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The Marketing for Start-Ups System

When I was running my first marketing department back in early 2010, using social media for business was very "cutting edge." In fact, I started using Twitter to promote our business at the time, it was so impressive that CNN wrote an article about my efforts.

Nowadays, social media is just one part of the puzzle of digital marketing. There are so many moving parts that go into a successful marketing department that it can feel daunting. From SEO to email sequences, social listening to influencers, there are tons of ways to get distracted as a founder. In this article, my aim is to help you cut out the noise and to get hyper-focused on the things that matter most in running a successful marketing program for your business.

How to Run a Marketing Department

Start-up founders hire me to develop and run their marketing departments. When onboarding a new client, I always use the same 3 step process. These steps represent the foundation of a successful marketing program.

Here are the most important things you need to do in order to lay a solid foundation for marketing and selling your product or service:

1. Brand Work: Gaining clarity on your brand and your target client is the most important work you can do for your business. You'd be surprised by the number of companies I've worked with that haven't paid enough attention to clarifying exactly what their brand is and the clients they serve. Without doing this work, it will be difficult to build a lasting brand. It's important to determine the company's mission and values, create a client avatar, clarify your USP, and establish your comp set (or sandbox).

2. Strategy: Once you've become clear on your brand and who you serve, you are ready to create an intentional strategy for marketing that will support and strengthen sales. A useful exercise is to create your Client Value Journey (CVJ). CVJ is a framework that tracks the buyer's journey. It outlines everything from the moment someone becomes aware of your brand all the way to after they've purchased from you and have become raving fans.

Once this is complete, it's time to make a Content Strategy. Take time to develop guidelines that explore the tone, voice, and visuals for the content you create for your brand. It is a way of aligning the messaging to the brand and really helps to bring the whole thing to life.

3. Execution: Develop the systems and habits to run your marketing department. First, you'll need to begin to document your existing processes with SOPs (stand operations procedure documents). Do this even if your team is small. Then, organize your goals and tasks in a project management tool. Finding one that is right for you is crucial to have lasting success in your operations.

Lastly, get into the flow and find your groove. Like anything, consistency is key. That is true for sales and marketing. You can reference established methodology like Agile and Gazelles, or create something on your own. The important part is to determine clear goals and incrementally work towards them.

Conclusion: Planning for success is the best way to ensure it will happen. Get strategic and systematic in your approach. There are three main topics to focus on: strengthening your brand, creating a marketing plan that supports sales, and getting disciplined with executing with consistency.

Still struggling to organize marketing? I am a virtual Chief Marketing Officer passionate about helping entrepreneurs grow and scale their business. Let's schedule your free 30 min discovery call where I'll share tangible, tactical advice on how you can create or improve your sales-focused marketing strategy. Book Now.

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