Working in a start up myself, I feel the joy (and the pain) of this article.
Whether we're talking about product, place, pricing or promotion, classical marketing needs to adapt to the business pressures facing a small, digital business seeking rapid growth (and corresponding investment).
We have a great product. Really great. It takes real discipline to road map that asset and ensure that we don't compromise customer service - including pricing - as we test and add features.
Typically (and yes, I know I'm biased), marketing enjoys the best perspective on the way to get these new features to market and to find the best way to press the buttons of existing and new customers.
Likewise pricing. Understanding how to package and present different combinations of products and products features requires a deep understanding of the market and its audience.
Which means more than anything that you need deep people skills. Listening to perhaps half-a-dozen stakeholders, and absorbing all their feedback, pushing back, pushing forwards, requires real emotional intelligence.
And that perhaps is the 5th 'p': Persuasion. If you can't use data, discipline and perhaps a little bit of charm, you'll be lost in the swarm of emotions and competing priorities. Learn how to make your case, in marketing, and you'll learn how to lead.
Most founders have heard of the 4 Ps of classical marketing: product, place, price and promotion. But in my 20 years of experience working in start-ups or coaching their upper management, I’ve observed that the poor application of the 4 Ps is at the root of many deadly marketing mistakes. Product in tech firms is usually owned by the product management or engineering team (and in early-stage companies, by the founders). Place, aka distribution, usually falls under the purview of business development and sales. Price is handled by the sales or product management team. Which leaves marketers with promotion, more commonly known as advertising or “growth hacking” in Silicon Valley. ...if marketing isn’t deeply involved in all these aspects, it can result in poor market fit, money wasted acquiring the wrong consumers, brand erosion and reduced profitability.