People say good developers are hard to get, but that’s not true, there’s loads of good developers, they are just hard-work to recruit. Good marketers, on the other hand, are just a very rare breed.
So we’ve decided to take matters into our hands and start the Scaleworks Marketing Academy — where we will coach SaaS marketers and also get to learn the latest and greatest from leading marketers in our industry.
These days, marketing is about as generic a term as Analyst, it’s close to meaningless, other than that is relates to growing and promoting a business. Take a look at a quick list above of the areas marketers are expected to own (no doubt this list is incomplete — let me know what I’ve missed!).
It’s insane to think any one person can operate across the spectrum of these specialized areas. CEOs are generalists who hire functional leaders or bring in agencies and consultants as needed — maybe marketers need to be thought of in the same way? Or maybe we need to start defining marketing to a deeper level and stop looking for ‘VP Marketing’, ‘Marketing Director’ or other nondescript titles.
Full-stack marketing is a myth. We don’t expect developers to be experts at everything — why do we look for that in marketers?
So what’s the answer? Create more marketers!
We think a lot of this is learnable. In the ideal world ‘Marketingcademy’ would already exist and be as possible as service as Codecademy. In our opinion, technology startups very much undervalue marketing skills. There’s very little point in having the best team of engineers that create a world-class product, if you don’t have an excellent marketing team constantly validating customer decisions and looping back in feedback that informs the roadmap and product priorities.
Marketing is absolutely essential to the success of any company, especially small and startup businesses.
We’re starting the Scaleworks Marketing Academy for our own portfolio companies first. Each company will hire 1–2 ‘Marketing Analysts’ (a nice generic title for a ‘learn everything and figure out what you like best — then specialize’ role). Then, all going well, we’ll extend the program to companies on in our Venture Finance ecosystem. And ultimately if it takes off, we may offer the content similar to how Heavybit share their in-house talks.
The goal is to train people to ‘puddle-depth’ level across as many areas within marketing as possible. Bring in external functional experts and thought leaders to run half-day and full-day sessions to share enough learning that the attendee knows how to think about the area, how to include it in a plan (or leave out) and how to talk to a supplier or candidate about doing it for their company.
The program will run for 2 years, based out of our new San Antonio HQ with experts coaches coming in for to teach once a month. The sessions will end with some practical ‘homework’ to apply in your company and the coach will back 2–3 weeks later to facilitate the team sharing their learnings on applying what was taught.
The perfect candidate is someone intensely interested in building businesses and whom is trying to learn how to become a marketer as their path to success. While no formal marketing experience is required, ideally you’ll have either tried to start something, or worked in a web agency for a year or two and seen some of the tactics up-close. If you’re interested — head on over to the Academy page and sign up!