I have been the director of marketing at STRATIS for more than a year and a half. In that time we have done a lot with a relatively low budget. I was recently reflecting on all of the amazing things our team has accomplished in a short time. From keynotes in Singapore, a complete rebranding, exhibiting at SXSW, launching a new website and resident mobile app, winning the OPTECH Launchpad competition, being featured in national publications, starting conversations with major players, and so much more.
We are killing it as a marketing team, and none of this was accomplished by one individual alone, it was a true team effort. When I joined STRATIS in May of 2016 we were in full startup mode. I was full-time employee number eight. Today, we are around 40 employees strong and partnering with some of the biggest names in tech and multifamily. We are the leading software of our kind, but we must continue to have the mentality of a lean team. Here are five ways to stay lean and agile as a marketing team.
Having a marketing focused CEO isn’t a must, but it sure does help. In fact, the past two companies that I have worked for have had extremely driven marketing focused CEOs. As a result it has given me 6 years of outstanding software marketing experience. It has really made a difference in being able to push forward marketing projects and remain agile. Our leadership team has allowed us to bring in marketing interns who we have been quickly promoted. Jasper Lloyd is a great example, he started as an intern and was quickly and deservedly promoted to marketing manager. Lloyd was key in our rebranding. His speed as a designer and in digital marketing are outstanding and his work helps the company produce content at an insane speed.
A lot of people confuse sales, marketing, and business development because they work so closely. However, there are huge and distinct differences. Great marketing needs to support sales and business development with creative content. Outsiders may think that the marketing team gets to tackle all of the fun projects. This is certainly true when it comes to flushing out our creative side. However, it is important to remember that there is a lot of data, analytics, and ROI calculations behind every project, task, and campaign.
Our leaders are in daily talks with top technology companies, major players in multifamily, and venture capitalists that understand our market. Even after our next round of funding we will remain lean. In terms of marketing this means, finding team members who know how to problem solve without taxing teams around them and are capable of multiple skill sets and not just one category. We are never going to drop $50,000 on a singular print advertising campaign because the data is no longer there to support a heavy investment in print for us. We recently were able to produce a great piece of video at a bargain using our vast network of connections.
At the same time, our internal team is capable of producing quick video, which helps tell our story in a nosey world.
A wise person once said, everyone thinks they know marketing because we have all been exposed to it our entire life. We get constant feedback from every corner, which is great and valuable, but at the end of the day we need to keep focus on high level marketing goals. We can’t afford to do something just because someone thinks it might be cool or innovative without research behind it. The marketing team’s list of projects is never going to dry up. We are constantly creating unique ways and campaigns to get our message out to the world.
Great marketing teams also realize the value of other departments in the company. Our marketing team is constantly leaning on our web team lead by Mike Bilter. The web team’s speed is also unmatched. Earlier this year in March, Mike did a complete website rebrand to STRATIS IoT, prior to SXSW. We are constantly going to Bilter with requests for landing pages, lead generation forms, new pages, and new features. Each time he and his team deliver what we need and often more.
Most importantly our team must stay agile in order to crush our goals. We can most effectively achieve this by staying in our lanes. The term “staying in your lane” has gotten a bad connotation over the years. It simply means having self awareness about your own self, others and your individual strengths. Companies that leave egos at the door and focus on their department goals will thrive together. STRATIS is exiting our startup stage as a company but we will continue to hold that startup mentality to achieve our marketing and business goals. We also have the self awareness as a team that we are far from perfect, but we can still strive for perfection daily.
To find out more about what we are doing as a team visit our Contact STRATIS page or leave a comment.
James is the Marketing Director at StratIS. He was named Top Voice on LinkedIn in 2015, and the number two voice in healthcare from more than 2 million bloggers on the platform. He was the creator of the Seinfeld Birthday Project, which went internationally viral, received more than 1 million YouTube views, and was featured in hundreds of newspapers, blogs, TV shows and radio programs. He also co-founded TAP Social Media, a boutique-marketing agency located in Philadelphia, PA. James holds a B.A. in Mass Communication from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.