launch startup marketing services mark donnigan growth stage marketing

Launch Your Startup Company

As a startup founder or chief executive looking to launch, many things must come together for your product to find its market. In today’s winner takes all competitive marketplace, and with the explosion of choice in many ecosystems, the value of traditional marketing tactics has waned. You must appoint a revenue-focused value creator to build your marketing strategy and lead its implementation.

A revenue-focused marketing leader controls the growth engine behind the CEO’s business plan. Today, marketing requires high levels of technical capability as a result of the explosion of digital media and the marketing technologies that are associated with digital market engagement and advertising.

This transformation has been highlighted by Forrester, citing a 20-year-old transition to digital as the driving force behind CMOs moving from being solely brand-builders to demand generators – revenue drivers. Forrester goes on to report that a value creator, revenue-driven Marketer, must be a story maker and not just a storyteller.

The CMO’s role now is to be an expert at designing and leading business strategy and creative engagement to build a category so that the company can dominate as the de facto king.

Demand Generation Flywheel

demand generation flywheel for growth stage marketing companies by mark donnigan

1) CAPTURE: Utilizing digital we execute highly coordinated attention grabs of your best prospects.

2) EDUCATE: We identify trends and deliver content that presents your product as the obvious solution.

3) ENGAGE: Utilize email, social, organic traffic, video, audio and more to engage the market with a big bang.

4) CONVERT: Develop highly compelling offers and a process for refining leads to ensure revenue conversion.

How I Drive Revenue

The marketing function today requires the ability to think strategically while acting tactically with a balance of marketing creativity and sales domain knowledge that is not found in most traditional marketers. This is the secret to my success, launching early-stage companies.

  • I work closely with sales to map the buyer’s journey so that we can find the go-to-market strategies and engagement assumptions that do not match what is happening in the market and correct them.
  • I create content targeted at each stage of the buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey defines a set of gates where the content must answer the primary question that a buyer has at each step.
  • I collect engagement metrics for each gate while analyzing the success of the e2e marketing cycle. 
  • Continuous learning and refinement of the process improve the quantity and quality of leads resulting in a significant impact on closed revenue. 
  • Revenue attribution and marketing ROI models reflect actual results. I focus on how the marketing efforts map to closed/won deals that drive revenue.
  • My tactics include written, video, and audio content published to organic, paid, social, and email distribution channels. Events and partner media comprise on-line/virtual, and in-person.
  • Strategies I deploy utilize category design, Blitzscaling, a tightly coupled sales-marketing interface so that we can execute on major ecosystem and technology trends to capture the maximum revenue and business benefits that are possible.

How To Hire A Startup Marketing Consultant

Hiring an effective virtual CMO and business/marketing consultant for your early-stage company is one of the most challenging yet essential things that every founder or CEO must do.

Every market, company, and industry segment is different, and even when you can identify firms or individuals from the same business ecosystem or industry, it’s not enough to look at years of experience or education. 

A few things to consider as you interview consultants:

Marketing success is no longer a matter of executing the standard MBA playbook. The most significant risk today is on the market side and not with technology. A marketing leader who isn’t a problem solver will struggle to deal with the fast-changing nature of the market structure and ecosystem development.

There are very few marketing consultants who can function at the highest level across the range of capabilities required. It’s incumbent for a marketing consultant to be a doer because the consultant who demonstrates functional ability in the core areas that they operate in will be able to develop the plan while executing it. Many marketing consultants are high level, bound by their PowerPoint presentations. But for an early-stage company preparing to launch, winning or losing will be a function of execution as much as strategy and planning. You need a doer and a strategist to ensure success. Here’s a useful podcast interview on how to hire a CMO.

The best way to ensure that you attract a marketing consultant who is revenue and not brand-driven is to hire someone who has come up through product, sales, or corporate strategy. Exposure to the inner workings of product and sales is especially useful as the ability to develop strategy plays a more significant part in marketing, given the complex nature of markets and buying motions. In this podcast interview I talked about the value of marketing leaders who come up through sales.

As digital has exploded the number of marketing interface points allowing buyers to disaggregate the company from the buying journey, a marketing consultant must be able to think of systems and frameworks rather than tightly defined marketing lanes. It is no longer sufficient to think of social media, content marketing, events, and PR, as separate activities. The most successful marketing consultants will start with the business objective and be willing to question everything. You can learn more about GTM in this interview.

Marketing today is all about the story of the problem that you are solving and the category you’ve created, but to become a story-maker, you must be worth listening to. The most successful marketing consultant will be in the ideal position to assume an evangelistic role for the company. With few exceptions, the most successful marketing consultants are also highly visible spokespeople for the industry or ecosystem. In this podcast interview I talk more about this.

A marketing consultant who operates with ultimate authority will struggle to achieve the business goals of the enterprise. Marketing teams must work in an agile manner where instead of neatly organized 90-day campaigns, they execute a steady flow of initiatives while maintaining the flexibility to adjust as the market or business needs dictate. If a consultant benchmarks the marketing performance to industry averages, watch out. Startup and disruptive innovation companies do not represent an average. 

Success in today’s market requires that you define a unique problem and own the category. The process of developing and establishing a category is called category design. For an early-stage company, your marketing consultant should be well versed in how to design and build a category that you will dominate.

It's time for legendary marketing.

I knew that Mark could help us based on his background and high standing in the video streaming ecosystem, but I was not prepared for the depth of his contribution. Working closely with our marketing and sales leadership, Mark expertly guided us in creating a new category called ‘Video Experience Automation Platform.’ This was a missing component to our previous efforts where we strived to clearly define how what we did was different and, better. As a scientist and technologist, it is rare to find a business and marketing leader with the command of a market and technology, which is why I can recommend Mark highly.

Abdul Rehman image
Abdul Rehman
CEO & Co-Founder, SSIMWAVE

I've Built Companies Worldwide Seattle - San Francisco - Los Angeles - New York - Denver - Phoenix - Taiwan - UK - Europe - Israel - Brazil


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