Nail it before you scale it

People often view marketing as a silver bullet that will solve all their problems.

“If only we had more customers, all our troubles (financial, operational, cultural) would drift away.”

From a selfish perspective this is a vey handy lever to pull doing the sales process, but there’s just one problem.

It’s utter nonsense.

Scale a flawed business and the cracks become canyons.

There’s a certain order in which things need to be done in any organisation. Or put it this way:

  • There’s little point in worrying about your vision and values if the financials of the business don’t stack up.
  • There’s little point in worrying about attracting talent if a lack of vision and toxic culture mean you wouldn’t retain that talent.
  • There’s little point in worrying about having a great product if you don’t have the right talent to build it.
  • There’s little point in worrying about the customer experience if the product isn’t good enough to support that experience.
  • There’s little point in worrying about systems if you don’t know what great customers experience looks like.
  • There’s little point in worrying about closing deals if you don’t have the systems to scale.
  • There’s little point in worrying about generating new leads if your sales team can’t close deals.

Removing a bottleneck at the bottom of the sequence when there are still other above it, is unlikely to accelerate the flow of sustainable value.

And marketing (sadly for people like me), is right at the BOTTOM of this list.

We marketers exist to communicate every dimension of the business (product, people, vision, values, etc) to every stakeholder. If those things are broken, they need to be fixed.

In short, nail it before you scale it.