Marketing is one function that is not confined to the marketing department alone. Nevertheless, depending on the kind of organization, you need specific marketing skills at every level. It becomes important to take a “horses for courses” approach to hiring the marketing personnel based on the targets you set.
By mid-2017, 25% of marketing organizations will need to solve critical skill gaps, says IDC, by deploying internal Centres of Excellence.
Having worked in the marketing department for organizations of different sizes ranging from start-ups, enterprises as well as small medium business – I’ve learnt something significant – the very ideology of marketing has a direct correlation to the size of the company.
Let us compare the approach of an enterprise product company vs. that of a small medium company with SaaS based products.
Marketing skills at an enterprise product company:
To fit in the marketing skills you need are–
- You must be able to help the product team in positioning the product
- Be in sync with corporate communications to give them a story that they can pitch to the media
- Be able to tell stories
- Most important – be able to create a pitch that the sales folks believe in.
Your lifetime as a marketer in the organization purely is based on what the head of sales across geographies think about you and how they influence the CEO with their opinion. You might have brought in great metrics to measure growth and revenue, but it ultimately boils down to that one event or a presentation deck that you didn’t believe in, which the sales wanted.
Where there is no data about something and cannot be measured- opinions sell. As long as sales teams like you, you are good and sometimes great!
Marketing skills at an SMB or start-up:
The most important among the marketing skills you would need in an SMB is being data-driven. In an SMB, data takes the front row. There is no hiding among the cogs in the machine. Of course, opinions will come in, but it’s all about staying agile. You might be great at messaging, branding and more but your primary role is growth hacking.
You have an idea? – Experiment it on a small scale. If it works, scale it up. If not, throw it away and get working on the next one. Numbers and results alone matter. Even if the sales team is not a fan of your methods to madness, as long as the numbers support your cause – you’re good.
As long as metrics indicate that you are bringing lot of relevant traffic and generating leads, you’re in sync with the product’s cause, as well as the organization’s cause.
There are cost oriented limitations; hence traditional methods take a back seat. Cost per lead and cost per customer acquisition are what you’re measured by.
It is important to learn both sides of the game. Someday your SMB will be an enterprise. That’s how the dice rolls.
What do you think? Share your views!