ESCP Europe Business School

CMC Blog

Posted by Vishal Kapadia - @vishkap at 15:10 - 3 Comments

Having recently completed the Master in Marketing and Creativity at ESCP Europe, I have been exposed to many industries and marketing best (and worst) practices across many different companies.

The models, frameworks and approaches of the programme are no doubt valuable for integrating marketing with strategy in many industries, ranging from hi-tech, to cultural and fashion-forward organisations.

For me, however, the most interesting area to which to apply these frameworks is the exciting world of internet startups. There is a great buzz around the world, from Tel Aviv to London, with everywhere aspiring and claiming to be the "next Silicon Valley", with ecosystems of hustlers, designers and coders gelling with incoming venture capital.

Many, many products come out of these various ecosystems, with a new startup a day announced on, many with series A or series B funding in the millions of dollars. However, despite all the funding and much of the hype, many of these products do not end up catching the market share they had hoped to.

A variety of factors contribute to the success or failure of these internet products, with successes by the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn, Roxio and Pinterest flanked by thousands of failures in the same marketplaces by ideas that didn't quite catch the market's interest in the same way.

In large corporates, especially FMCGs, you often see the role of a product manager, who manages a specific product or brand, connecting the voice of the consumer, the manufacturer and the corporate board to ultimately deliver maximum value for and by that product in the marketplace. Increasingly, within startups we are beginning to see a similar trend, as companies strive to bring their product closer to a market need to give a better chance of success in nascent markets.

There are two roles, which are being created in many startups, beyond the old 'customer evangelists' or CMO monikers. These roles are that of the startup 'product manager', who has an understanding of the technical product and looks to engineer greater links between the product and customer base; and secondly the role of the 'growth hacker', who attempts to gain maximum growth for products via online channels and the rich social media and online PR infrastructures available today.

Both of these roles have the ability to make technical products more human and more relevant to a mass consumer audience. Internet products are becoming more user friendly and people expect a more holistic user experience beyond simple utility. A great example of this is to compare a giant of the 'old internet' - Lycos' geeky technical interface - vs. a growing company like Pinterest, which utilises pictures, integrated sharing and 'pins' to make a very fluid and human experience in the iPhone/iPad age.

The increase in demand for these roles demonstrates a new opportunity for the next generation of marketers both in startups and in the wider corporate world. Consumers are evolving as information flows, media and increasing convergence change the choices that consumers can make on a daily basis. In the startup world, nascent companies are responding to these changes by bringing in specialists to bridge the ambiguity. Perhaps it's time for the larger corporates to do the same as more of their operations, marketing or otherwise, move online, before they lose market share to incumbents who bridge the emerging market gaps more efficiently. 

Latest comments 3 Comments

05 November 2012
Some further reading for those interested:
Abhijin said...
12 November 2012
The slideshare link is highly suitable for an introduction to growth hacking. Always wondered what that meant when I saw it on job openings.
12 November 2012
Glad you found the answer on our blog! Check back for more.


Get Social & Share


Latest from CMC Blog
Most active posts
How to Build a Billion Dollar App - 7 Comments
Posted by Creativity Marketing Centre @Creativitymktg
at 24/06/2015 7:49
Who's creative, who's not? - 3 Comments
Posted by Benjamin Voyer
at 09/11/2012 10:00
‘Growth hacking’, the new marketing trend in startups - 3 Comments
Posted by Vishal Kapadia - @vishkap
at 05/11/2012 15:10
The Vicious Spiral of Consumer Expectations of Creative Brands - 2 Comments
Posted by Benjamin Voyer
at 07/01/2013 12:45
Are retail stores dinosaurs? - 1 Comments
Posted by Minas Kastanakis
at 15/03/2013 10:37
Kristine de Valck, dry chicken, and paintball - 1 Comments
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer
at 05/03/2013 16:18
Shakespeare was wrong - 1 Comments
Posted by Peter Stephenson-Wright
at 12/02/2013 13:50
How should companies respond to stories in social media? - 1 Comments
Posted by Tom van Laer - @tvanlaer
at 19/11/2012 11:50
Value as process - 1 Comments
Posted by Vlad Glaveanu
at 16/11/2012 11:31
Latest posts
What is the Secret of Building a Disruptive App? Here’s What You Need to Know
Posted by Creativity Marketing Centre @Creativitymktg
at 08/07/2019 10:24
Everything You Know About AI Is Wrong
Posted by Dr Terence Tse
at 04/07/2019 10:23
The Power of a Strong Concept in Marketing #BIGPICTURE2019
Posted by Laurent François
at 23/05/2019 7:43
Latest comments
On How to Build a Billion Dollar App by Free FIle Hosting

Anything in here will be replaced on browsers that support the canvas element