The “railroad tracks” between an early stage enterprise IT ISV likely to evolve, over time, and a weaker candidate, can often be identified by indications that the former possesses a:
- business plan, which conforms to traditional guidelines for these documents, and
- management team, which provides for leadership for each of the crucial functions of the business, including Marketing, Sales, Finance, and Technology. All of these functions are subordinate to the CEO
The management team need not include a dedicated human resource for each of the functions listed in pt 2) above. Usually, very early stage businesses have one or two people working closely on a clearly delineated list of functions, for each of which strategies and tactics have been formalized. Further, methods need to be available to measure actual performance against the business plan, over time. The most important point is ensuring that, in fact, the functional requirements are being met.
It is absolutely essential that Marketing Communications be included in the list of crucial functions of the business. As we have written in earlier posts to this blog, an optimum approach is to kick off market messaging from the very inception of the business, thereby ensuring that an evolving product plan has a useful and accurate “voice” that can be heard by interested parties and, as appropriate, prospects and, even later, customers. The messaging function can also be charged with establishing market place sentiment about product plans, skillfully, prior to the actual expenditure of funds on product development. It should be obvious that determining that a software notion is actually perceived by the intended market as a “solution without a problem”, before commencing development is extremely valuable for a start up business with very limited capital.
Because it is so closely entwined with product marketing, it is best to include the marketing communications function within the marketing role. Where possible, establishing a dotted line, matrix reporting line to head of sales also makes sense. In fact, when communications is broadly considered, there are aspects of this function — particularly with regard to its ability to manage direct contact with marketplace contacts through surveys, the creation of publications like case studies, success stories and white papers — that can be very useful to sales. It makes sense to grant sales the privilege of contributing to the overall management of the marketing communications effort.
If you are experiencing a disconnect between your marketing communications efforts and marketplace interest, you ought to look closely at redesigning the function to better suit your business objectives. IMB Enterprises, Inc. offers very recent experience on this topic. Our services are offered on a monthly retainer basis of $3200.00 (3 month minimum commitment). Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about how we can help you improve your return on investment in marketing communications. You may also email Ira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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