Photo by Jake weirick on Unsplash

The magic of Marketing in tech

How’s a marketer work-life like and how non-technical is actually this position?

Corina Stirbu
Apr 7, 2019 · 5 min read

Not so long ago I went to Women in Tech Cluj — the Tech Roles in IT: Who Does What? (Part 2) edition — and had a very short talk and Q&A on non-tech roles in IT, marketing and the fine line between technical and non-technical for some role positions.
— But I guess this is gonna be a good read if you wanna be a marketer in tech; if you wanna hire a marketer and you have no idea what to ask for or if you wanna understand what your colleagues do. :)

It was fun and challenging to see tens of developers and other engineers wondering what the heck is the marketing chick doing all day long.

So, to make it easy and fast, I briefly said that each company or startup will require different things from a marketer (strategy, content, lead generation, awareness, ads, etc) and that is highly impossible to do the same things for multiple clients (unlike code, where it does not matter the project much, the algorithms, technology, and main idea is the same).


🔎What is all this Marketing thing?

If the product communication (and service/features) is not customer focused, then the entire product is kind of worthless. And people think marketing will sprinkle some magic dust and sell it anyways.

So, here’s what we can do as marketers 👇
There are tens of marketing types, but I will split them into 2 main areas: strategic and operational marketers.

💻Operational marketing is the visible side: PR, advertising PR and ay type of communication with the customers in order to inform them about the product & service you offer — Wait?! There’s more?

Strategic marketing decides what products and services to produce in the first place, based on customers’ changing needs. As you can imagine, this is highly tied with the business goals and product development* and it should come first. Otherwise, the operational marketing will just throw money on the window and pixels, no matter how cool, clever or creative the ads may be.


⏰What do you do all day long?

So here are some generic goals that have to fulfilled based on the company that we work with👇

🎯If it’s an early stage product/service, most probably the marketer is part of the founding team or early employee. The main goal will be to find product/market fit

  • 🎯If it’s an established product, the focus will be on growth and to build a strong demand funnel.
  • 🎯And if it’s a well-established product, the goal is to scale up.

No matter the stage of the business, as a marketer (or CMO) you will always need to have a clear understanding of Customer Acquisition Costs, calculate the Customer Lifetime Value, make sure you cover the costs and make sure there will also be a profit and much more. 📊
— Let’s be honest: all these are mainly lots of excels, charts, tables, formulas, content and emails :)


🙌How do you accomplish your goal?

The Long

  • Check the business plan for the long-term (or work on it with the management, if possible) and align it with your marketing effort
  • Identify& target clients that fit our strategy, vision, mission, and goals.
  • Segment the market based on whatever works for us: internet usage&behaviour, income, demographics, hobbies, travel habits, etc.
  • Listen to our customers — of course: you can go classic (interviews and questions +unwanted and annoying calls) or go online. We have internet: stats, reviews, social media channels of ppl in your target group, journals, media, etc. We have to be everywhere.
  • Identify new distribution channels constantly
  • Analyze the stats and optimize everything accordingly (content, funnels, ads, etc)
  • Ensure customer success
  • Identify customers’ pain points and make sure to offer suitable features & solutions
  • Automate sequences (if possible)
  • Test all the above in multiple ways. Repeat. :)

Now, some people push the marketing mix forward a lot — like the 4 Ps (product, price, promotion, place), but I would add people first of all. Or culture. No matter the letters or how many of them you want to mix: blend all the actions to place the product for a carefully selected target market.


💡Extra idea
The point is that no matter the company size, you will need to collaborate a lot with the management, with the sales team, with the devs team and testers and a whole lot with the support staff.
And you will definitely need a basic understanding of how products work, algorithms, infrastructure, technology and how to connect them with the customer needs and behavior.

You need to know the feasibility of some actions or to know who you should ask about it — and trust me, developers will always say no at first. So, if you don’t have a basic understanding of how things work, you will get stuck fast.


*I wrote a post about marketing and product development a while ago and I tackled a bit the work processes and the expectation on both role positions (That are very very similar or the same in some cases) https://medium.com/@CorinaStirbu/are-marketing-experts-migrating-to-product-development-or-is-it-just-my-thought-69db6f978293

Corina Stirbu

Written by

Coffee-fueled ☕️ Marketing Strategist for tech products and startups | 😎I have a slight addiction for eyewear | 🎨 art and 🎷 jazz lover | 💥 Curious AF

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