Today I had the pleasure of attending The Best in Klass SaaS Conference, organized by Daniel Klass of Klass Capital and Eugene Bomba of PwC and hosted by Mark Roberge of Hubspot. In attendance, were the who’s who of Canadian B2B startup founders, funders and marketers.
As a Startup Marketer and once upon a time founder, I was naturally interested in the Startup Marketer panel comprised of Mitch Solway of Vidyard, David Crow, Mark Evans and the VP of Marketing at Points.com (I didn’t get her name, sorry!).
There has been a lot of talk about what will the next generation of marketers look like. Should they become technical as what Jamie Steven of SEOMoz espouses with his TechnicalMKTG.com initiative? The meat of the conversation during the panel was spurred by Mark Evans post, “Where are Canada’s Startup Marketers?“, which was inspired by by Marcelo Calbucci’s post on “Full-Stack Marketers“. One of the overarching themes of the talk during the startup marketer panel for the first half of the conference was the concept of being a Marketing Generalist (“Full Stack Marketer”) and being able to cover a lot of ground and being able to handle many different tasks in the marketing mix without having any one person specializing in one thing.
What does a Full Stack Marketer do?
This person would be the jack of all trades when it comes to marketing, having a mix of skills that vary from Social Media, Copywriting, Content Marketing, SEO, Paid Search, HTML/CSS, Analytics, Excel to name a few. This is while having a firm grasp of the buyer personas and being close to the customer as possible in order to understand who they’re marketing to.
However, I was really impressed with Mitch Solway’s view on Marketing for startups. He essentially broke down his process into a few simple steps – begin with understanding your customers, getting on the phone with them in order to understand where you’re going to spend your precious time – pick an area and optimize the hell out of it – that being top of line metrics. Next focus on your funnel and boosting conversions. Once you get a handle of that, you focus on loyalty and retention – all the while scaling up and adding more members to the marketing team. I found myself nodding my head to pretty much everything he had to say about his startup marketing experiences. What he essentially discussed during the panel was covered in his comment in Mark Evan’s blog post.
The Future of Marketing
The last question that was ask by Mark Roberge was where each of the founders saw as the future of marketing. Here were some of the themes that the Founder panel predicted:
- Modelling B2C as a source of inspiration for B2B marketing
- Leveraging Big Data for personalized offers in marketing campaigns (like How Target figured out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did)
- The importance of being authentic/genuine – never forgetting that you’re marketing to humans
Outside of what the veterans of marketing have to say, I’m still but newbie coming from the SEO/Inbound Marketing side, and very much in the camp of having a solid understanding of the entire marketing stack. Whether being technical, having a firm grasp of SEO and other online channels (paid/organic), growth hacking – being well-rounded in all areas, with roles being closely aligned and blurring with the sales team, and most importantly being data driven are going to be topics that dominate marketing thought leadership for years to come.
With all this discussion among Marketing thought leaders in Canada, the Future of Marketing, whether B2B or B2C is going to be in good hands with the leadership of Canada’s startup marketers knowledge and wisdom distilled to younger generations of hungry, up and coming marketers.