Do early stage marketing teams fail?

meeelv via Twenty20
Do early stage marketing teams fail?
At a Glance

To take your SaaS product to the target audience efficiently, you need an efficient marketing team. An early-stage marketing team has a bigger role to play for the company as the product is still new, and there is a need to educate the customers. Your early-stage marketing team should comprise of various experts to address all the challenges that an evolving market presents.

I’ll assert that market is the most important factor in a startup’s success or failure.

 Marc Andreessen, Co-founded Netscape

Building a marketing team is one of your toughest jobs to do if you are a new startup. Who are you going to hire? How many members are you planning to bring onboard? What will be their specialty? Are they a perfect fit for what they need to do? Can they think outside the box and be as malleable as one needs them to be in a startup environment? These are some of the considerably basic questions that hover on your mind while marketing team development. Your marketing team department must understand and implement the strategies that you have curated for your brand marketing. So, pick your team judiciously who will understand your product, customers, and purpose inside out. 

If you are a new business, forming your early marketing team must be done wisely. You will not have the resources to hire as many people as you want. So, focus on quality rather than the number of people you are hiring.

Whom to hire in your startup marketing team?

It is important to pick one player for each important domain of your marketing team to cover all key aspects. You can further divide your marketing department into two categories. First, the core members you should hire if you are a young startup, and second, if you are a large enterprise, what are the other positions you must hire for. But, if you are a young startup, focus on hiring the specialist mentioned below. 

1.    Strategist:

Your marketing team should have a strategist. The strategist will work directly under you and report to you the entire plan and structuring prepared by the marketing team to move forward. He or she will closely work with the company stakeholders to understand different marketing prospects and focus more. A strategist for your new business will form the backbone of your marketing team. 

2.    Designer:

If you are a new startup in the 21st century, it is pretty mandatory to have a web presence. So, hire a good web designer who will manage the website and also contribute toward the SaaS product if there is any. Your designer should be able to maintain the consistency of your brand throughout your online presence. 

3.    SEO specialist:

Web content management is very crucial for your young startup. Proper resources are the key to proper marketing in this digital world. So, hire an SEO specialist who will curate quality content for your website. Content creating is not only about writing blogs but also email marketing, newsletters, FAQs, and product descriptions. 

4.    Developer:

If your MVP is ready, you likely already have a good developer onboard. However, there are different sections for product designing, like front-end development and back-end development. But, if you are new in the market, make sure to hire someone with good front-end developing skills. 

5.    Data Analyst:

In the beginning, you can afford to make a full team of data analysts. So, bring one or two on board who will study your product or company’s data to predict customers’ behavior. They will brief you about the entire digital landscape, where interaction is more, and where more engagement is required.

How to build a strong marketing team?

If you already have many enthusiasts on board, make sure you are walking on the right path. For a young startup business, the main activities or concerns of the marketing department are as follows. 

Identifying and scaling channels:

After bringing a team onboard for your marketing department, sort out your main priorities and responsibilities. You must move your marketing fast for a new startup and spread the word as fast as possible. With the help of data analysis, your first responsibility will be to figure out channels where marketing has become successful and that you can close deals with customers and channels scaling is necessary. So, for every channel, one needs to measure the cost per opportunity (CPO), customer acquisition cost (CAC), etc. 

A team of specialists: 

While your team is building everything from scratch, you cannot afford to hire a specialist in every category. For example, in terms of digital marketing, there are also several categories like content marketing manager, social media marketing manager, digital advertising manager, etc. So, while you are building the marketing team of a young business, hire a skilled marketing manager at first who will be able to look after multiple channels, then slowly, once your sales start to rise, you can bring onboard a team of specialists.

Focusing on special areas:

As mentioned in the first place, there will be some channels where you will need special marketing or focus more on determining factors of sales and engagements showing poor results. Being the company owner, it will be your responsibility to make your teamwork work in those special areas. For example, you have a marketing team with a digital advertising specialist, but the stats show that more focus should be put on that domain. You have to make your existing teamwork in that particular channel by determining who has strengths and weaknesses. If there is already someone in your team with past marketing experience, put that responsibility on them.

Proper documentation:

Proper documentation is the soul of a smooth workflow. Without proper documentation, honestly, that things get tougher when the team eventually starts expanding. So, instead of scribbling down everything single thing on the notepad, a new business should start penning down every detail from the very beginning. You can relate to how troublesome the situation becomes if proper documentation has not been maintained. It should not be like that half of the team; you do not even remember where you have jotted down stuff. So, make sure your marketing team has proper documentation wherefrom content strategy to portfolios of the target audience, everything is written down descriptively. 

Trust me, these are not sacrosanct and in no way does it guarantee that your marketing team will flourish, but it will definitely give it a good starting point to have these factors considered. Do not rush into assembling a team; take some time and evaluate each member’s strengths and weaknesses before including him/her in the team. And above all, ensure that they are exactly what you need for the team as your organization grows. There is no point in hiring for the future. Be in the present to solve your present problems.

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