When hiring your first marketing person, it essential to identify the key goals and responsibilities of the role. Marketing can be broken down into three segments:

  1. Brand marketing: Exemplified by the Coca-Cola banners in AT&T park (home of the championship Giants), brand marketing is used to instill positive reactions to a company or product by reaching as many people as possible. This advertising technique develops rapport, familiarity and trust. Key metrics for this discipline are reach, engagement and ultimately brand recall surveys. Often, public relations efforts like interviews are also used to build a brand. To be effective, brand marketers need to develop relationships with PR and advertising agencies.
  2. Performance marketing: Performance marketing is used to convert a potential customer to a sold customer as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Google’s AdWords is the predominant tool for online performance marketing. Other forms include credit card offers in the mail, the newspaper company calling to offer you 6 weeks free and so on. Cost of customer acquisition, gross margin and customer lifetime value are key metrics in this field. Successful performance marketers are adept with numbers and data analysis. At its core, performance marketing is the relentless discovery and exploitation of scalable marketing channels.
  3. Product marketing: Perhaps the least tangible of all, a product marketer is the person in charge of establishing product/market fit by understanding the needs of the market, translating this into a some product requirements to be implemented by a product manager and engineering teams and ultimately, educating the market about the product to drive sales. The most effective early stage startup product marketers understand brand marketing, direct marketing and product market fitting. They are able to translate needs and goals across these three disciplines. Lastly, they have skill sets in each of these disciplines and are able to transition from one to the next as the product release cycle demands it.

Each startup will have different needs depending on their business model and stage. Companies dealing with user credit cards need to establish strong brands to build trust. Consumer brands will also seek wide exposure to promote growth. eCommerce companies may look to performance marketing to drive sales at profitable rates. 

When hiring your first marketer, be clear on your requirements for the role and your needs as a business. This will ensure you find the right person for the job.


One thought on “Your first marketing hire

  1. Good post Tomas. Look up my good friend and collaborator Joe Sabia of Whirled Interactive……he’s best product marketer out there. Doing the Google Zeitgeist video this year.

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