There’s a tipping point when a small business grows up at which it recognizes the need to invest in a higher level of marketing sophistication. It’s kind of like puberty. Awkward. A bit hard to watch. Three quarters magical.
The signal moment occurs during the hiring of the company’s first marketing director. Not marketing manager, marketing director. If the marketing director is strategic, continued growth is likely. If tactical, it’s a crap shoot. One can learn from tactics (derive strategy from tactics) but it’s bass ackwards.
A good marketing director is likely to make founders and owners a bit uncomfortable. That is because s/he will be interested is everything. The money. The product. The sales team/channel. Leadership. Customers. For small growing companies this can be a little overwhelming. But hey, it’s puberty. You just have to stick with it.
If, as a hiring company, you are not at least a little afraid of your first marketing director – keep looking. Peace!