I was busy last year. I spent the first two thirds of it helping Huawei launch its Enterprise business globally which was interesting, challenging and eye-opening all at once. I also did a handful of projects with startups that were much more within my comfort zone of developing operational marketing plans. The contrast between working with companies doing $2-$10 million revenue on a single continent versus working with one doing $34Billion at a global scale got me thinking about the different ways a senior marketer could add value to a company without being a full-time employee.
Tactics Versus Strategy and Operations
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I write a lot about the difference between strategy and tactics. Tactical execution can often be efficiently done by an outside expert. There are an increasing number of possible marketing tactics that a company can use and it would be impossible, particularly for a small company to have deep expertise in all of them. Working with experts, even for a short period of time can rapidly accelerate learning and save companies from making painful rookie mistakes. We are now seeing a crop of great agencies/consultants that specialize in tactics such as email marketing, content marketing, SEO, Social Media marketing, influencer marketing, etc. that are clearly meeting this need.
Marketing strategy and operations on the other hand are different. The head of marketing for a business (either a dedicated marketing executive or the founders themselves) is left to grind through these deeper marketing problems alone. Tactical specialists are in no position to advise the companies on how to determine which markets to target, what the optimal routes to those markets should be and how best to operationalize an overall marketing plan. Very large companies often work with strategic advisors for other areas of their business but in the area of marketing and sales, where best practices have changed dramatically in the past 5 years, remains an underserved space. Mid-sized and smaller businesses in particular have no option but to attempt to bring as much senior experienced talent in-house as they can afford and learn the rest through trial and error. This is often an expensive, inefficient, risk-laden process.
While I was thinking about how it might be possible to help companies at a deeper level, I had coffee with another experienced marketing executive, Amrita Chandra and we decided to put our heads together to create a service we wished we had had access to as we matured as marketers.
What if you had access to a team of highly experienced marketing executives that you could rely on to advise you on your thorniest strategic problems? What if those executives could share with you and your team not just their practical experience but also their tools, processes and best practices? What if you could use them as an experienced outside sounding board, an insurance policy when you don’t know what you don’t know, and a high octane injection of marketing smarts to accelerate your strategy?
This is the idea behind RocketScope, a company that we’ve formed to help businesses improve their marketing. We’re not a marketing agency or marketing consultants. We are providing practical marketing counsel and advice on best practices, based on our decades of practical marketing experience. You can learn more about our services here.
We’re working with a small number of companies in a private beta mode. We expect to be taking on a new set of clients shortly. If you are interested in finding out more about what we can do, drop me a note at april at rocketscope dot com.
We’ve launched a marketing best practices and strategy blog over at the RocketScope site that both Amrita and I will contribute to so you should register for updates. We’ll also do a monthly newsletter covering a wider range of strategic marketing topics so feel free to register for that as well. Don’t worry though, this blog isn’t going anywhere and I will continue to write about startup marketing issues in particular over here. And while I’m at it I want to says thanks for reading. I’m amazed everyday at the people I’ve met through this blog and what I’ve learned from mixing it up with you. Thanks again.