain before the pleasure – i.e. strategy before execution!
  • Having the right operational structure not only in place but also how the teams will work together – this is as much about personality types as it is about the Hub and Spoke or Tribes and Squads (which, by the way, is one of the most difficult structures to implement successful marketing activity)
  • An operations & finance-focused member of the team. Ensuring the runway, salaries, legalities and account requirements are accurate, covered, considered and lean.
  • Culture is not an afterthought. It comes with every comment and every hire made in the organisation. It’s not just about hiring “young unicorns with experience” for a substantial amount of money – but finding the right person for the organisation, the team, and the job. Diversity is crucial to innovation, so getting outside of your comfort zone, even if that requires help, is essential.

When Makk join a team, we bring with us breadth and depth of experience from our careers, clients (often from multiple angles), boards we’ve sat on, and businesses we’ve set up and/or help run, and we bring all of these elements into our day to day. We make recommendations across all facets, from how meetings are run to who should sit on the board of advisors. 

Our role within startups is to help hire the people who will (and should!) replace us or support the senior & exec with our experience while they grow into their roles. Getting the foundations in place, the right people for the job who can pick up and deliver, with confidence across the business pillars.

Startup marketing is never just about marketing. It’s about preparing the business for growth.