Marketing in a VC-Backed Firm - growth

Accelerating Growth as the New Head of Marketing in a VC-Backed Firm

Accelerating Growth as the New Head of Marketing in a VC-Backed Firm

Simon Roderick

July 20, 2023

Value creation and operational improvement has often been an overlooked positive of working with a venture capital or private equity firm. The common misconception is that they just buy well, but in reality many help firms make transformational moves. One of these moves can be appointing key executives and if growth is on the agenda, appointing a firm’s first head of marketing or a new head of marketing, can be one of these transformational moves. Below we look at some of the key steps a new head of marketing should take if they are joining a high growth VC-backed firm.

As a new Head of Marketing going in a venture capital (VC)-backed firm, your role is crucial in driving growth and maximising the firm's potential. In this often fast-paced and dynamic environment, the first 90 days are crucial for establishing a strong foundation. After taking on the role of Head of Marketing, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the firm's marketing landscape. This often a data gathering and listening phase before making any key changes. This should involve understanding the existing marketing strategies, evaluating the effectiveness of campaigns, and assessing the alignment of marketing initiatives with the firm's growth objectives. Conducting an audit of marketing resources, data analytics capabilities, and the team's skill set will provide insights into areas for improvement.

During this time, it’s essential to develop a growth-oriented marketing strategy that aligns with the firm's overall goals and vision, which the board and investors can approve. Key activities could be identifying target customer segments, evaluaing market trends, and defining key value propositions. Crafting a compelling brand story and positioning that differentiates the firm from competitors is important. At this point, CMO’s often work with other leaders to set measurable objectives, such as customer acquisition targets, revenue growth, and brand awareness metrics, to guide the team's efforts.

Teamwork is everything. To accelerate growth, assembling a skilled and motivated marketing team is crucial. Assess the existing team's strengths and identify any skill gaps that need to be filled. Recruit top talent and foster a culture of innovation, collaboration, and accountability. Empower team members with clear goals, provide professional development opportunities, and encourage cross-functional collaboration to drive impactful marketing campaigns.

Data is increasingly a powerful tool for optimising marketing efforts and driving growth. Enhance the team's data analytics capabilities to gain actionable insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and campaign performance. Leverage analytics tools to track key metrics, such as customer acquisition costs, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value. Utilise data to personalise marketing efforts, optimise targeting, and drive efficient allocation of marketing resources.

Managing the relationship with the VC partner is essential for gaining their trust and support. Understand the VC's investment plan, their expectations, and the value they bring beyond funding. Provide regular updates on marketing initiatives, performance metrics, and growth milestones. Actively seek their guidance and leverage their network to accelerate market penetration and business development opportunities. Transparency, open communication, and demonstrating progress are vital in nurturing a strong VC relationship.

The board of directors plays a crucial role in shaping the firm's strategic direction. Engage with board members to align marketing strategies with overall business goals. Regularly communicate marketing plans, key performance indicators, and progress against targets. Seek board members' input and leverage their expertise to refine marketing strategies. Demonstrate the impact of marketing initiatives on the firm's growth trajectory and effectively articulate marketing's value to the board.

Successful marketing efforts require collaboration across various departments within the firm. Build strong relationships with key stakeholders, such as product development, sales, and customer success teams. Foster a culture of collaboration, where teams work together to optimise the customer journey, improve product-market fit, and enhance the overall customer experience. Collaborative efforts ensure alignment between marketing and other functional areas, leading to accelerated growth.

Your first 90 days are critical for accelerating growth and maximising the firm's potential. By conducting a thorough assessment, developing a growth-oriented marketing strategy, building a high-performing team, and leveraging data-driven insights, you can set the foundation for success.

About Fram Professionals

Fram Professionals focuses on placing office professionals in dynamic, innovative, or venture-backed firms in the London – Oxbridge “golden triangle”. We focus on mid-to-senior permanent hires across key functions such as finance, sales & marketing, legal, and management positions.

Contact us on [email protected] or call 01525 864 372 for an informal chat about our services.

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