IDG Contributor Network: Does your startup really need a CMO?

Hiring the right people for your startup is necessary to bring your dream to life. But hiring at the right time is equally important. Do you need a CMO now? Or is that overkill – both budget and skills wise. The answer depends on two things – what stage of the product lifecycle you are in and how much marketing expertise your current team has.  

Can you handle it?

Some common reasons startups feel the need to hire a CMO:

  • To attract your first round of clients/users
  • To create a buzz around your product
  • To reach untapped markets
  • To facilitate hockey stick growth
  • To accelerate growth
  • To satisfy investor demands

What stage of product life are you in?

There are typically four stages that every product (and therefore startup) goes through on its metamorphosis from a startup to a full-fledged tech company: Test, Launch, Growth, and Tech Company. Your marketing needs will change in each stage, as will your responsibilities as CEO. Determining which stage you are in and your immediate needs will help you establish whether you need a CMO.

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