How Building A SaaS Marketing Engine Takes 5 Years (Not What Most CEOs/VCs Think)

There are literally zero ways to build a marketing machine in three-month schemes. Similar to those offering get-rich-quick strategies.

If someone is selling you that and you're buying?

You're the fool.

Or perhaps your assumptions are invalid because it's hard to understand how the process works.

See, building a SaaS marketing machine is a long game.

Here's a more realistic path:

Year 1: Foundations, value proposition, team formation, production and audience building. The assembly of your engine is a work in progress—fewer channels.
Year 2: Operational efficiencies (i.e. using data, managing metrics and growth). The engine has inputs and outputs. You can measure more and add channels to the marketing mix.
Year 3: More robust, complex machine in operation + brand leverage driving inbound.
Year 4: Always-on-marketing includes experimental campaigns, quarterly thematic campaigns, periodic core events (e. g., Weekly Demo), core content, always-On digital and website.
Year 5: Scaling a much larger team and removing yourself from the day-to-day.

Do some people go faster? Yep.

Do some people do it in a much different order? Definitely.

Have a few built the machine much faster? I've seen it. But often, they have had substantial funding rounds to accelerate the process.

But those are what we call "outliers".

Don't expect to be one.

Don't compare yourself to the Marketing engine of the established vendor who you forget have been doing it for years.

Instead, build for the long game and be pleasantly surprised if it goes faster.

I hope this helps set some realistic expectations.

Are you patient enough to play?

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

(1) DUE DILIGENCE FOR INVESTORS & CEOs: A bespoke framework and capability model 'DEMAND KARMA' that delivers DD services to investors, VC firms and CEOs.

(2) ADVISORY: Retained advisory at funded scale-ups. A simple monthly fee. Helping CEOs build a scalable marketing machine. (Booked out until December)

(3) STRATEGY COACHING: Book time on my calendar to work through a standalone project or to get answers to your most pressing marketing strategy and execution questions.

If you're interested, let's jump on a call to see if you're a good fit.

Get My Weekly Digest:
A Newsletter for the Curious

Every Saturday at 11:30 GMT, I publish a weekly briefing that includes commentary on 7 articles I've found useful during the week, an actionable Q&A section with a key learning, and a recommendation for your tech stack — all consumable within 3 minutes.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.