The Basics of Working With Marketing Startups


Startups are heavily influencing the way we market, disrupting the conventional and coming up with more efficient, productive and sustainable ways to engage with the customer. So why not try something new with a startup operating in the marketing space this year?

But where to start and how? How can you find the right firm? How to establish a productive relationship? Innovation is well and fine, but how to make the most of a new relationship in unchartered waters?

Meet Beckon, a startup launched in 2014 that, according to founder and CEO Jennifer Zeszut, are a firm built by marketers for marketers. 32% of Beckon’s team are from marketing; 46% from engineering/tech; and 14% from data science/analytics. It markets itself as “the source of truth for marketing.”

The startup offers multi-channel data management and performance analytics. At present, they boast a healthy client roster of A-listers including Bayer, Coca-Cola, Gap, IBM, NBC-Universal and more of the like. Beckon’s success and fast growth can be attributed to its team dynamics. Apart from that, the company sets a very high bar for itself. After all, if you plan to sell to the world’s best brands, you need to be one yourself.

This is their advice for marketers looking to work with startups.

With close to 10,000 companies backed by venture and private investment in the U.S. alone, it’s tough to monitor early-stage startup activity in your industry and come up with related strategies. Industry bodies regularly conduct events that aim at connecting leaders of established and emerging companies to get together and develop the future of the industry. These events are of immense help in enabling corporate to identify trends and potential partners in the startup space.

Increasingly all divisions in a company are going in for function-specific software. No one is really dependent on the IT division except for occasional troubleshooting. The industry is seen to be moving further in this direction where function-specific tools, especially marketing-oriented would absolutely be the way going forward.

The top management needs to be fully on-board. The CMO, the CTO, and the CIO should appreciate the partner firm and their collaboration – as much as the marketing team does. In short, be as beloved by the IT division as much as by the marketing division. For this to happen, any new vendors would have to be vetted for thorough security, controls, etc. Having the CTO and the CIO involved, ensures that the process is foolproof and they should satisfy themselves that the partnership is something worth-while for the enterprise.

The most crucial piece of advice is regarding data portability and access. The CMO should ensure that the vendor allows the company full access to data, that you actually retain the ownership of all the data and any related insight. This is of utmost importance in the event you decide to part ways in the future.

These basic guidelines should be of help for marketers looking to navigate this complex and nascent territory.

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