Joel Lessem (CEO of Firmex) tells us why sometimes a risk-taking generalist is exactly what your company needs in a software marketer.
Are your company’s marketers clear on what they’re supposed to be achieving? Can everyone in sales and marketing point to any given piece of collateral and tell you how it helps your customers? If your marketers try something and fail, what’s the first question you ask them?
Joel is CEO of Firmex.
From their website:”Our products enable our clients to securely share large volumes of highly confidential and sensitive documents for commercial and financial transactions, litigation, clinical studies, procurement and regulatory compliance.”
“When it comes to skill sets and a marketing department, again, that is actually driven sometimes by the nature of the business but also the size of the company. One of the challenges that you have in marketing now is that marketing isn’t just about messaging. It’s about technical implementation online, whether it’s your website, whether it’s graphics, or optimizing your site for SEO or producing videos for the web, or creative ideas with email campaigns. And there are a phenomenal number of tools available – software tools – that you can implement to automate a lot of these processes.
The challenge in a small company environment is you really need a marketer who knows enough about everything. So I don’t necessarily recommend – you have to be very careful if you’re recruiting somebody out of a large company, because they simply don’t have that type of experience. And I find, even at our stage, we have a marketing department of four people right now. Some of the lessons we’ve learned is that you can’t hire specialists. We’re just not ready for them.
We need people who have a broad range of ability, but also people who are willing to take risks. You find that sometimes people from larger organizations have been prevented from taking risks for so long that they don’t take any risks. They basically wait for instructions, which is not really very functional in a small company. Because in a small company you’re expected to come up with ideas, and the decision making’s very quick, and then to execute them, and with very high pace. The tendency in a large corporation is there’s a lot of red tape, you need approvals, so people say well, it’s going to take a month for me to get this article approved. In a small organization they say can you have it ready yesterday?
You have to have that type of mentality as someone who works in a small organization – you know, that can-do attitude. And the organization that if it doesn’t work that’s OK. We agreed to it, you got it done, you executed it, and whether it succeeds or fails is not the point. If it fails there’s a learning opportunity there, and if it succeeds it’s all great. Either way it’s a win-win situation.
Not getting stuff done is never a good thing.”