As our team grows, we want to make sure you get to know us: here you can meet our newest member, Julie Le Roux, part-time CMO at iytro.
Can you share a bit about your professional experience before joining iytro as a Part-Time CMO?
I’ve worked abroad since I was 19 years old – mostly in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. I moved back to France in 2017 but decided to return with the one condition that I find a job which allowed me to continue working in English so that I didn't lose all the progress I had made. I found that job with Groupe M6, a media production company, where I was Project and Content Manager.
Throughout my professional career, I’ve worked with both small and large companies in all kinds of industries because I need to keep learning and challenging myself. During COVID-19 for example, I was so frustrated staying at home that I decided to become a certified pastry chef. I took classes during the confinement and at one stage worked as a pastry chef for 6 months!
I learned about iytro through Marine. She was a friend of a friend and she introduced me to Jon and Phil. I connected with them and after learning more about iytro, I thought it was a great fit. Working with multiple clients across a variety of industries really appealed to me.
What does a typical day as a Part-Time CMO at iytro look like?
There is no typical day. I have meetings with clients to understand their needs and their end goals. Sometimes, they have lots of ideas and want to try many things at once but they're not necessarily sure of where to start. If that’s the case, we help them understand what it is they really want, help them set priorities with the resources and skills that we have and together, decide what is the best route for the growth of the business.
The beauty of our work is that sometimes we’re faced with industries that we’re less familiar with. With that comes a lot of learning and so you need to be curious and keep asking questions.
Our entire team has different professional and personal backgrounds, as well as different interests so whenever we encounter something we’re less knowledgeable about, we can share that experience and knowledge with each other. In this way, we help each other a lot.
Why do you enjoy working with startups?
Working with startups is fast paced. They may have an innovative product or service, but it may not stay new for long. The industry changes fast, so do the tools and the customers’ needs and attention. Startups don’t always have established processes in the way that large businesses do, so the way in which we work has to adapt to this. We usually work directly with the CEO and/or Founders, sometimes they're the same person but not all the time. Working this closely with the head of the company doesn’t really happen in other organizations. Honestly, I am always very enthusiastic when working with startups. It’s kind of like an adrenaline rush because of how fast decisions are made and rolled out.
In my role as Part-Time CMO, I also get to connect with lots of different companies. Since I normally work with multiple clients at one time, I learn about a lot of industries and hear about products, services and technology that maybe I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
What are some common mistakes you see startups make with their marketing?
I’ve seen a few, luckily they’re always fixable when you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. A big one is target audiences. I see many companies trying to target everyone and not paying attention to understanding their customers and their ideal target. Defining a target audience is so important. Only after defining your target audience can you begin properly marketing to them. Otherwise it’s just “spray and pray”.
Not everyone is going to need and want your product or service - unless you work in cleaning consumable water, in which case, okay, you have the largest market I’ve ever seen. But other than that, you need to focus your efforts on who needs what you’re selling and find them where they’re at (meaning using the right platform) and speak to them in a way that resonates with them.
Another big issue is mixing the end user and the buyer. Sometimes the end user might be the buyer but that depends on the industry and the product. Differentiating between them is crucial to understanding their pain points. The user’s pain points are not the same as the buyer’s, there might be some overlap but generally speaking, they’re different. Understanding the buyer’s journey will allow you to better market your product.
Content, content is a big one. I see a lot of companies not paying enough attention to content and their social media; this should be incorporated into the overall marketing strategy. Content should be engaging, consistent and reactive. But here’s the trick: don’t create generic content just for the sake of having content, it should always have a purpose. That purpose is to your clients’ benefit. You should either give them information, teach them something, make them dream, etc.
The last one I’ll give you is: clients focusing on sales and product development while forgetting about marketing. Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand, you can’t ignore one to favor the other. What founders tend to do - and understandably so - is to focus on the numbers. But in order to see those numbers go up, people need to know about your product, and what it can offer them, that’s where marketing comes into play.
Do you have any podcast or book recommendations?
My top three podcasts are Le Gratin, Girlboss, and Work in Progress. The first one is in French and hosted by Pauline Laigneau, co-founder of the brand Gemmyo. She interviews entrepreneurs or public figures who have an interesting background and way of thinking. Girlboss focuses on success, what it actually means, and showcases womens’ success stories. Work in progress focuses more on issues like the environment, mental health and the world we live in, through the lens of the host and her passionate guests.
There are two books I recommend, Start with Why by Simon Sinek and Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Simon Sinek talks about what the most innovative companies have in common and that is: start with the why. Why do you do what you do? Why this service or this particular product? That’s where lies your competitive advantage and differentiation. As for Brene Brown, she shares her vision about the importance of staying curious and what it takes to become a brave, empathic leader.
If you're interested in working with one of our part-time CMOs or becoming one, Get in Touch.