Lower Your Marketing Debt or Die
By Shira Abel
Marketing Debt happens when startup marketing departments are underfunded and understaffed.
Just like Technical Debt, marketing debt means that a lot of shortcuts were taken that will eventually undermine the health of the organization. In the case of marketing debt, there will come a time when sales start to flounder because Marketing hasn’t had the time or ability to create a scalable, repeatable lead gen model via multiple, holistic channels.
This results in Sales not getting what they need to get their job done.
There are a lot of reasons why you should care about marketing debt.
Remember The Startup Curve?
Marketing debt accumulates through the Trough of Sorrow all the way through the Wiggles of False Hope. Marketing debt is part of the reason why these crashes and wiggles happen, and lowering your debt is one of your biggest obstacles to get over into the Promise Land.
Most companies start to focus on alleviating their marketing debt after they have raised their A Round. Until then the focus and budget has been on sales, because without sales they wouldn’t have reached their A Round, but without solving marketing debt, the company will not reach its B Round.
Now that you’ve determined that you have marketing debt, or you haven’t, which in that case there are plenty other articles you could be reading right now, how do you start to lower your marketing debt?
The Marketing Audit
What are you doing now and what do you need to be doing? Determining this has a lot to do with your sale amount and your funnel. It makes no sense for a product that is $10 a month to have SDRs, Inside Sales, and AEs. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on companies that sell to mid-size companies up to enterprise and have an average sale over $50k.
How Strong is Your Brand?
“Strong brands have been shown to be effective strategies for achieving sustainable profits and returns. Furthermore, strong brands also demonstrably enhance shareholder wealth via higher firm stock [prices].” GfK MIR
People see you before they can read your message or hear what you have to say. Are you claiming to be the BMW of XYZ for the enterprise but you look like a Yugo?
Branding is critical for companies that sell to enterprise. Having a strong, consistent, well-designed brand makes leads easier to get and deals easier to close because people trust that you if you care enough to pay attention to your brand, you’ll take care of theirs as well. Also, in today’s world of hyper-commoditization in SaaS, design is one thing that isn’t easy to copy. In addition, people have the automatic assumption that we are what we look like thanks to the
Also, in today’s world of hyper-commoditization in SaaS, design is one thing that isn’t easy to copy. In addition, people have the automatic assumption that we are what we look like thanks to the Consistency Principle Heuristic. Go to the full article.