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High-Growth Marketing: All Hands On Deck

For tech firms looking to scale at warp speed, marketers must get engineers and salespeople on the same page

Marketers in rapidly growing technology firms face a unique set of challenges and opportunities compared with their colleagues in consumer packaged goods. In this interview, Andrew Dubowec, Vice-President of Strategy of League, discussed the importance of tech firms to adopt a holistic approach to marketing their products or services. He spoke with Jim Hamilton, Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Sales Management, at Smith School of Business.

Video Highlights

00:48     What marketing strategy looks like in a high-growth firm: For one thing, it looks like a “team effort across multiple functions — marketing, product, sales, strategy.” The goal of achieving scale and exponential growth sits outside the bounds of traditional marketing and requires a holistic organizational approach.

1:38     Executing marketing strategy for fast growth: They key is to identify the early adopter customer. At League, executives continually test assumptions. Originally, they planned to target consumers but found greater uptake among employers, specifically small technology-oriented employers with fewer than 100 employees. They’ve now pivoted upmarket, targeting larger firms with 100 to 1,000 employees.  

3:05     Marketing’s role in scaling operations: “In high-growth tech companies, there’s a tension between sales and product. Sales drives revenue and product builds the underlying technology of the core product. The role for marketing is being the arbiter between these two groups and helping get the organization on the same page.”

5:00     How growth firms can leverage marketing technology: Unlike large and established firms, young fast-growing companies have a taste for trying out cutting-edge systems. To cut through the marketing technology clutter, executives should focus on those products or services that help them get their sales team in front of buyers.

6:48     On the proliferation of marketing roles: While the scope of marketing is increasing, there are three core areas for fast-growing firms: brand marketing to establish the identity of the new enterprise; product marketing to help align the engineering and sales teams; and performance marketing to generate leads in unexpected areas. These different centres of marketing excellence requiring varying skill sets.