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Every Startup Employee is a Marketer

Profile photo of James Submitted by James January 24, 2014 Website :

In an early, small startup, everyone wears many hats. One of the more important hats for everyone to wear, which doesn’t always come naturally to people, is that of marketer. Most early stage startups don’t have a marketer, and may have very little marketing expertise. This “role” often falls to the CEO, but in a lot of startups the CEO is technical–in fact there really isn’t a CEO–it’s just two developers working on something new. The first hire isn’t a marketer either, it’s another developer…

“Every employee as a marketer” becomes even more important when your customer is a developer. More and more startups are emerging and growing in this space, catering to developers and technology folks. So you’ve got a small team of developers building products for other developers. That small team of developers have to be marketers.

When GoInstant started we were very quiet about what we were building. It was “stealth mode” at its best (or worst?) because we rarely shared what was going on, how things worked, etc. GoInstant was acquired before ever really launching publicly. As a result of how the company started and grew in its first ~2 years, we didn’t do a lot of marketing. And to be fair, the original product and market focus wasn’t on developers–it was large enterprise. The team (which was ~90% developers) didn’t have to go out and market.

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