Startup Marketing 101 with Aaron Carpenter, CCO at Hubnami

In March, Startup Grind Fremont hosted Aaron Carpenter, the Chief Customer Officer at Hubnami, a social media management startup where he oversees all sales, marketing, and user experience efforts for the company. Aaron Carpenter joined Hubnami with 17 years of experience in digital marketing, e-commerce, site design, and sales, most recently as Vice President of Global Marketing at The North Face. Here are some valuable tips from Aaron Carpenter about effective marketing:

Marketing to consumers

According to Aaron, with retail consumers, what you see is what you get. The biggest challenge is to be creative and concise. Normal consumer attention span is 10 seconds, which means you have to get your message across to them in that time span. So, key to marketing to consumers is:

Consumer Sales = 10 Second Message [Engage Emotionally + Provide Clear Message + Creative delivery]

Marketing to businesses

Marketing to businesses is more complicated and involves dealing with many layers. The first layer is the politics inside the company. Once you have moved past the politics, the second layer involves the company’s selling message. Unless your selling statement aligns with their message, it may be a hard sell. The last but not least important step is the ownership of funds. If the engaged partner does not have sufficient funds, your sale might not go through. All these layers make selling to businesses more complex than selling to consumers:

Business Sales = Selling Statement [Political maneuverability + Message alignment + Fund ownership]

What is the timeline to start marketing a new product?

According to Aaron, it is never too early to start marketing your product/company, since early marketing can help create awareness about the product.

Talking about the product creation process is a great way to connect with potential users and increase brand awareness.

Once the product is complete and ready for launch, other stories related to completion and launch can provide great marketing material for nearly the first 6 months. Telling why you are unique in your storyline help you gain credibility in eyes of users.

What is the best medium to market your product?

Aaron suggests never launching on all the social channels. Based on your product and target markets, there are specific social platforms that are better suited than others.

For consumer-focused products that involve lot of images, like fashion, Aaron recommends Facebook and Instagram. He points out that Linkedin as a marketing channel has not provided type of results that Google and Facebook provide. For Fintech startups, Aaron suggests looking into podcasts from thought leaders.

Marketing tools for startup founders

Finally, for all of the startup founders who want to achieve maximum mileage for their money, Aaron provides a list of tools that they can use to improve their marketing strategy:

  • To build social followers:

  • To manage various news Feeds for tweeting & sharing:

  • Social Influencers:

  • Analytics:,, Adobe Social

Written by a Startup Grind Team - Abhishek Agarwal, Pankaj Jain and Shilpi Sharma