We recently caught up with Marc Duke, B2B startup digtial marketeer, to learn more about the road to startup success. Here’s what he had to say …
The secret to startup success?
Hiring the right people and delivering complete solutions are two key things that startups need to get right. It sounds simple, but in reality, it’s anything but.
“Time is a luxury that startups don’t have”, Marc states. Investors want to see growth and entrepreneurs rely on investors for funding, so the pressure to deliver is intense. This sometimes results in the delivery of “products [that] are not ready for client-side”.
How important are growth hackers?
Growth hackers can be a big help, especially for B2C brands; startups need tech super-users who can push them in front of the right audience, but they also need business experts on the team. Marketing is crucial as it ensures everyone in the business knows "who they’re targeting, exactly what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it”.
So, marketing is still key for startups?
It sure is. And why wouldn’t it be? “Marketing [is often] overlooked as an expense rather than a revenue driver”, Marc reveals, but every business can benefit from targeted marketing activities. No, startups don’t have time to write a 12 month plan and stick to it rigidly, but direction is crucial, and marketing isn’t just about long-term planning and big budgets.
Right people. Right mindset.
People can make or break a startup. Some people are right for startups, and others aren’t. So who is right? Marc tells us: it’s all in the mindset.
The right person (with the right mindset) would be someone who not only has the necessary skills, but is also:
- able to translate tech speak to business speak and vice versa
- prepared to accept ‘good enough’ and make things work instead of always demanding perfection ... (note: the right person doesn’t overlook the importance of correct grammar and spelling!)
- a technology super user and passionate about tech-related changes
- ready to embrace change – the sort of person who makes any required changes now rather than tomorrow or next week.
- excited about the fact that they’re in a position where they can make a real difference. The pressure and responsibility that comes with this isn’t to everyone’s liking.
- dynamic and entrepreneurial. Reliance on rigid plans and outdated technologies / ideas won’t help in a start up.
- aware of the changing nature of start ups as they move through various phases and the differing skills required from ideation to scaling and beyond.
More about Marc
Marc is a B2B marketing consultant who is all about ‘results, not excuses’. He works predominately with B2B startups, helping them harness the power of strategic marketing. Although he confesses that he once had ‘growth hacker’ listed on his LinkedIn profile, his focus is more on marketing that using technology for technologies sake and will use whatever marketing methods that drive success. A long-time member of the London Tech Advocate group, he’s passionate about helping startups find the right opportunities to progress.
What is Tech London Advocates?
Tech London Advocates is a fantastic initiative that provides startups with opportunity and assistance. Consisting of a variety of different working groups – from retail tech to scaleup - it has grown substantially over the last few years.