Well you heard about entrepreneurs and you definitely heard about Marketers, but did I just invent a whole new term called Entrepreneurial Marketing???
The answer is no (otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, right?) but there are some arguments about whether or not it’s a real skill set or job description and should small businesses take this one seriously.
But hey, let’s start from the beginning… You are probably wondering what is this Entrepreneurial Marketing I’m constantly talking about and how is it different from traditional marketing?
There are a lot of attempts to define Entrepreneurial Marketing but the way I see it, it is more of a conceptual thing, a state of mind. It’s not about one strategy or tactic you have to use as a start-up or small business. It’s about a set of unique practices and adjustments you have to take into consideration when you are marketing a new business.
It’s the way you think, act and measure.
1. Budgets: Let’s face it, a small business don’t have much of this going around . When you don’t have big budgets to throw at billboards, conferences, ads etc – you have to find creative ways to grow you business. You understand that your own media, funnels and network are probably the most valuables channels your business have, and that you have to do everything in your power to optimize it.
2. Followers: The other thing is the size of your audience. Companies like Telstra cannot afford to play around too much with its public appearance and spend a lot of time, effort and money on focus groups & surveys. However, a small company can (and should) play with it’s messaging straight on their ads/websites/funnels. It’s actually expected of a young company to do a lot of public facing A/B/C testing as a way of research.
3. Time: While corporates usually plan the year well in advance and spend a lot of time preparing for each campaign or calendar event, startups usually don’t have this luxury. From over a decade of experience in working in both environments, it’s clear that a startup is a fast paced dynamic workplace, where everything is due for yesterday. You can’t really plan ahead (cause you don’t even know if you still be around in 3 months). Everything changes by the day (including business models, pivots and change in target audience) and every day you have new insights, ideas and experiments to follow.
4. People: a major difference between traditional and Entrepreneurial Marketing, both in terms of team size and team spirit. In a startup/small business you usually have one person in charge of marketing (2 if you’re lucky or if you scored a good intern) and other in house resources are rare. In an established business you have different teams in place for every channel or type of marketing. They are also working according to plans and know exactly what is expected of them and how would they be measured. You also have access to graphic designers, developers and consultants.
In a entrepreneurial environment, the entire team is also usually very enthusiastic, have 10 new ideas to follow every day and tend to lose focus over excitement. It takes a special person to handle all of it (and like it at the same time).
As you can understand, Entrepreneurial Marketing is actually a result of circumstances, it’s coming up with the right tactics to better utilise the resources.
That’s why you have to be innovative, data-driven person. You need to know how to be pro-active, work on your own but at the same time be a team player.
The more hands on you can get – the better (graphic design and a bit of HTML will go a long way for you). However, and that’s very important, you need to know when to have a bird’s eye view and when to plunge in and do the work yourself.
A good Entrepreneurial Marketer knows the importance of quick iterations and doesn’t fear the tight schedule – he/she will actually enjoy and thrive in this type of an environment.
I think this t-shirt sums it all quite nicely 😉 :
So what’s your take on this one? Would be happy to hear your thoughts in the comments below (or just tweet me @yifi with your thoughts).