Friday Dilemma was about a marketer who leaves a well-funded company to take an executive level marketing position in a start-up. It’s a great opportunity for advancement, at least in title, for the individual. However, like many start-ups, marketing is not well-funded and the founders have unrealistic expectations about what they can expect from the marketing investments they have made.Last week’s
Jack makes a couple of great points in his comment and I particularly want to call out the first one. It highlights a mistake that I see many marketers make when they join a smaller company.
Jack suggests a “dose of pragmatism” and to “have a realistic view of the financial condition.” I couldn’t agree more.
Even the largest companies have a limit to what they can spend on marketing. They may have more money, but they also have more places they need to spend it. Start-ups have it the hardest because the money tends to flow out faster than in. Even those with well-heeled investors aren’t usually given a blank check for marketing.
“How can I get the CEO to spend more on marketing” is a question I see asked all the time by marketers at all levels. While I think it’s a valid question, one has to realize that it has to be a realistic investment.
An executive at the level of the marketer in the story should understand how marketing ties into the P&L of the business and the need to balance priorities. Like a lot of tough situations that life throws at us, this is an excellent opportunity to learn.
If the marketer doesn’t have a good understanding of the P&L and business priorities, the regular meetings with the CEO that JML suggests may help. (CEOs tend to be big on the P&L!)
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All the best!