• Matthew Lerner

Your Most Important Marketing Decision

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

The only thing I can say for certain about your marketing plan is that it’s wrong.


Wait. I haven’t seen your marketing plan?


And yet I know it's wrong because it’s a​ plan​. As boxer Mike Tyson famously said, “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” (Mike's a marketing expert! Who knew?)


Experienced founders know that 90% of their growth will come from 10% of the stuff they try. The key is to find the right 10%. Fast. And a "plan" won't get you there.


What can get you to find the right 10%? How can you learn faster? What levers do you have?


Your budget is fixed. Your people can work harder, and that can maybe give you an extra 20% - 30%. That’s not leverage.


Now, the two things that will determine your success or failure are:

1. Which work you choose to do

2. How well you execute it


Therefore, your jobs as CEO…

1. Choose the right work: Make sure people are working on the right stuff - high impact, high likelihood of success, and that each employee can explain how their work contributes to your success metric.


2. Expect the right level of (im)perfection: There’s always a tradeoff between quality and speed. In Startups, you need to move fast; sometimes “done is better than perfect.” Make sure you give your team permission to do so-so work as long as they’re learning and moving quickly. Help them to make good decisions about which things need to be done right and which things just need to be done.


That's a marketing approach that can really boost your chance of success.


Good Luck!


Matt (& Mike)

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Should startups hire from corporates?

It’s tempting to think that someone from a big successful company will gallop in and give your little startup hockey-stick growth. That’s a common expensive misconception. Trust me, I spent 10 years c

How to foster a growth mindset?

First - Here's the object lesson that transformed my own thinking about growth mindset leadership: Nine words changed PayPal When David Marcus took over as President of PayPal in 2012, the culture was

How do you achieve product-market fit?

Slack needed 7 years, AirBnB took 5, and Ivan’s been working on Notion since 2010. (How much runway do you have?) And is there a shortcut? Like any big hairy problem, you need to break this into parts