David Cummings, a Co-Founder of Pardot, recently posted the following to his (excellent) blog:
“When I reflect on four of the fastest-growing ~100 person startups in town, it’s clear that they fall into one of two camps: product-first company or movement-first company.
Product-first companies absolutely adore their own product.
Everything centers around building an amazing product that customers love and everything else comes second. Internally, software engineers and the product team are put up on a pedestal and the hierarchy is clear. Product-first companies are all about the product.
Movement-first companies are on a mission greater than themselves.
Everything centers around educating the market about this better way to do things, most often through live events and heavy sales and marketing. Internally, sales and marketing teams are hard-charging and at the center of the company. Movement-first companies are all about creating a movement.”
The questions is, which are you?
An example of a great movement-first company doing business today is Engagio, on a mission to convert the world to account based everything.
A product-first example is Puppet. The product and their engineers are at the center of everything.
This choice is important as a marketer, because it changes the way you communicate.
A product first company might show behind the scenes. Highlight their remarkable engineering. Dive deep into the product. (It’s become anathema to talk about our products today in content marketing. Often a clear sales message that relates to a product, showing how you improve peoples’ lives, is one of the best ways to cut through the noise).
A movement-first company needs to focus on evangelizing. Much like Hubspot did with inbound years ago. Get the word out on how you’re changing things. Bring your mission to the world.
The key for you is to choose. Which are you? And then let that decision shine through in your Simple Promise, as well as absolutely everything else you create.