It seems like every month there is another post from another marketing team about how they hit the all-important 1 million monthly views metric. I get it. It’s super impressive. I wish I could claim being the editor of such a successful blog. One million monthly views is always great for a resume, but that doesn’t mean it’s where your marketing efforts should be focused right now.
At an early-stage company, you can probably afford to make your marketing truly great in one area. That choice should not be based on what other marketers are yammering on about (we are the chattiest profession out there. Lots of opinions). Your allocation of marketing resources should stem directly from your product positioning and ensuing go-to-marketing strategy.
So a quick reminder for all of us of some things that might be far important to your business then 1 million monthly blog views…
Tomasz Tunguz wrote a great article recently about the most frequent mishire in startups. His take? It’s a head of marketing that doesn’t spend time on product marketing:
Though the startup may have achieved product market fit, the company may not understand the fit. Who is using the product and why? How does the buyer journey evolve with time? How do buyers describe the product amongst each other? Few early stage companies can answer those questions accurately.
Establishing this foundation enables the company to determine which messages to proclaim and which customers to pursue. Having this framework aligns the business and typically increases marketing efficiency because campaigns are well targeted and resonate better. Demand generation and brand marketers will reap the benefits of this work. So will the rest of the business because it deeply understands its customers.
There are edge cases where this won’t be true, but most of the time, strong product positioning must come before content strategy.
I have little first-hand knowledge on the inner workings of Stripe, so correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that one of their first marketing hires was a Kelly Sims, a brilliant…