Hit List: The one Growth marketing hack you really need

This Hit list hack is not about budget. This is what helps any CEO and marketer move forward regardless of budget, and other constraints.

Looking for your fit?

One of our last posts dealt with a spectrum of humanitarian and business scenarios for the next year. From the optimistic to the pessimistic. From the wide range of tech companies we work with, it’s clear who needs to recalculate their route faster. The more flights a company cancels, the faster they need to calculate their route.  

If your business is based on face-to-face engagements to close a deal, it probably means:

  • Your sales cycles are a few months long  
  • You rely on personal relationships
  • You have a champion to nurture  
  • There is more than one stakeholder you need to win over
  • There are a few steps you need to take before a deal is signed

So where and how does a hit list serve marketing strategy for startups?

You may have already lost quite a few opportunities to hunt down new prospects or enhance your relationships by now. However, that doesn’t mean that there is a stop sign right in front of you, nor will this year end with you falling flat on your face.

Every one of the bullet points above has a whole set of digital alternatives and a journey you can create and follow.

However, each of our strategic marketers will tell you that every possible journey that could be mapped above commences with one thing: A hit list.

Hit list you say? Isn’t that obvious? Well it always fascinates me how no matter what company I work with and how mature the marketing team is, when it comes to a hit list – it’s not always obvious. 

To clarify: a hit list is not your funnel nor your pipeline, it’s not a sheet with all the cards you collected in the last conference, it’s not the email list you are nurturing and not the list of companies you downloaded from Sales Navigator.

A Hit list is a list of customers you want to recruit. Companies by name not type, and preferably specific people. Mostly hit lists are created when a company is highly focused and systematic. When it is obvious who they want to serve or who would benefit from the offer most. That’s when it gets how to make marketing strategy for startups work. 


It sounds quite easy, right? An essential component in startup sales and growth marketing. So how come lots of startup companies doesn’t have one?

Usually both the sales team and marketing team point a finger at each other expecting the other to do the “dirty work.” Sales teams often prefer to always be hustling and feel that to sit and do their homework is a waste of time. Marketing teams claim that to best serve their internal customer – the sales team  — they need to get specific demands.The best way to get specific is to get a list of who the sales teams want to talk to and then reverse engineer the steps to get them on the phone. 

As in any business, the same goes for startups. Marketing strategy requires planning. As you know, while running this marathon sometimes it’s not that easy to take a strategic “break”. That’s where a CMO as a service or a fractional CMO can give this fresh perspective and get it done fast. How fast can you strategize? It can take less than half a day without compromising the depth of the research or the strategy.

If a company is heading to a conference or needs to attract its customers through a digital journey, the best way to start is with a list of the companies or people we want to serve most. A list of names: starting with a company name and focusing on the person we want to talk to.

The journey we build for every customer be it cyber, fintech, productivity, marketech or medical devices is different. Though the main success factor is focus and a hit list helps us gain clarity and get noticed and build rapport.


You can reach fast growth. Implement this hit list growth hack in you company and see.

And if I may, just a little spiritual mumbo jumbo – If you see it you can make it happen – believe it. You’ll see for yourself. Once those names are on paper (or a Google sheet) you will already be on your way to getting their attention.

Knowing your contact by name, and a few clicks to learn more about their interests and analyzing their motives will already get you and your marketing team thinking about ways to get noticed. Moreover, once you cross about 15 people on the list you’ll come across commonalities that can serve a wider audience and campaign — a low budget one. 

Hint: Show them you know them (your leads) and make them shine – and they’re yours. 


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