Virtual coffee ☕️: Managing marketing resources

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Lucia Pons

Feb 07, 2023

Virtual coffee ☕️ Managing marketing resources

In this edition of our “virtual coffee," ☕️ we invited Alejandro Ribó Sendón, co-founder of (with a highly recommended podcast: #ElPodcastdeDiscoverfy), and Ángela Aparicio Pérez, marketing specialist at HarBest Market, who worked closely with the founders to create all of the marketing materials needed to introduce HaBest to the market. We summarized the most relevant topics discussed related to effective marketing resource management, particularly for startups and small businesses with limited resources.

Q: How do you manage resources at the beginning, when you are just getting started?

When you talk about resources while starting a business, you must consider time, money, and people. The absence of these resources when you first start out is a common issue.

In the marketing department, you typically start out with one or two people at most. They are typically non-expert profiles, and you typically have little money, so the only resource you have at first is the time of these individuals ⏳

At this point, it's important to test channels and actions while remaining adaptable and quick to change.

Alejandro emphasizes that the best course of action, in the beginning, is to "try things yourself and make mistakes yourself." He had to test various strategies on his own because there wasn’t a marketing team at first.

Angela, on the other hand, created what would become HarBest's marketing department from scratch along with a coworker.

Both emphasize that the key is to use the time you have to decide which actions you want to test when you don't have any resources or money. After spending some time deciding what to do, you must then decide how much money to spend and, ultimately, whether you need additional help to carry out your plan of action.

Q: In terms of people, what kind of profile should we start with?

You cannot hire people unless you are also clear about the profiles you require. To find the channels that offer us the most profitability, it is ideal to start with a generalist who is willing to experiment and make mistakes.

The first months can be crucial for establishing the rules, but they can also be chaotic. Based on trial and error, you should look for someone who is eager to develop with the business and who effectively handles frustration.

As you mature, looking for outside sources of support for the actions you want to take becomes essential. We will increase the staff once we are certain of the areas on which we want to concentrate. A second or third profile should be focused on campaign execution and content, with someone on data and strategy as their primary focus.

Q: Regarding personnel, what can we outsource, and how can we go about doing so?

The secret, according to Alejandro, is to outsource non-core tasks. He also maintains that it's crucial to internalize strategy control and delegate execution, but that it's also important to maintain control over your initial course of action.

The company should steer the meeting based on its needs and requirements rather than letting an agency or expert decide "what we should do." The company can listen to advise and consider it, but it should not allow a third party to determine the actions to be taken.

Content creation, designers, video producers, and other professions may be interesting profiles to outsource, for example.

Additionally, there are now an increasing number of freelance services and profiles that you can hire only by the hour and intelligently outsource some services to:

Q: Let’s move on to money. What can be done initially with a limited budget?

Testing the most popular channels first is the most sensible course of action, and this is what we all do. Depending on your product and your target market, we test Google ads, Meta ads, Tik Tok, etc.

It's true that at this point you need to be explicit about your advertisements and what you are offering. You should be willing to accept copies or images that aren't the best representations of your product or service, but testing an idea may be enough to improve your process.

Each channel must be tested with a sizable financial commitment for a minimum of two weeks before it is possible to determine whether or not it will produce successful results.

⚠️ Attention: When determining the cost of acquisition, or CAC, a Facebook ad campaign that receives 10 leads after spending 200 euros will likely perform better. This does not, however, imply that the CAC is significantly higher than that of producing a podcast, which generally costs nothing more than time and some recording equipment (talking about money). Both actions require significant time and effort investments, so keeping costs under control is critical in order to compare them.

When deciding how much money to invest, you should avoid obsessing over the CAC (cost of acquisition), which many businesses have a tendency to focus on and can become obsessed with whether it is too small or too large. Many of them fail to account for the true cost of running a campaign, which includes both the time spent planning the campaign and the value that appears in the tools.

We can try webinars, videos, blogs, or other content that doesn't cost much but takes a lot of time after the most popular online channels have been tested. We will also need to invest money if we want to reach the target audience.

Testing partnerships or collaborations with pertinent businesses, Instagrammers, or other representatives of your target market is another typical action these days.

Testing is crucial during these phases because you are already investing money. It is important to spend time analyzing the data and comparing different metrics of each action, not just the cost per acquisition or the metrics that the tools give you. You should also consider the time spent and the people you needed to run the campaign. In the beginning, you will undoubtedly make a lot of measurement mistakes.

Q: When it comes to the actions that we invest money in, when is it time to stop?

Experience will tell you that there is no single answer as to the critical moment to end a channel or campaign, but if you invest in a channel for a month or two and see no profitability, it is probably not the most appropriate. It could also be that the campaign is not the right one and it is time to stop and try something else.

Alejandro explains that it is very simple to discard them and not try them again because of a bad initial experience, and perhaps the campaign was not well-run. However, just because a channel does not work or we stop it, it does not mean that we cannot reconsider it in the future.

Angela offers us advice on how to recognize potential stopping points. The key is to establish attainable departmental goals that are connected and reviewed by all team members on a weekly basis. If neither the internal nor the external objectives are achieved, we are probably not focusing properly. However, if only the external marketing objectives are unsuccessful, those actions or channels must not be the proper ones. Be careful not to set unrealistic goals!

Q: With a small budget, what kind of tools should we use?

Alejandro exclaims first: Excel!

Let's start with the fundamentals: tracking and controlling must be done with a straightforward, manageable tool.

Alejandro emphasizes the value of experimenting with a few tools in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information or time required. It is completely useless to spend the entire day looking at all the tools, so you can't do it. Additionally, he makes the point that each tool provides a different set of data. It can be confusing to cross-reference this data to determine how your campaigns are performing, particularly when you are just getting started.

Angela, on the other hand, began by conducting numerous tool tests. She initially looked into a variety of tools that might increase her productivity, but she soon realized that many of them were being misused, so she advises "focusing on and becoming an expert in the tools you use."

Q: Okay, so how do you scale up after you've already tested, assuming you have time, money, and people?

Angela outlines:

  • For Money: Establish annual budgets for each department.
  • For Time: The key is to test the actions on your own, test them again after you've done so, and once you know how to do it, understand which profiles are required to carry out those actions.
  • For People: Look for profiles that have the autonomy, experience, and training necessary to add new profiles.

Alejandro urges us to consider our target CAB as the quantitative objective. We can set our target CAC and spending limit higher if our average ticket is higher. Align with needs and determine if we need to do the same with people.

Q: Finally, what tips would you give to new hires in a department?

“Stop and think," Angela says emphatically. We frequently act quickly and impulsively, which causes us to lash out at seemingly simple errors.

"Fail and review," says Alejandro, adding something very pertinent. He believes that the key to improving past actions is to test new ideas, fail, and learn from each failure.

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