Marketing is Everyone's Responsibility
I'm the business guy over at WooThemes and a big part of my "job" is making sure that our marketing is firing on all cylinders. Taking care of the marketing for such a big business takes it toll, especially when you consider the amount of time it takes to interact with customers on a one-on-one basis (as most of you would agree that these interactions often provide the most value).
It is with that in mind, that I believe that marketing within a startup should be the whole team's responsibility, both as individuals and as a team. Here's a couple of ways in which I think the individuals on a team can contribute to the marketing effort of the mothership:
- Blogging. If you have a company / team blog, get the whole team to blog and add their voice / opinion to the mix. I know there are many people that hate blogging and they should probably not be forced. But getting the odd blog post out of a team member is really valuable!
- Interactions across social channels. Every member on your team obviously has their own following of friends, contacts and other interested parties. Having them tweet a link or publish a Facebook status about the company helps spread the marketing message to audiences to which you - as a company - would not necessarily have access.
- Interacting with your community. I think there's a lot of value in having the whole team interacting with users via the comments on your blog, your forum or any other support structure. Having the team visible to your users increases their perception of how in touch your team is with user problems. Massive marketing win here.
- Expert Profiles. In a way that almost combines the above three points, I truly believe that individuals should continue to build their individual social profiles, CV's and reputations online. They should be regarded as experts, which holds a significant advantage for your company. Users love to work with experts! So encourage team members to keep up their own graphic portfolio's or maintain a profile on GitHub if they're a developer. Don't try to own them; you employed every team member as an individual.
I know (from experience) that some of these things will be tough to integrate with your team, but that shouldn't deter you from doing so anyway. Having a diverse set of hands on board, will give your marketing voice a kinda oomph that can't be achieved otherwise. And as a team should take collective responsibility for the success of such a marketing strategy.
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