Building your initial go to market team in your start up is hard. You’ve got to balance domain expertise and functional expertise, experience and energy and cultural fit. Add to that, the role of marketing is so complex, you’ve also got to balance within the marketing domain. And it’s kinda a -zero sum game. I recently chatted with Masha Sedova of Co-Founder of Elevate Security on how she’s tackling these challenges, and you can hear her perspective here.
One way to tackle this challenge I have found useful is to think of your needs on two dimensions, Brand v. Demand and Strategic v. Tactical. If you look at this graphically, it leaves these four quadrants, which I’ve labeled at the Promoter, The Storyteller, The Growth Partner and the Demand Generator. Let’s take a look at each of the Archetype marketers.
In the upper right we have the Promoter. The promoter is a master of PR, Events and Social. They get attention and know how to work the very important influence channels that create and shape markets and market perception.
In the bottom right, we have the Storyteller. Often you’ll see them with Product Marketing backgrounds or titles. They know how to shape your message and target it to every audience that matters. Pair them with the promoter, and you’ve got the message and the means to get the word out.
At the bottom left we have the Growth Partner. A skilled negotiator and communicator, they are masters at taking your message and massaging it to get the attention and action of partners, whether suppliers or providers. They understand market dynamics and how to “growth hack” into existing channels and demand flow.
Lastly at the upper left you have the Demand Generator. They are all about leads and about managing the lead flow through the funnel. They speak the language of SEO/SEM, Content Syndication and Programs. When the funnel needs building, look to them.
The challenge of course for nearly all early start-ups is they need all 4 of these people and only have the budget for one or two right now. That’s why sequencing hires and matching hires to business priorities is so critical. But once you understand the 4 types of marketers you need, you have the starting point to getting this right. In my next blog I’ll provide some guidance on sequencing and prioritizing these hires, and how to recognize the elusive 3 or even 4 tool player!