Before swapping the corporate world for a startup, marketers need to get under the skin of what the role really entails, as well as understand what drives them both professionally and personally.

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For some marketers it’s an itch they need to scratch. For others the opportunity is too good to turn down. Whatever the motivation, an increasing number of senior marketing leaders are swapping the corporate world for life at a startup or SME (small- and medium-sized enterprise).

However, before making the move it is important to understand what really drives you as a marketer and how that fits with the ambitions and vision of the business.

When Cheryl Calverley made the move from marketing director at The AA to CMO at mattress brand Eve Sleep, for example, she was very clear about what she loved most about marketing, namely getting close to the customer.

“I absolutely love the feeling that I’m touching people’s lives. My greatest pleasure is to sit and hear consumers talk about something I developed or had an influence on, and hear consumers talk with passion about it,” Calverley explains.

“For a lot of marketers that’s not what they love. They love amazing advertising, others love being at the top of a corporate and spending big budgets, others are quite technical and love the data and the numbers. I’m not that great being too far from consumers.”

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