Venture Capital Marketing Specialists
Exploring this Job
For an introduction to marketing concepts and techniques, check out Digital Marketing All-in-One For Dummies (For Dummies, 2020) and Social Media Marketing For Dummies (For Dummies, 2020). For a brief overview of venture capital, visit https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/venture-capital.
Consider joining a high school or college chapter of DECA (https://www.deca.org), a nonprofit organization that hosts competitions, educational conferences, and leadership training programs for students who are interested in careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management.
Others methods to explore this occupation include talking with marketing professionals about their careers, studying past advertising campaigns to see why they were successful or failed, creating a marketing campaign for a real or imaginary product (and testing it out on your friends and family), and visiting the Web sites of professional marketing associations.
“Marketing is the name we use to describe the promise a company makes, the story it tells, the authentic way it delivers on that promise,” according to the author, entrepreneur, and marketing expert Seth Godin. As competition between VC firms increases to fund the next hot start-up, many partners are hiring marketing professionals to help tout the achievements of the firm and tell its story. At some of the top firms, marketing is so highly valued that marketing specialists are being made partners. Job responsibilities of VC marketing specialists vary by firm, but most perform the following duties:
- creating a brand for the firm and telling its “story” to the media and potential investors. This involves everything from sharing inspiring stories about the founders and the formation of the firm, to touting past fund successes, to communicating the idea that the firm is “entrepreneur-friendly” and offers a wealth of expertise in a particular industry sector (technology, green energy, biotechnology, health care products, etc.)
- pitching story ideas about the firm, its partners, and its portfolio companies to influential VC bloggers and members of the business media
- helping the firm’s portfolio companies with their marketing and public relations needs
- conducting market research and analyzing data to make the firm’s marketing efforts more targeted and effective
- setting up blogs and other social media accounts (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) for partners (who use these platforms to tout their firm and its portfolio companies, what they look for in start-ups and founders, and the types of investment strategies that they use)
- creating and implementing strategies to drive traffic to the firm’s Web site and the blogs and social media accounts of its founders via search engine optimization and other approaches
- creating and promoting press releases, annual reports, web videos, and other types of communications
- working with investor relations professionals to create password-protected data rooms (website portals) for prospective investors. These portals list investments made by predecessor funds, audited financial statements of predecessor funds, and other due diligence–related content
- working closely with managing partners, freelance or in-house web and publication designers, and colleagues from other departments