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Don’t just throw money at marketing and tools

Throwing money at marketing and tools with out a specific agenda, and without the entire company supporting and buying in is a “no, no”.

Say you’re a Series A start-up, and you just got a big check from a16z and their homies. What do you do now? You likely have a few founders, CEO and CTO, but rarely is one of the CMO. Marketing is one of the hardest disciplines because it deals with making something exist in peoples brains that had yet to exist yesterday.

So what do you do? What are your first steps?

  • Hire a marketing person?
  • Evaluate vendors?
  • Hire SDRs?
  • Hire a content writer?

For any early stage start-up that is looking for hyper growth, you wont get there by trying to build C infrastructure at A age. We idealize that this will work, but it only causes a very bumpy road when we are trying to build moomentum. You cant build floor 3 of a house until you have laid the foundation and built floors 1 and 2.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • How big are your growth goals for this year?
  • Have you identified a concise target audience using data?
  • What are your customers saying about you?
  • What pains does your product solve?
  • What content both technical and fun can you create right now?

The average price tag on a new inbound / outbound stack can be upwards around 100k and that gives you the bare minimum of each of the tools. Its value lies in whether or not you and your team knows how to use them to the fullest.

Getting an automation platform for sending emails is only valuable if you understand deliverability, targeting, messaging, and timing.

Getting a marketing automation platform to guide leads down a funnel is only a reasonable decision if you know what your funnel is.

Its best to have all of your pipes planned out in advance, and understand it takes time to build these things. Also take into account that the way of doing things being practiced by most people who have been in the industry for ages, are no longer a best practice. Keep an eye out for trends and fresh faces who have big dreams and building skills.

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