I get this question asked in almost all the events that I attend – How is it to be working for start-ups after managing multi-million dollar campaigns for HCL. I decided to pen down how I think marketing is different in a start-up from that of a big company.
Difference No. 1 – The Lemon vs. the Watermelon: A start-up draws marketing budget and decides to spend them judiciously, one marketing activity at a time, like a lemon squeeze. Big company actually divides the marketing budget right at the start of the year and evaluates every quarter of the outcomes – like we do with the watermelon in our fridge.
Difference No. 2 – Approach- Fata-fat: In start-ups, approvals take the least effort – it is always planning and optimisation which are most important. Start-up marketing is all about thinking of a focussed marketing activity to meet the objective.Simply execute and analyse the results. Start-up marketing doesn’t have a long planning cycle.
Difference No. 3 – YES to experiments! Most start-ups have a freewheeling way of thinking when it comes to marketing. They are comfortable with the idea of ‘trial and error’ and experimentation .If a strategy works, scale it up and if it doesn’t, tweak it and try again. However, big company marketing is hesitant and have deep-rooted confidence in old techniques.
Difference No. 4 – Add some social to the Traditional: Early stage ventures effectively leverage on Digital and Social media to grow their business. Whereas the Biggies like to stick to the traditional forms of marketing. Let better sense prevail and add more social media to the traditional forms of marketing. This will benefit all the market players.
Difference No. 5 – Generalists vs Specialists ? If you are used to marketing being a ‘department’ in a silo then start-ups don’t have a place for you. High-performing start-ups are breaking barriers by inducting ‘generalists’ into their marketing projects.This is in contrast with the marketing in big corporate where roles are clearly defined and cross silo collaboration is limited.
Having gone through the differences, which side would take? Do you want to add to the differences – please do so in comments below.