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After chatting with marketing executives for a year, here are my tips for CEOs – TechCrunch

 |  Today Headlines

After chatting with marketing executives for a year, here are my tips for CEOs – TechCrunch

| Today Headlines | Today Headlines


Marketing makes or breaks a company. When people ask me what is the # 1 thing I would do to help a business grow massively is focus on marketing. Period.

I learned a long time ago that the best product doesn’t always win. This is often a “good enough” product coupled with destructive marketing fueled by unique customer insights. As a VC I have seen this play out time and time again. Many companies get stuck in “features and functionality” marketing, which means they are missing out on the opportunity to build lasting brands. It happens when you elevate the messages to higher level needs that solve a problem for the end consumer and delight them emotionally.

I’m passionate about helping businesses discover new channels or reinvent old channels in a way that moves the needle. Finding a new way to get established channels like TV, direct mail, and radio to build brand awareness around a brand can be a huge competitive divide and propel a business to exponential growth.

I’m not saying it’s easy. The job of a marketer becomes more complicated with every channel that emerges. Among the latest difficult trend lines:

  1. It’s louder than ever. In the coming year, marketers expect a 40% year-over-year increase in the number of data sources they use, according to Salesforce’s Seventh Edition of the State of the World’s annual report. marketing, for which they spoke to over 8,200 marketers around the world.
  2. Stock markets tighten. According to Gartner, marketing budgets as a percentage of the company’s revenue fell to 6.4% in 2021, from 11%. The company reports that “this is the lowest proportion allocated to marketing in the history of the annual Gartner Marketing Director Spending Survey.”
  3. Ponds are overexploited. Ten years ago, only 17% of global ad spend went to the top five ad sellers (Google; Viacom and CBS; News Corp. and Fox; Comcast and Disney). Today, ad networks are much more crowded, with 46% of global ad spend on the top five networks (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and ByteDance).

With this downward pressure on the effectiveness of marketing dollars, it’s important to listen to customers, stay curious, and stay open to crazy ideas that have the potential to break through. Over the past year, I’ve had dozens of conversations with marketers asking them what actually works for them and what a crazy idea they tried that sounded silly at the time.


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Here are some highlights of what I’ve heard and what I’m now sharing with all of the CEOs and Marketing Executives of our portfolio companies:

With developers, marketers should be problem solvers, not sellers

“Developers detect any kind of marketing talk or BS very quickly. They look for the answer to a problem they have and then move on. How do you get them to the right documentation as quickly as possible? How can you keep them up to date with what products are online today, and not what will be two years from now?

Your job is to help them get their hands on the code as quickly as possible. Give them direct access to other developers in the community who think alike and can help solve some of their issues in real time. – Sara Varni, former CMO at Twilio.

Avoid free trials at all costs

“At first at Curology, we had the assumption that by not charging anything at all for a product trial, it was too easy for people to get it without any mental commitment. We started experimenting with the folks paying the shipping, $ 4.95. [That price] was still a very low barrier for people, but we learned that it drastically changes the perception of value and mental engagement in the eyes of our clients.

After chatting with marketing executives for a year, here are my tips for CEOs – TechCrunch

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