Building a marketing organization from scratch with Mark Kilens

July 25, 2023
Anonymous Marketer | Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy

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Episode Summary

In this episode of The Anonymous Marketer, host Nick Bennett and guest Mark Kilens, CMO of Airmeet & Co-Founder of ClubPF, dive into the art of building a marketing organization from scratch. They discuss the importance of a belief system, a rallying cry that brings employees, customers, and the community together. Mark emphasizes that every business, regardless of size or industry, can have a belief system that informs their marketing strategy.

The conversation then shifts to the practical aspects of building a marketing team. Mark suggests starting with a strong generalist marketer who understands how to market in public and learn from what they ship. As the team grows, it’s crucial to start specializing in the core functions of marketing, such as brand/content, product marketing, and demand/revenue marketing.

Wrapping up, Nick and Mark tease a part two where they will delve deeper into how to build momentum with a new marketing organization. This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to build or revamp their marketing team from the ground up.

Featured Guest

Name: Mark Kilens
What he does: CMO / Co-founder
Company: Airmeet / ClubPF
Noteworthy: Skilled in building marketing organizations from scratch.

Key Insights

Belief System: The Core of a People-First Mindset

Mark Kilens emphasizes the importance of a belief system in a company. This belief system acts as a rallying cry, bringing together employees, customers, and the community. It’s not just about the product or service, but the story, the point of view, and the shared belief. Every business, regardless of size or industry, can have a belief system that informs their marketing strategy. This belief system is the foundation from which all other strategies cascade.

Building a Marketing Team: Start General, Then Specialize

When building a marketing team, Kilens suggests starting with a strong generalist marketer who understands how to market in public and learn from what they ship. As the team grows, it’s crucial to start specializing in the core functions of marketing, such as brand/content, product marketing, and demand/revenue marketing.

Leveraging AI in Marketing: A Crawl, Walk, Run Approach

The podcast also touches on the role of AI in marketing. Kilens suggests a crawl, walk, run approach to adopting AI solutions. Starting with free or low-cost tools, companies can gradually increase their investment as they gain experience and see results. This approach allows companies to experiment and learn without making a significant initial investment.

Episode Highlights

Setting the Stage: Building a Marketing Org from Scratch

The podcast kicks off with host Nick Bennett introducing the topic and guest Mark Kilens. The episode’s focus is on building a marketing organization from scratch, a question submitted by an anonymous listener. The listener works at a SaaS data analytics company with a small marketing team and is looking for guidance on creating a marketing infrastructure from the ground up.

“If the marketing organization did not exist and a marketing leader/organization was brought in and they had to create from scratch — true scratch, nothing existed at all — so including getting leads into Marketo, HubSpot, scrub what existed because, again, no infrastructure existed, create the demand gen waterfall, create the lead […]”

People-First Mindset: The Key to Aligning Your Team

The conversation shifts to the importance of a people-first mindset in marketing. Kilens emphasizes the need for a belief system that rallies employees, customers, and the community around the company’s mission. This belief system is crucial for aligning the team and ensuring everyone is working towards the same goal.

“Well, you need to have like a belief system, like does this company have something that it’s bringing its employees and its current customers and community around — like a rally cry, you know. It’s this is what we believe and here’s why you believe it and who can kind of believe that with us ideally, right?”

Building a Community: The Spark That Drives Growth

Kilens discusses the concept of building a community within a company. He suggests that even a small team of two or three people can start to form a community. This community, driven by a shared belief system, can help grow the business and motivate people to join the company.

“I always say, Nick, once you have like, you know, three people at a company — two or three people — you’re starting to form a community. And yes, to grow it, you need to spark, you need other things that are going to help it take shape, take hold, and have staying power.”

Teasing Part Two: Building Momentum with a New Marketing Org

As the episode wraps up, Bennett teases a part two where they will delve deeper into how to build momentum with a new marketing organization. This sets the stage for the next episode and leaves the audience anticipating more insights from Kilens.

“And for everyone listening, we are going to be dropping part two in the next episode where Mark and I are going to go a bit deeper on how do you actually get momentum going with a brand new marketing org.”

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