Congratulations, you just received your recent funding round. Or, you could be a business that has funding or a set budget, but you are trying to drive sustainable growth and are not sure how to scale your teams. For startups and small businesses, establishing a robust product marketing strategy is critical to gaining a competitive edge and driving growth. However, deciding whether to build an internal product marketing team or hire a startup marketing consultant can be a challenging decision.
In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of both options, helping startups and small businesses make an informed choice that aligns with their unique needs and objectives.
Building an Internal Product Marketing Team Pros:
a. In-depth Knowledge and Company Alignment: Internal teams have a deep understanding of the nuances of the culture, which may be an advantage when working in the environment.
b. Full-Time Dedication: With an internal team, you have dedicated resources solely focused on your product marketing initiatives. They can prioritize your startup or small business needs, respond quickly to market changes, and have a deeper sense of ownership and accountability.
c. Cultural Fit: Internal teams are already familiar with your startup or small business culture and working dynamics. They can collaborate closely with other departments, ensuring smooth communication and efficient coordination.
Building an Internal Product Marketing Team Cons:
a. Limited External Perspective: Internal teams may struggle to gain an objective external perspective. They might be influenced by internal biases, leading to potential blind spots or missed opportunities. Fresh insights from outside experts may be limited.
b. Skill Gaps and Training: Building an internal team requires finding and hiring individuals with the necessary skill set for product marketing. According to the Product Marketing Alliance, the average product marketer only has average less than 5 years of experience. Thus, they may not have the deep expertise required. Additionally, training and professional development programs will be required to keep the team updated on evolving marketing trends and best practices.
C. Difficult to hire for the role: It can be time-consuming and challenging to find candidates with the ideal combination of marketing expertise, industry knowledge, and strategic thinking. c. Fixed Costs and Overhead: Establishing an internal team entails fixed costs such as salaries, benefits, office space, and equipment. These expenses can be substantial and may not be easily scalable during times of fluctuating marketing needs. Furthermore, managing and maintaining an internal team requires additional administrative overhead.
d. Resource Limitations: Internal teams may face resource limitations, particularly in smaller startups and small businesses or during times of high demand. They may struggle to handle additional projects or manage sudden surges in workload, potentially leading to a strain on the team's capacity or compromised quality of work.
B2C Product Marketing Agency can play a crucial role in helping startups and small businesses hire the right talent and fill skill gaps while they are searching for the ideal candidates. With our expertise and industry connections, we have a deep understanding of the skills and qualifications required for successful product marketing. We can assist in crafting comprehensive job descriptions and assessing potential hires based on their experience, knowledge, and cultural fit. By leveraging their extensive networks and industry insights, agencies like B2C Product Marketing Agency can tap into a pool of qualified professionals who may not be actively seeking job opportunities. This expands the talent pool and increases the chances of finding candidates with the necessary skills and expertise. Through our thorough evaluation processes, we help reduce the risk of making wrong hires, saving startups and small businesses valuable time, resources, and potential setbacks. Overall, partnering with B2C Product Marketing Agency for your internal hiring needs can be a strategic move to bridge the skill gap and ensure that startups and small businesses attract and hire the right talent for their product marketing needs.
Here is a rough guide on how much it costs to hire internal product marketing team members for your startup or small business:
Product Marketing Specialist / Associate
Product Marketing Manager
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Director
VP Product Marketing
Hiring a Startup Product Marketing Consultant Pros:
a. Specialized and Deep Expertise and Fresh Perspective: Startup marketing consultants, such as B2C Product Marketing Agency, bring specialized and deep expertise from working with various companies and industries. They offer fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and insights that can give your startup a competitive edge. Their knowledge of the latest industry trends ensures that your marketing efforts align with evolving market demands.
b. Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring a startup marketing consultant like B2C Product Marketing Agency can be more cost-effective than building an internal team. Consultants work on a project basis or retainer basis and provide flexible solutions tailored to your specific needs and budget. You can tap into their expertise without bearing the long-term financial commitments associated with maintaining an in-house team.
c. Scalability and Flexibility: Consultants can quickly adapt to changes in your startup's or small business needs and scale their services accordingly. Whether you require a short-term strategy overhaul or ongoing support, consultants provide the necessary resources and expertise without disrupting your internal operations.
d. Objective Third-Party Perspective: Startup marketing consultants like B2C Product Marketing Agency offer an objective third-party perspective. They can evaluate your current marketing efforts, identify areas for improvement, and provide unbiased recommendations. This outside viewpoint helps you gain valuable feedback and implement changes that may have been overlooked internally.
e. Access to Networks and Industry Insights: Consultants often have well-established networks and connections within their respective industries. By hiring a startup marketing consultant to focus on product marketing, you gain access to these valuable networks, allowing you to forge strategic partnerships and collaborations. Additionally, consultants stay updated with industry trends.
Hiring an External Startup Product Marketing Consultant Cons:
f. Limited Knowledge of Internal Operations Initially: External startup product marketing consultants may lack a deep understanding of your startup's internal operations, culture, and unique challenges. There will be some ramp and education time so they can obtain the knowledge needed to address specific needs and effectively integrate with your team. At B2C Product Marketing Agency, we have a systematic way to ramp quickly to optimize integration for your business.
g. Lack of Long-Term Commitment: While startup product marketing consultants offer flexibility, their engagement is typically project-based or for a specific duration. This lack of long-term commitment may result in a lack of continuity and consistency in your product marketing efforts. It can also lead to a reliance on different consultants for different projects, which can hinder the development of a cohesive and unified marketing strategy. That is why at B2C Product Marketing Agency, we recommend you find and commit to an engagement of at least 6 months minimum to ensure continuity.
h. Dependency on External Expertise: Relying solely on external startup product marketing consultants for product marketing expertise can create a knowledge gap within your organization. Over time, your team may become reliant on consultants rather than developing internal capabilities. This dependency can limit your startup's ability to adapt and respond independently to changing market conditions and marketing needs. At B2C Product Marketing Agency, as we partner with you, we aim to educate your team to allow some transfer of knowledge internally to your teams.
I. Cost Considerations: While hiring an external consultant can be cost-effective in the short term, the costs can add up if your startup requires ongoing support or multiple consultants for different projects. Furthermore, the fees charged by experienced consultants may be higher, making it important to evaluate the financial impact and return on investment carefully. That is why B2C Product Marketing Agency is different. We work full funnel with you - from establishing product market fit, building, and leading GTMs, and then helping you to find and retain the right customers. Given our full-stack marketing expertise, we minimize the need to hire multiple consultants for your work.
j. Limited Control and Influence: With an external consultant, you have less direct control and influence over the execution of marketing strategies. While consultants provide recommendations, the final decisions and implementation are often left to your internal team. This can result in a loss of control over the execution process and may require additional efforts to ensure alignment with your startup's vision and objectives. That is why at B2C Product Marketing Agency, we recommend that you engage us for both the strategic plan and execution of the strategies. This enables us to work hand in hand with you in the execution of these strategies.
Rates for Startup Marketing Consultants focusing on product marketing: At B2C Product Marketing Agency, we customize our engagement based on the needs of your startup or small business. We only recommend what you need. Contact us now for a free initial assessment today.
Top Three Takeaways for Internal Hires vs. Startup Product Marketing Consultants
Consider Your Startup's Needs and Resources: When deciding between building an internal product marketing team and hiring a startup marketing consultant, carefully consider your startup's specific needs and available resources. Assess factors such as budget, expertise requirements, scalability, and flexibility to determine the approach that best aligns with your goals.
Balance Internal Knowledge and External Perspective and Experience: While internal teams bring in-depth knowledge and company alignment, startup marketing consultants offer a valuable external perspective and experience. Striking a balance between the two can lead to a more comprehensive and effective product marketing strategy. Consider leveraging the expertise of consultants to complement your internal team's strengths and overcome potential biases or blind spots.
Evaluate Long-Term Cost Efficiency: Building an internal team requires significant upfront costs and ongoing overhead expenses. In contrast, hiring a startup marketing consultant provides a more cost-effective and scalable solution, especially for startups or small businesses with limited budgets or fluctuating marketing needs. Evaluate the long-term cost efficiency of both options to make an informed decision that optimizes your financial resources.
For startups or small businesses, the choice between hiring internally or engaging a startup marketing consultant is a crucial decision that impacts the success of their marketing efforts. Building an internal team offers in-depth knowledge, company alignment, and dedicated resources but comes with limitations such as limited external perspective, skill gaps, fixed costs, and resource constraints. On the other hand, hiring a startup marketing consultant provides specialized expertise, fresh perspectives, cost-effectiveness, scalability, and access to networks and industry insights.
To make the right choice, startups or small businesses should consider their unique needs, available resources, and long-term objectives. It's essential to strike a balance between internal knowledge and external perspective, leveraging the strengths of both options to create a robust product marketing strategy. Ultimately, by carefully evaluating the pros and cons and considering the top takeaways outlined in this blog post, startups and small businesses can make an informed decision that sets them on the path to marketing success and business growth.