How to See in the Dark

Building a Demand Gen Machine

Sometimes you aren’t sure how to get where you are going, but you have to put one foot in front of the other anyway.

Marketers can’t see the future. We only have the benefit of hindsight. But we have to put one foot in front of the other anyway.

This is often great, because we can learn from our mistakes and past performance can help to guide us to future success.

This can be a great thing. But…

In the early days, you just can’t see back very far.

In the early days, we look for any kind of pattern at all, and react based on all successes and failures, great and small. This “agility” can lead us down a dangerous path.

In the early days, start pivoting away from investing in the long-term brand development, and toward the quick wins.

The truth is we can’t see in the dark, no matter how early or late it is.

The one thing we have to make sure that we move forward one foot in front of the other, with long term brand and short term demand in lockstep.

I’ve been working building out a product marketing function for a startup the last few of months.

It turns out the only way to see in the dark, is to talk with more customers. Yesterday, I spent an hour on the phone with a new customer, and saw the world through her eyes for while. It was eye-opening.

This season on The Outlaws of Demand, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the behind the scenes of my journey working on this product, and how we’re balancing customer development, brand, and demand gen. I’d like to share some of the decisions that we are making, and how we are approaching a go-to market strategy.

I’ll tell you more soon.

P.S. If you lead a team, I’d love to get your feedback on the product I’ve been working on. I’ve learned that the only way through the dark is to talk with more people who can help share how they see our product.

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🎶 Musical Note: If you don’t have this song on repeat this week, get on it.