Skip to main content

How Constraints Force Focus in Marketing, Becoming a First-Time Manager, and Anti-Specialization for a Diverse Marketing Career with David Fallarme

How Constraints Force Focus in Marketing, Becoming a First-Time Manager, and Anti-Specialization for a Diverse Marketing Career with David Fallarme

Have you ever felt lost in your career, unsure of what direction to take or what goals to pursue?

You’re not alone. 

In this podcast episode, David Fallarme discussed various topics related to marketing and leadership. They talk about their personal brand pillars, which include addressing the lack of leadership in startup execution and the need for resources for first-time marketing managers. They also discuss the challenges of becoming a good manager and the lack of resources available for first-time marketing managers.

David Fallarme suggests that individuals should focus on one or two games that align with their values and strengths, rather than trying to play all of them. This approach allows you to structure your career in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling, while also maximizing your potential for success.

The conversation covers a range of interesting topics related to marketing and leadership, including the importance of constraints in startup execution, the Ideal Customer Profile, and the different “games” people play in their careers.


  • Choosing Not to Specialize
  • Playing the Job Title Game
  • Switching from B2C to B2B 
  • The Trap of Industry Hiring 
  • Breaking Down the Barrier of B2B Marketing 
  • On Deck Growth and Layoffs 
  • Advising Startups on Marketing 
  • The transition from zero to one
  • Marketing Priorities for Startups
  • Business Model and Go-to-Market Constraints
  • Enterprise Buying Cycle
  • Marketing during a Downturn 
  • Process for Dealing with Getting Laid off 
  • Realizing that 80% of Marketing is Not Marketing
  • The Need to Follow and Learn from Non-Marketing Professionals
  • Communication as a Key Skill 
  • Personal Values and Career Choices 
  • Using Games to Manage a Team 
  • Building a System to Turn People into A-players

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

[00:11:09] Choosing Not to Specialize 

David Fallarme explains why they choose not to specialize, including their upbringing as an immigrant and their desire to explore their own interests rather than following societal expectations.

[00:12:49] Playing the Job Title Game 

Discuss their decision to prioritize mastery and learning over job titles and status, and how it has led them to pursue more interesting opportunities.

[00:17:11] Switching from B2C to B2B 

David Fallarme discusses their decision to switch from B2C to B2B marketing, driven by a desire for mastery and learning, and why they dislike the distinction between B2B and B2C.

[00:18:07] The Trap of industry hiring 

David Fallarme discusses the trap of only hiring people from the same industry and suggests hiring people who have done the go-to-market that is being executed.

[00:19:25] Breaking down the barrier of B2B marketing 

He talks about how some companies are doing a good job of breaking down the barrier of B2B marketing and how it can be boring when all inputs are the same.

[00:25:18] On-Deck Growth and Layoffs 

David Fallarme talks about their experience at On Deck, which grew rapidly but also faced layoffs, leading to a smaller footprint.

[00:26:49] Advising Startups on Marketing 

He explains their role as interim VP of Marketing for startups and how they help fill the gap between firing or lacking a head of marketing.

[00:28:23] Transition from zero to one  

David Fallarme explains how startups transition from zero to one, and the challenges they face in scaling up their marketing efforts.

[00:31:36] Marketing priorities for startups 

Suggests that startups should model their marketing efforts on successful companies with similar business models and go-to-market strategies.

 [00:34:02] Business Model and Go-to-Market Constraints 

He shares an example of how understanding business models and go-to-market constraints helped them focus their efforts on a more effective strategy for their company.

[00:35:58] Enterprise Buying Cycle 

They discuss the challenges of selling to enterprise companies and the various factors that need to be considered, such as procurement and security posture.

[00:41:04] Marketing during a downturn 

Discussion on how companies are affected by a recession and how it changes the way they invest in marketing.

[00:44:25] Process for dealing with getting laid off 

David Fallarme shares their process for dealing with getting laid off, including weekly standups and retrospectives to stay in touch with themselves and process their emotions.

[00:51:05] Realizing that 80% of marketing is not marketing 

David Fallarme talks about the importance of stakeholder management, communication, and organization in marketing, and how it allows for the tactical aspects of marketing to be successful.

[00:53:32] The need to follow and learn from non-marketing professionals 

He suggests following designers, product marketers, and engineers to gain insights into resource allocation and become a business person first, using marketing to express business insights.

[00:55:13] Communication as a Key Skill 

The importance of communication in marketing and leadership roles, and how it can help build relationships and get buy-in.

[01:02:00]  Personal Values and Career Choices 

David Fallarme talks about how identifying the two most important “games” to them (in this case, mastery and influence) has helped them make career choices and express their personal values.

[01:04:54] Using games to manage a team 

David Fallarme suggests that managers can use the concept of games to identify what games their team members want to play and structure their career development accordingly.

[01:06:28] Building a system to turn people into A-players 

Argues that it’s more important to focus on building a system that turns people into A-players than obsessing over hiring A-players.

Get the Field Notes

Weekly learnings from working on B2B content & SEO for dozens of companies.

David Khim

David is co-founder and CEO of Omniscient Digital. He previously served as head of growth at and Fishtown Analytics, and before that was growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives to scale the product-led go-to-market.