To Build a Winning Climate Tech Marketing Team, Start with the Business Goals

by Alder & Co. | August 19, 2021

In Alder & Co.’s last webinar, How to Build a Winning Marketing Team, panelist Safiyyah Khan sums it up best, “This session was replete with good tips and validation for climate tech marketers.”

Marketing plays a key role in driving growth by telling the story about why it’s important and how our climate tech solutions and organizations spur behavior change for the new energy economy. But then, how would you find the right people to do this on your team? And if you’re starting to build a company, budgets are tight, and you also don’t know where to start, who should be your first hire vs. should you outsource? These are some of the topics we covered with three climate tech marketing industry experts.

Watch the full webinar here.

Lisa Magnuson, VP of Marketing & Communications at Bloom Energy, a global mission-driven organization that delivers clean and reliable energy, led off the discussion by keeping us grounded with sage advice on building your marketing team. Lisa makes the point that building your team begins with understanding your business goals. For a major organization like Bloom Energy, revenue goals and specific directives from the executive team and the board map where the company will be heading are key. In collaboration with the sales team, Lisa built her team to meet the needs of the business goals, and that meant, team leads for Product Marketing, Branding, Communications, and Integrated Marketing.

“When you are realigning your marketing strategy to go after new industries, new verticals – really understanding who the customers and their pain points are, then we had to assess the team members’ strengths and identify where the gaps were in the organization,” Lisa said. “Then we figured out how to strategically fill those roles either with full-time employees, with contractors or with agencies. We gathered a lot of feedback cross-functionally as well as from every team member.”

For Safiyyah Khan, VP of Marketing at Perch Energy and BlueWave Solar, she too matches her marketing teams’ abilities to the strengths needed to meet the business objectives. And as a co-founder and co-leader of both companies’ anti-racist work, we asked her what role marketing has in building JEDI (Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion) into growing your marketing team.

“My personal belief is that [JEDI] belongs on every team in the organization, but I think that marketing has even more responsibility. We have the power to keep bringing the voice of the customer into the organization, therefore influencing how products are built, how products are defined, what the strategies for the companies are going to be. And then the other power with marketing is that diverse teams have been proven to be more successful. Our job is to represent and influence the market. And we can do that better if there’s that representation within our teams as well.” Safiyyah said.

Guiding her clients on ways to build marketing teams, the big question for Catherine McLean, Founder & CEO at strategic talent acquisition consultancy Dylan Green, is about whether candidates need to have industry experience before applying for roles with climate tech companies.

“I think there are other industries that are much more mature where we can look to get talent from that people would have a lot more expertise and provide a new perspective and new insights. I totally understand that it can be a little bit more of a time investment, but, I do feel that it prevents that tunnel vision we can oftentimes get into,” Catherine said.

There was so much more to learn in this webinar; check out the event recording for the full conversation.

Our next webinar on Defining Your Marketing Tech Stack occurs at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET, September 30, online. We’d love to see you there; register here.

About Alder & Co

Alder & Co. is a leading, global strategic brand marketing agency with the mission to drive the adoption of climate technologies until they become universal. Alder partners with forward-facing, innovative climate tech companies who need progressive brand & marketing strategies to drive growth, secure investment and make the impact needed to address our generation’s most urgent crisis – our environment. Find out more:  

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