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A self interview with startup marketer Marc Duke

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by Startacus Admin

A self interview with startup marketer Marc Duke...

Marc Duke, startup marketer and Startacus member takes up the challenge and self interviews right here for your reading pleasure. So if you’re interested in finding out what a startup marketer is, what a startup marketer does, and a little more about Marc full stop, then read on!Startup Marketing

So Marc Duke - how would you describe yourself?

I am a B2B tech start-up marketer.

What’s a start-up marketer then compared to a normal marketer?

One focused on the bottom line! Startups whether they are pre-seed, post series A or about to IPO must have great marketing or they will fail. So a start-up marketer has to be focused on the business goal rather than just coming up with great ideas or focusing solely on branding and they have to do it on a shoestring. Since let’s face it anyone can spend lots of money and call it great marketing.

So what’s the difference between you and a growth hacker then?

I used to have that term on my LinkedIn profile but changed it as that is a term coined by people focused on app development, hence the use of the word hacker, with the argument being that all marketers in start-ups can use technology to measure everything and that should drive marketing.

But measurement matters in marketing especially ROI?

Yes of course it does, and I also agree with the argument ‘if you can’t measure it don’t Marc Dukebother doing it’. But you have to know exactly what you are out to achieve. Many times I’ll have a chat with a founder who tells me he/she needs help with marketing but what they really mean is ‘I need sales and fast’. There are also some things that technology can’t measure.

What companies have you worked for?

A fair few start-ups such as Sentiment, Palmtree Technology, Celltick, IdeaPlane and start-up service providers such as Collider, eccomplished and Tech London Advocates. But in the past I have also done work with the likes of Adobe, HP, Microsoft and 3Com. I have also worked with a lot of agencies from Brands2Life, Hill & Knowlton, LEWIS, Porter Novelli but for about five years now have wanted to work with start-ups.

Why the move to work with start-ups?

I am not a corporate bod (nothing wrong with people who are) and with a start-up you can get things done fast. You don’t have six weeks to plan, more like six hours! And I like the pressure of having to deliver results, as my old boss would say ‘results not excuses!’

Do you take equity in exchange for doing work?

No, I took the decision from the outset that I work for fees, it focuses the mind all the way around as people know what they are and are not getting. I know some people do and the upside can be huge but it’s not for me.

Don’t you think that marketing can be done at a start-up using a smart intern?

Yes some of the tactical implementation e.g. writing, event organising, email marketing, reporting etc can be done, and often I will tell people don’t use me for the tactical stuff as you can find someone a lot cheaper (possibly free) who can do that. However you do have to have a strategy and know exactly what you are selling and to who. That takes the experience of people that have been there before and have the connections to get things done.

Top three marketing loves:

• Industry analysts/influencer marketing

• PR

• Social media

Top three marketing hates:


• Viral marketing

• Advertising

Top three successes:

• Getting trial customers at a start-up that had ’12 weeks to live’

• Generating over 600 leads in six months with a start up

• Getting an analyst to offer to speak for a start-up for free as she loved the technology so much

Favourite film phrases:

• ‘Show me the money!’ – Jerry Maguire

• ‘Your either incredibly smart or incredibly stupid’ – Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State

Where can we find you?


If like Marc you are interested in showcasing yourself on Startacus, read this short post on self interviewing. And if you've got an idea, project or startup, why not showcase it in our Collaboration area - it's fab!

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Published on: 18th August 2014

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