An Open Letter To Scrappy Startups: A Single Parent With Eight Kids And A Marketing Ninja Have A Lot In Common

by Laurie Heller

Sign up for our once-a-month marketing jam, and we'll hold the spam

Dear Scrappy Startup Founder,

We see you. Your flashy website, “disruptive product that eliminates friction” meticulously weaved into your job post for one lucky marketing ninja, with three years of experience to come in balance strategy and execution, and master all of the shiny new tools you’ve just acquired. In other words, come right in and kick some @ss and take some names while taking your ARR (ahem, annual recurring revenue) to the next level.

Buuuuut hold on (wait a minute)! We have one question for you: How many folks will be/are in your newly-minted marketing team?  

If your answer is one (or even two) we hate to burst your bubble, but unless you hire a magician with special powers (and/or the ability to clone themselves and learn seven subjects at once), you’re not going to reap the benefits of any of your fancy new tools. So for the sake of the marketing ninja communities far and wide, please listen up.

Let’s say you’re a burgeoning B2B company and you’ve got HubSpot Marketing Hub, Salesforce CRM, Drift, Terminus, Typeform, and SEMRush. Amazing, right?  Well done.  But let’s look at what this *actually* takes to do well.

Remember your mission to eliminate friction? If you don’t stop yourself right now you could very well be hiring your very first Master of the Friction Universe (MOTFU) Ninja.

Liken MOTFU to a single parent who has a job, eight kids with no childcare.  There aren’t enough hours in the day to feed the kidlets, brush their teeth (twice, not once), do the laundry, go to work, get them to bed and clean up the house, and make sure they don’t get injured.

Sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? We’ve got news for you: This is what it’s like for MOTFU the marketing ninja. No matter how many moves MOTFU’s got, this ninja will never get ahead. 

Let’s look at MOTFU’s day-to-day. Aside from coming up with your marketing strategy and plan here are the eight kids they’ll need to manage:

  1. HubSpot marketing hub: requires extensive knowledge of email marketing mastery, building sophisticated workflows, A/B testing, social media best practices, smart content functionality,  CSS, website building, buyer personas, lead scoring, lead routing, content marketing principles, analytics, and design. That aside, being up-to-date on privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA and others on the rise) as well as CAN SPAM acts, etc. Side note: there are usually departments for this vs. one person.
  2. Salesforce - you best have a Salesforce admin to manage it - Salesforce is a beast and needs its own Ninja. MOTFU might implode from this alone so we suggest unless you have a massive sales team, you should stick with a CRM like HubSpot. But we’ll leave this for another day. 
  3. Content marketing is going to be your organic growth engine, right? Well this ninja better be well-versed in SEO,  buyer journey mapping, copywriting and know who your buyer is. If you’re lucky, they can actually design as well. Cranking out awesome content, ebooks, videos , takes like what, one hour a week? No sweat, MOTFU. Which leads us to our next one…
  4. Designer. Canva is cool;  but if you want to look as good or better than the competition, a designer/art director is key.  
  5. Typeform… ahhh. Those amazing personality quizzes that are just the bee's knees for social sharing. What kind of startup are you? What kind of founder are you? What type of Ninja are you? They are secret stealth lead gen machines… but MOTFU better be good at understanding data and logic to build them correctly. Maybe they can dream it up in their sleep.
  6. Drift (heart bubbles). Live chat is great. So are well-done chatbots. But count the ninja out if they have to be the point person there. Might be best to do a round robin to monitor your company chat.  Because, like...  who’s going to manage the setting that is up and training your sales team? Ohhhhh, the ninja, of course!
  7. Terminus: Once your ninja has everything set up above, you’ll want to do some more buzzword bingo-ing and add ABM (account-based marketing) to your mix. Since MOTFU really is a multi-tasking master. And when your ninja can’t sleep and they wake from a panic attack at 3am, they’ll be ready to whip the key account list, custom content and landing pages, ad creative and  targeting and and get that  HubSpot integration going. Perfect way to decompress.
  8. But wait...paid media! Oops, we forgot. Paid search, social, native ads, retargeting - I mean there are agencies for this but no fear. MOTFU will just do the unthinkable - spray and pray. But don’t tell anyone that or they’ll be inducted into the marketing hall of shame.

One last thing:  don’t forget a real critical piece of the pie: sales enablement.  Creating beautiful and succinct sales decks (that don’t talk about your product for 45 pages), outreach emails, sales sequences, HubSpot training Salesforce training, Drift setup,  and get them to know and understand your campaigns. After all, no B2B company can be successful unless sales and marketing are aligned.  Is this something that falls on MOTFU? If so, we’d suggest MOTFU has a partner in crime on the sales team to make sure enablement is a priority.

Last but not least, no MOTFU can be successful without reporting. We get it. You’ve spent a pretty penny on your toolkit. In fact, you might be paying more for the tools than you are for your fabulous ninja. But don’t fret: That’s what Sunday Fundays are for. MOTFU can crank up the tools and email you dashboards from every platform about what’s working/what’s not and why and make recommendations for how to fix them - if and only if they can get them all working together. I mean, after all, Zapier is like, a total miracle,  so MOTFU should be rollerskating around the park in all their spare time.

In all seriousness, is it all doom and gloom for MOTFU? It doesn’t have to be. If you’ve only got room for one ninja hire them first and let THEM decide what tools you need and what THEY can actually do well. You might end up focusing on one thing vs 10.  If you have lofty goals and want allllll the shiny things, then you must (capital M) get MOTFU some help. 

In the meantime, please be careful with what you ask from your Ninjas. In order to truly live your brand’s ethos, they should be MOTFLU (master of the frictionLESS universe). We’re here if you need help

With love and laughs,

The Favorites


May 14.2022

Why B2B marketers should look through a B2C lens

Most B2B companies typically don't want to hire B2C marketers. They're caught up in focusing on bottom-of-the-funnel leads and revenue. We'll talk about why...

Sep 20.2021

10 digital marketing mistakes to avoid

If you've got one minute, we've got 10 digital marketing mistakes to avoid. This post can help save your sanity, marketing budget, and team morale.  

1. Not...

Aug 30.2021

10 SEO Myths we've heard while performing in the SEO Circus (2021)

SEO is a beast. Done right it can be great. Done wrong it can be a massive waste of time. Misunderstood, though, is the most dangerous of all. In this blog...