7 Marketing Lessons for Any Company from the VC World

By Heike Young

Want marketing secrets from today’s hottest startups? Even established companies can learn a few tricks from the newest game-changers on the block.

OpenView Venture Partners is a venture capital (VC) firm based in Boston, specializing in expansion stage software, new media, internet, and technology enabled companies. OpenView’s head of marketing, Kyle Lacy, appears on the latest episode of the Marketing Cloudcast, the marketing podcast from Salesforce.

Kyle guides marketing strategy for many of today’s most successful and agile young companies. Listen to the full 38-minute conversation with Kyle to hear all his tips, and check out these seven marketing lessons for a glimpse at the insights he shared.

Check out Kyle’s episode below, then subscribe on iTunes to get it on your podcast-listening device of choice.

  1. Whether startup or Fortune 500, the most successful companies have a deep understanding of who they’re marketing to and selling to — and precisely how their product meets those needs.
  2. Looking for the best marketing talent? Find out who has expanded their talents beyond a single role or function. Gone are the days of having a single skill in PR, social media, lead gen, or something else. The best marketers have multiple skills and will help grow your company from multiple angles.
  3. Demand gen, marketing ops, and content teams shouldn’t live apart. Growing startups understand that these interlinked functions should be one entity because of all over the overlap that occurs when content and a company grows.
  4. Primary research is the best content marketing you can do. If you have customers, you have data, and you can use that data to create enlightening and educational content. (Take a look at Salesforce’s research to see how we use data to create content.)
  5. Focus on creating the best marketing campaigns, not the most marketing campaigns. At larger companies with larger teams, employees can get overwhelmed when they think about all the content and assets they should create. Take a page from a smaller company’s book and limit yourself to only the best campaigns that actually drive business.
  6. It’s sometimes hard for larger companies to understand, but customer experience is almost paramount to lead gen. You’ll make more money if you keep current customers happy than if they’re constantly churning due to a bad experience. Understand what makes your customers tick, and connect the experience dots on every channel.
  7. You have to be data-driven in order to survive. In the companies Kyle advises, he sees marketers constantly relying on the mantra data beats opinions. When you’re a newer company and don’t have years of experience to rely on, this can be easier. It becomes more difficult when marketing strategy depends on what you’ve always done vs. what the data indicates.

Get Kyle Lacy’s podcast episode now on iTunes! Tweet @youngheike with marketing questions or topics you’d like to see covered next on the Marketing Cloudcast.

Have you subscribed to the Marketing Cloudcast — the new marketing podcast from Salesforce? Subscribe now on iTunes for weekly interviews with marketing experts, and read the wrap-up of the previous episode.