Leela Gill’s 5-Step Marketing Plan for Startups, Ep #61

Leela Gill’s 5-Step Marketing Plan for Startups, Ep #61

Mark Raffan

As a marketing professional working in a startup, do you know how to help your company grow revenue? How is your process different from marketing for an established business? In this episode, Leela Gill drops some absolute gems when she describes her marketing plan for Series A and Series B startups. If you’re trying to get your marketing off the ground and running, don’t miss this episode!

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:10] Why Leela created her cheat-sheet
  • [2:35] Step One: Audit where you currently stand
  • [5:02] Step Two: Understand your budget + costs
  • [9:06] Step Three: Understand your team’s skillset
  • [12:21] Step Four: Think about the big picture
  • [16:54] Step Five: What are your exit criteria?
  • [19:03] Metrics that matter for scaling up

#1: Audit where you currently stand

The first step in Leela’s plan is auditing where you currently stand. It’s a step that every marketing leader does when they come into a company. But Leela advises auditing every quarter. It involves looking at your ideal customer profile and personas and making sure they’re correct. Does your value proposition work? You have to look at the fundamentals. Then look at your CRM and make sure it’s functioning properly. Encourage your team to be problem solvers.

#2: Understand your budget + costs

You need to understand your budget, costs, conversion rates, and the ecosystem you have to operate in. In a Series A/Series B, your budget can be very constrained. It’s unlikely that you’ll have large tech stacks and an unlimited marketing budget. If that’s your environment, you’re lucky because it’s uncommon. You have to figure out how to make the most of the budget you get, right? Leela usually allocates 40–45% of her budget to headcount and the rest to programs. You need to split your budget in a way that gets you people power and program power to execute. Listen to learn more about what Leela means by that!

#3: Understand your team’s skillsets and strengths

Put people in places where they’re strong. Don’t force people to learn by throwing them in the fire and seeing if they’ll survive. If you don’t have a strong subject matter expert (SME), find a content person that can execute within that area of expertise. Leela does quarterly performance reviews with her team members. In an early-stage company, you can’t wait a full year to review where your content, performance, budgets, and team skill sets are at.

#4: Think about the big picture

Every business is in business to grow revenue, but it’s especially important in the early stages of a business. Leela takes revenue, conversion numbers, conversions rates, etc., to work backward to determine what MQLs/SQLs will be. Then she maps targets to specific programs. If you need 200 leads per week, how will you drive them? How did you do last quarter? Did you hit your numbers? Why did you or didn’t you? Asking the right questions helps you determine what you need to do more of.

#5: What are your exit criteria?

Your goal as a marketer in Series B is to help your company get to Series C or exit the process. In Series A, you need to test your frameworks, understand what’s working, test your ICP and understand your personas, etc. You need a model in place to understand how many leads you’re bringing in. The next logical step is to grow. Series B is all about scaling. If you have a segmented database, make sure a process and cadence are in place to scale and get to Series C.

Leela takes a deep dive into each of these steps in this episode. Don’t miss it!

Resources & People Mentioned

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Mark Raffan

Mark Raffan

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and lover of marketing and influence. Mark built the #1 negotiation podcast in the world and is an expert negotiation, influence, and persuasion coach that has coached executives and their teams in some of the largest companies in the world.