0 Comments | Dec 20, 2010

Two Kinds of Companies

Since I seem to be on the topic of resumes and jobs lately, I’d like to share an experience and a lesson learned (I’ve been dishing those out as well… think of this blog as The Brady Bunch for the marketing set).

Recently, someone asked me if there was some defining incident that caused me to take the leap and start my own marketing company. The answer is “yes”, and here it is:

About three years ago, I was interviewing at a technology company for a VP Marketing job. This company had never had a marketing team, or person on staff, and relied on ad hoc marketing consultants. Up until now, they had managed to do well via the Rolodex of contacts that the CEO and others had made in their previous positions at major player companies, but the head of sales was pressuring the very hands-on CEO to hire a marketing team.

As the interview progressed, I was getting the distinct impression that this CEO wasn’t too high on the idea of having anyone other than himself call the shots on marketing his company. He peppered the conversation with “Bill thinks… ,” and “the CFO tells me we should… .” I wasn’t feeling all warm and fuzzy about this guy, or his company.

The clincher was when he said, “If I hire you, you’ll need to prove to me that I need a vice president of marketing.” Uh-oh.


You’re going to go through the time and expense of hiring a department head so they can prove that you need the department? No way. That job would have been an exercise in hitting my head against a cinder block, 10 hours a day. I decided then and there to take the leap and go out on my own.

My philosophy is this: There are two kinds of companies. Those who see the value of marketing, and those that don’t. I prefer to work for the latter. I get less headaches that way: no cinder blocks.

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