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Startup’s Guide to Hiring First Marketing Staff

Hiring your first marketing team can be tricky, as you need to know which skillsets and criteria are ideal for the roles at hand. Here we provide you with our advice on what to look for in potential marketing staff hires.

1. Drive

Many marketers have experience in huge marketing departments which have been operating for decades – there are already systems and design codes in place which limit their control and creativity.

In a startup, however, your marketers have a lot more free reign and a lot more responsibility on their hands.

Image result for startup vs corporation

This requires you to work with people who are driven and motivated – they must create, execute, and iterate plans without constant supervision and reinforcement.

Instead of planning things to death, they must be self-starter types who get to work and make changes as campaigns evolve and take shape. Some people will naturally have this mindset, whereas others will be too used to working under a strict corporate structure.

2. Accountability

The marketing team helps to grow your company, albeit somewhat indirectly. As a result, you must look for hires who take accountability for growth rates and revenue or sales volumes, not being afraid to give you the metrics and the figures you crave.

However, do bear in mind that the business model of their previous employers could affect the way in which they quote these figures to you.

For example, in sales-centric enterprises, marketers may primarily measure their performance by the number of materials they produce such as case studies and whitepapers – this kind of thinking won’t necessarily work in a startup scenario.

Whatever metrics you’re using, marketers must demonstrate accountability for the success or failure of your company.

3. Industry experience

You could hire the best B2B marketer in the world, but if you’re a small Excel training business, you’ve probably wasted your time. You must find marketing staff with experience in your industry or domain, whether its online media, B2B, B2C, SaaS etc.

Different audiences make purchasing decisions based on different appealing factors and criteria, and it is essential to work with marketers who understand your audience (example) and their needs.

They don’t need to be an absolute expert in your sector, but they should demonstrate the ability to identify your target audience and develop innovate means of growing it.

It should also go without saying that marketers with experience in your field will find it easier to create comprehensive marketing materials for you – your business’s domain comes naturally to them and their efforts are thereby less contrived.

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Written by Blake Smith

Blake Smith is a digital marketing consultant specialising in growth hacking and SEO. He manages multi-channel strategies for clients, designing campaigns that focus on growth, lead generation, and engagement. Follow Blake on his personal digital marketing blog at blakesmithy.com or on his social accounts @blakesmithy.

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