Morgan great post. I’ve lived the truth of this post over and over. I started my career with P&G and M&M/Mars. The traditional marketing I learned there, the “invade Russia the winter” campaigns or “traditional marketing” has little purchase or value today.
When I worked at M&M’s the Snickers brand had an ad budget of $500M. Even if the Brand Manager, usually a Stanford, Wharton or Harvard newly minted MBA, had that kind of budget today they would be hard pressed to use it without sounding shrill and out of touch with the 19 to 30 year old core market for a product that you have to be young to eat (lol).
So even “traditional marketers” or those trained to invade Russia in the winter (myself included) have had to learn new tricks, adjust paradigms and think differently. Yes the “marketing” function in many startups comes from founders, but the function of addressing customer pain points, creating emotional and market conection and listening to and tuning results (i.e. traditional marketeting) remain important to growth companies.
Growth isn’t a function of ignoring or downplaying “traditional marketing”. Growth is a function of trust, connection, rapid learning and the alchemy of super symetry — or the ability to do to circus what Cirque du Soleil did (i.e. eliminate high costs such as travel and animals in favor of story, acrobatics and such compelling products that customer advocates spring in to action to help crerate scale, acceptance and awareness).
Great post. I loved the point about DEDICSTED RESOURCES for growth. I tried to sell 10% of my direct marketing company’s budet into an icubator like test and adopt environment and didn’t make the sale much to our pain and suffering.