The START Plan

The START Plan is designed for companies intent on building their first marketing function. After receiving your initial Seed- or Series A funding, you need to results fast. You cannot afford to make mistakes, and marketing cannot be your primary focus. You realize it’s time to hire your first small marketing team.


Who’s it for?

  • CEOs who need marketing leadership help fast to fulfill high growth expectations

  • SaaS companies that need an experience, and affordable, CMO


What’s it for?

  • Implementation of a SaaS marketing playbook based on 50+ successful engagements

  • Getting an on-demand marketing boost to go from Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to Product Market Fit (PMF)


Proven Playbook

Your CMO will use best practices, and templates for marketing calendars, budgets, website planning, positioning etc. to get going fast.



  • PMF: Turn your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with a few raving fans into Product Market Fit (PMF) with a large group of paying early adopters.

  • Leads: Now that we know what good prospects look like, we get more of them. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) become a key metric.

The START phase will drive to at least one predictable, sustainable demand generation channel that has well understood ROI economics.


Build your SaaS marketing team

Most SaaS companies in this stage of growth have similar marketing needs. You might recognize yourself in some of the following statements:

  • Your developers and the rest of the team have just built your website.

  • You don’t have an official marketing function. You have been the CMO yourself.

  • Your team has started to collect emails from prospects and customers.

  • You don’t have clear answers to the questions: What’s it for?” and Who’s it for?”

  • You hear that your online presence and positioning are confusing your prospects.


Best practices

For the START Plan, your CMO will bring checklists like the Trello Board below, and templates for things like marketing budget, marketing calendar, and KPI dashboard. All optimized for teams that are in the same growth stage as you are.

START ensures that you don’t reinvent the wheel. It prevents mistakes that can easily be avoided. START is 6 to 12 months in duration. And includes the basic building blocks that every SaaS company needs to get their marketing function in place:

  • Positioning, segmentation, and messaging

  • Online presence (web, social, analytics, SEO)

  • Marketing & sales automation infrastructure

  • Product pricing, go-to-market, and launch

  • Prospect on-boarding and nurture program

  • Customer retention and loyalty campaign

  • Branding, PR, and trademarks

  • Content marketing & thought leadership

  • Paid- and organic search marketing

  • Hiring and on-boarding your first marketing team

  • Preparation for the next round of funding


A 4-phase approach

The START Plan is organized into 4 phases, each lasting 3 months:

  • Start: Intense period of building positioning, infrastructure, hiring, and on-boarding

  • Speed Up: Your team starts doing the work; your CMO trains new hires

  • Solidify: The team starts to own the work; your CMO still manages the team daily, while hiring or developing your permanent marketing team leader

  • Sustain: Your permanent marketing leader takes the reins and is leading the team; your CMO is coaching her on a regular basis and with check-ins and 1-1 support

In each phase the time the CMO spends with your team goes down by design. The first 3 months are very intense. Then the time-spend goes down gradually. During the last phase, it’s 25% of what it was in the first 3 months.

While the CMO-as-a-Service concept includes shared resources, it’s not a part-time engagement where your CMO would not be available at certain times. It’s important to state that your CMO is responsible for your marketing function (the team and the results) full time, 7 days per week.


Pay for performance

The final 10% of the fee for the START Plan will only be invoiced after your first full-time marketing team leader is in place and in charge of marketing with an established set of KPIs, and plan and budget to support those KPIs. 

“Working with Stijn yielded the best of all worlds, immediate hands-on results and a lasting impact on the business.”
— Brian Plackis Cheng, CEO, Cielo24