I've read recently that growth isn't a focus until Series A. Are there any marketing steps that have to be taken before then?
hi logan ...
growth isn't a focus till series a ?? really ??
i'm afraid i disagree with growth not being a focus. to get to a decent series a startup will need to demonstrated a scalable sales or customer acquisition model and that needs sales and marketing. what those steps are will be dependent on the startups target customers, channels to market, and how much money it has for any customer acquisition work.
It seems that when it comes to startups and raising money, people get themselves quite tangled in some imaginary framework. Sure, if you've raised capital, you likely have a roadmap, and some KPIs you're obsessing over. But at the end of the day, a business is a business. You're providing value/a service, so if you can offer that value/service right now, why not let people know?
Mind you, marketing doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg if there's someone to put in the legwork. This can be quite reliant upon what the business is, of course. But I sometimes wonder where people would get if they did away with talk of marketing budgets and ad spend (and even analytics if they hardly have traction), and were to pretend they have no money. There are plenty of people with startups who've had a bunch of money thrown at them, yet can't be bothered to sit on Instagram and DM people who might be interested in their product.
So, all in all, my personal opinion/take/two cents is that, if you can market now, market now.
Just found this roadmap, maybe it can be useful for you: https://roadmunk.com/images/templates/screenshots/startup-tl.svg