Let's be really clear about something. The time when marketing was used just to push the message out there (a.k.a. the Age of Advertising) so sales could swoop in and close the deal is long gone.
Today marketing starts all the way at the beginning with customer acquisition - by getting consumers to pay attention to your message, assuring them through the evaluation process, to being equal partners with sales in closing the deal. It then accompanies the journey of product use and helps hold the customer's hands through renewal.
What does that mean for businesses?
It means that your marketing cannot be in a silo, just working on getting your ads some eye-balls all on its own - and for startups, marketing cannot be an afterthought once you're done building your prototype.
Marketing needs to work with product development from the beginning. It needs to be just as much a part of your user testing as it does being part of UX and UI design. And it needs to work with customer service to establish policies that do more than just put out fires, and instead help turn customers into your brand ambassadors.
Staying relevant to your target markets is a much more fragmented and round-the-clock effort in the age of social.
Moral of the Story: Integrate and involve marketing into all your business functions so when you launch, you can appear to be an 'overnight success' after years of hard work!
April Dunford @Rocketscope - 5 Things Startup Marketers Can Teach Big Companies