Early Stage Company Development · Minimum Viable Product

How early did you bring in a full-time marketer?

Whitney MPA Founder & Director at Hello, My Name is KING, Inc.

December 9th, 2016

At what stage in your company's development did you decide it was worth it to have a full-time marketer on your team?

We have a three-person team (all developers, although we're learning the business ropes), and we're trying to chart out the money we'll need in our first year; we can get a minimum-viable-product out the door in three months, and then were considering bringing in a marketer.

Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated!

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

December 11th, 2016

This is the most misunderstood issue in startups and mature organizations alike. The product is the only thing. The customers are the only thing. You cannot build a product or determine what customers want or need without the smartest marketing department you can afford. The bad news is that most non marketers think marketing is the web site, advertising and collateral. They are wrong. Bradley. Get the best marketing person you can afford that can determine if what you are building is needed and what the customers think. Dane Madsen Dane@DaneMadsen.com 206.900.5852 Mobile Sent from my mobile device. Forgive typographical and grammatical errors.

Theresa Marcroft Marketing Strategist / CMO / Interim VP Marketing

December 9th, 2016

I love this question because, working in the Silicon Valley, I see WAY too many companies hire their VP Sales and introduce their product with no marketing work done in advance. Marketing should help you to understand the market for your product, the customers' thought process and your own unique value, as well as the competitors you'll face so that you can properly position the product to win against the competitors in the market. Understand your unique selling proposition in advance, and make sure that it means something valuable to your prospects. Think of marketing as reconnaissance work: gather the needed intel and make a plan to win before diving in!
(Call if you want to discuss).

Theresa Marcroft
Interim CMO
MarketSavvy Inc.
Tele: (408) 656.1876
Web: www.Market-Savvy.com
Email: [removed to protect privacy]


Chuck Bartok Social Media Consultant, Publisher, and Contrarian Curmudgeon

December 9th, 2016

When you did your business plan and cash flow projections did you include expenses for "marketing"?
It would be recommended to have marketing in place prior to introductions to build Interest.
Do you know the NEED of your product?
Have you surveyed the niche?
Pre-marketing is crucial.
Many times more so than product refinement.
My simple thoughts

Dane Madsen Organizational and Operational Strategy Consultant

December 9th, 2016

It may be too late now. Building a solution that nobody wants or needs, or perhaps exists in the larger marketplace already, is a constant issue in the tech community. It also sets a culture of tech first, customers second that can kill any good idea. 

Nigel Stonham ROCKst!arist at ROCK st!artist

December 11th, 2016

."...a full-time marketer on your team?" - i would get a marketer on your team before you start anything. "full time" will thus become apparent when its useful "a three-person team (all developers" - good, but have you considered the market, hence point one above

Rill Hodari

December 11th, 2016

I think a lot of these comments are assuming that marketing and marketing research are one in the same (i.e. the work behind validating product/ market fit and informing new product development).  In my over 20 years of experience in market research and consumer insights I will tell you, some marketers have very little real research and insights experience, many have some (but not robust) and a few have a lot of research experience.  So saying that, when you are bringing on a full-time marketer does NOT mean you are bringing on a good market researcher with the ability to deliver actionable recommendations for marketing.  Of course the converse is true as well.  There are many good market researchers without strong marketing skills that can turn data into recommendations and a powerful marketing plan.  So just to clarify because some marketers will spin all day long that they can do research and all they know are very basic survey and focus group formats.

Tom DiClemente Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach

December 9th, 2016

It depends on whether any of you currently have marketing expertise?

Tom DiClemente Management Consulting | Interim CEO/COO | Coach

December 9th, 2016

Exactly the point of my question. If none of you have marketing expertise that can get you started, the time to add that expertise to the team is likely now - full time or part time is a matter of your stage, how much the original three add to the effort, and affordability.

Ryan Rigterink Midwest Manager at Hematogenix Laboratory

December 9th, 2016

I tend to think of marketing as an element of customer engagement.  If this has not been done prior to the build then you will likely be starting over from that beginning point.  Marketing should also be involved with the design.  These are not the same thing but User experience is another important aspect that should be involved early.

Jack Lee Director - Strategic Marketing | Marketing Communications | Customer Advocacy | Digital Content | Business Development

December 10th, 2016

Hi Whitney...
How are you?  The best time to bring in a marketing mindset is in the beginning of the product/service development process but, depending on where you're at with your product/service...the present is still doable.  Is there a need/want for your product/service? How strong is it?  Who is your audience?  Who is your competition? What will help you stand out among them?  You need to answer these questions (and more) in an honest manner.
If you need help, I am happy to chat...
I actively work with SMBs and start-up organizations with new product introductions.  I have started and grown 4 of my own businesses.
Jack