This is the second post in a three-part series on marketing at tech startups and scale-ups. Read the first post on marketing at tech startup Sigstr here.
Marketers in today’s digital century are required to fragment their time across multiple platforms as new ways of communicating information through apps, online advertising and social media pop up almost daily. It’s not enough to know best practices around one facet of marketing — marketers must exhibit knowledge of a variety of tools, and how they all work together.
Once startup tech companies hire a marketer, the marketer is often left to prioritize the needs of the startup and figure out how to accomplish all of them — and fast. And later, when they have the budget to hire and build their team, they’re left to determine if they need specialists or generalists to fulfill their changing needs. Should that talent come from an outsourced agency or should they be a full time hire? According to Forbes, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2020, and that change in the talent pool will change the industry dramatically.
Claire Couch, Director of Marketing at Torchlite, explains how marketing has completely changed. “It’s more technical than ever before and marketers need a team of specialized experts to digitally transform their businesses. It’s hard, if not nearly impossible, for every marketer to keep up with every trend without over-stretching themselves,” said Couch.
This is where Torchlite comes in.
Supplementing existing marketing teams
As a marketer myself, I’ve had to make strategic decisions about what functions we want in-house and which can be outsourced to other talent. How are those decisions made when we’re also building our business?
Claire Couch describes how Torchlite helps marketers in similar situations. She calls it “Marketing Orchestration Management” and it includes three pillars: campaign templates, project management, and access to vetted experts.
“Think of these as ‘insider playbooks for marketers.’ Marketers can discover and activate campaign templates within our software that show them what to do, how to do it, and who can get it done,” said Couch. These templates could include tactical SEO audits, B2C Facebook advertising, or B2B lead nurture campaign templates for growing software companies.
For example, we are already working on the 2018 Mira Award season here at TechPoint, which requires us to pull out our playbook and prep our marketing campaigns so we can solicit applications from all across the state of Indiana. But as we launch new talent programs and initiatives to support the Indiana tech community, we’ll need to create brand new marketing templates.
“We are launching hundreds more templates in 2018 to inspire marketers and help them operate with more efficiency regardless of their tech stack, company/team size, and industry,” said Couch.
With both in-house and external freelance support, managing projects requires additional time and resources to ensure that marketing campaigns meet their proposed deadlines and are successful in meeting their objectives.
“Torchlite’s Marketing Operations and Resource Management helps marketers build campaigns that tie to key marketing objectives, identify gaps in resources, and ensure the entire team is aligned. Our platform provides team management and collaboration so marketers can create working teams for specific deliverables and never miss a beat or deadline with a shared calendar and project plan,” said Couch. “The Customizable Calendar helps marketers view all their campaigns, tasks, and deliverables in short and long term time periods, and sort by team member, campaigns, and objectives to get a clear view of when work is due and what the capacity of their team looks like.”
At the end of September, Torchlite announced the release of Torchlite Action™ , which provides on-demand expertise, tools for team and execution management, and best practice templates in one location. Teams can visualize their entire plan, create campaigns, collaborate on tasks and find experts to effectively execute campaigns to deliver business results.
“Torchlite Action has been a huge asset in helping my team stay on the same page. As a startup marketing department, we’re often spinning several plates at once,” said Tim Hickle, Director of Inbound Marketing at Springbuk. “With a small team, effective communication and project management is paramount to out-performing our competition. With Torchlite Action, we’ve been able to get more things done effectively than with previous project management solutions.”
Access to Vetted Marketing Experts
Hiring talent is as exciting as it is challenging, whether you are hiring for a tech-skilled or a business-skilled role. Finding qualified marketing talent usually consists of calling upon your current network and using your own marketing channels to solicit for resumes.
“Our Torchlite Marketplace provides marketers with on-demand access to 250+ vetted digital marketing experts. Marketers can complement or extend their team by accessing a vetted team of experts who write content, build marketing automation journeys, and create emails, websites, ads, and much more,” said Couch.
These freelance marketers are called Torchliters and have emphasis areas in all facets of marketing. Depending on your immediate need, Torchlite offers talent at the click of a mouse that are ready to lend their creative expertise to your business.
Torchlite is a fast-growing scale-up tech company themselves and they’re drinking their own champagne by leveraging Torchlite Action to manage their marketing plan and freelance experts to extend their team of four full-time marketers. After seeing annual recurring revenue of $1 million in their first year, raising a $2 million seed round, and expanding their offices and growing their teams, Torchlite has their eye on disrupting the marketing industry with their platform. ‘No one else is doing this. We’ve built this from the ground up to address the needs of distributed marketing teams to help them get more done,” said Couch.
For more information, visit http://torchlite.com.