This is going to come off a bit pretentious artisty of me, and I get that, but I’m going to say all this anyways.
Marketing is not a thing you do, and then it’s done.
I see a lot of founders, especially a lot of product focused founders, treat marketing as if it’s an item to check off their to do list. As if it’s an action item to be solved and then it’s done. Not the case.
I was speaking with the head of growth of a recently acquired big startup. He told me about how before the acquisition they had run into an issue. They had massively scaled and gained most of their growth up to that point by cleverly utilizing a feature on one of the bigger social networks and acquiring tons of users for quite cheap through this method. However, one day they woke up, and the rules had changed. Their golden goose was gone, and it was absolutely devastating. We then talked about how they were struggling to find new channels as they hadn’t bothered to invest in anything else in the meantime because it was working so well. They were stalled out and scrambling to find answers.
This sort of scenario is exactly what I’m trying to talk about. This startup got lucky. Not to discount the work they did, but they found a good acquisition channel and then coasted. They found a destination, but like so many people they discovered their destination was really just a pit stop. In retrospect, if they hadn’t simply declared marketing “solved” this wouldn’t have happened.
Marketing is work. It’s day in and day out optimization, tweaking, and testing. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, if you want to grow your company, if you want to be secure in the future of your business, you can never let marketing just coast. Ever.
Marketing is a journey. NOT a destination.