Beaumont Bailey: Emotion is just as important as functionality

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What do you most enjoy about your consultancy role?

How diverse the work is. Every day I’m working on different projects across different industries and audiences. No two days are ever the same, and you’re constantly working on new ideas or tackling new challenges. I’m also working with ambitious founders who genuinely want to make a positive impact in the world. It’s incredible to play a role in their trajectory, helping them shape the business for long-term success.

What challenges have you faced since launching

A portfolio career, my current set up is not a very common trajectory that my CMO peers take. This meant that I had to focus on where I wanted this venture to go and define what would truly work for me. That exploration with limited reference points was not the most comfortable process. Still, I feel lucky to have been able to design an approach that works for me, with a mix of client engagements, angel investing, and advising. When founders start to scale, they’re focused on elements like fundraising, fine-tuning the product/service, or expanding their hand-picked client base. Often, the one element they de-prioritise is marketing. There’s often some educational work needed for me to highlight the importance of good marketing foundations and how it goes hand-in-hand with the broader company objectives. Once founders understand that marketing can assist with product development and audience growth, we can build a cohesive strategy for long-term success.

Working with Founders, are you seeing any trends in the challenges that Founders face?

When working with pre-seed companies, the biggest challenge facing our clients is how to build out their audience understanding. It’s vital to get a strong sense of the consumer, their needs, and their interests. We help companies shape their solution to closely suit a problem. It’s also essential that early-stage companies are building the foundations for a long-term brand. This can be challenging if the budget is limited, but working out clear brand guidelines, mission statements, and growth strategies is critical for long-term success. It can be easy to overlook these elements, but getting a structure early on will, over time, help establish a clear brand people can trust. Another challenge we see, regardless of what stage a company is at in its journey, is hiring the right talent. As companies scale, they need to ensure they’re sourcing talent that they can trust to help them with their national and international growth.

If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?

If I knew back then that marketing was basically human psychology, I would have started with a degree in psychology. Or found a way to do a combined degree, but these are not too typical in France, where I went to business school.

What’s one thing you wish you knew earlier on during your career?

Not to rush so much to get to the next promotion or be staffed on the next big project. Focus on being in the moment and enjoying where you’re at in your journey.

What one piece of advice would you give to early-stage start-ups?

Don’t just focus on functionality; there’s emotion too. Producing a product or service is half the challenge, but understanding the needs and desires of your clientele is just as important. The most famous quote in marketing comes from Harvard Business School Professor, Theodore Levitt: “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”. Work on creating an emotional connection with your audience that highlights why your product is best placed to meet their needs & hopes.


This article was originally published in Beaumont Bailey. Want more of Maya's insights? Follow her here.

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