5 Mistakes Founders Make When Making Their First Marketing Hire

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5 things NOT to do when hiring marketers for an early-stage startup.

According to recent studies, hiring the wrong person can cost you more than $240,000. In addition to increasing turnover rates, the wrong marketing hire can damage your company’s reputation, impact employee morale, and make it challenging for you to attract talent. An excellent way of avoiding poor hires is by learning the common mistakes businesses make and how you can avoid them:

Types of marketing

According to the AMA,  marketing includes processes that enhance communication, delivery, and exchange of products and services to add value to the life of customers. With a broad definition, it’s natural for the world of marketing to grow with time and technology. Let’s discuss the top three types of marketing:

Product Marketing

Product marketing effectively drives demand and adoption for your product or service via positioning, messaging, and market research. Product marketers work with product, sales, data, marketing, and customer success teams to encourage sales enablement and align marketing strategies.

Growth Marketing

Quickly replacing traditional marketing tactics, growth marketing is a growing and practical approach to attracting, engaging, and retaining buyers. Growth marketers go beyond using the tried-and-true marketing techniques and focus on experimenting and learning your target audience’s unique, ever-evolving motives. This marketing strategy aims to help you pinpoint the ideal method to grow your user base successfully.

Content Marketing

Content is king – a phrase all marketers and sellers have heard at one point in their careers. The fact is that content marketing is critical to the success of inbound and digital marketing strategies because it’s an effective way of attracting your target audiences. It comprises creating, publishing, and distributing content via various platforms, such as social media channels, blogs, ebooks, webinars, etc. In content marketing, your goal is to assist customers along their buyer’s journey.

How to Evaluate a Marketer’s Experience

Evaluating a marketer’s experience helps you identify whether they’re a good fit for your company. It also allows you to learn their unique skillset and growth potential. But to unlock this information before hiring can be challenging, especially if you’re using the wrong approach. Here we discuss how you can evaluate a marketer’s experience to ensure they’re the ideal candidate:

Check Their Portfolio

An excellent yet straightforward way to evaluate a marketing candidate is to check their portfolio or previous projects and marketing collateral. Reviewing their past work offers you insight into the quality of work they can produce, their strengths and weaknesses, and what technology they’re familiar with.

Understand Their Marketing Concepts

No matter the position you’re trying to fill, you must understand how the candidate perceives marketing. Moreover, it’s wise to discuss how they would approach marketing challenges.

Skills Assessment

Another way of reviewing your candidate’s work is conducting a skills assessment test. It gives you a new perspective on how your candidate works, but it will also give you an idea of how they think and create concepts.

5 Common Mistakes When Making the First Marketing Hire

Now that we’ve discussed how to evaluate a marketer, let’s discuss the mistakes you should avoid when reviewing and interviewing candidates:

Hiring a Senior Leader

While hiring a senior leader ensures fewer errors and better emotional intelligence, it comes with a few cons. It includes the inability to adopt new practices quickly, high salary demands, and less versatility.

Placing too Much Weight on Industry Journey

Although it’s good to picture your industry’s growth within the next five to ten years, it’s also essential to focus on the present. When hiring a new candidate for your company, evaluate your current situation and potential changes within the next couple of years.

Putting too Little Weight on go-to-Market Strategy Experience

Here’s the thing: a go-to-marketing strategy is a practical, time-consuming, and in-depth plan that ensures the successful execution and popularity of a product. Businesses tend to overlook this experience when reviewing a candidate’s profile. Don’t be that person.

Overlooking Sales Process Development Journey

Understanding what your potential hire thinks about the sales process development journey and tackling relevant challenges gives you an excellent idea of their skillset. We recommend hiring someone who understands this journey and leverages it to ensure your business’ success.

Hiring a “Product Pitcher” Instead of a “Consultative Seller”

Employing a product pitcher instead of a consultative seller puts you at a considerable disadvantage: you don’t get to learn the customer’s challenges via one-on-one interactions. Hiring a consultative seller helps you learn your buyer’s pain points better.

Who Do You Want to Consider When Hiring Your First Marketing Person

Before conducting interviews, we recommend brainstorming the qualities you want in your ideal marketer. Here are three personas you can consider:

A Failing Entrepreneur Having Sales Background

Here’s the thing: picking yourself after failure can be impossible. If a failed entrepreneur is applying to your industry, it’s a sign they’re seeking new, better opportunities to breathe life into fresh ideas. It’s a plus if they have formal sales training!

A Budding Sales Manager in a Medium-Size Company

Another excellent candidate for a marketing role is a recently promoted sales manager at a respectable business. A recent promotion indicates the candidate has unique skills and is motivated.

A Top-Performing Salesperson that Was Around in the Early Days of their Previous Company’s Growth

Lastly, it’s wise to hire a candidate with top-notch performance during the growth of their previous company. Such performance shows their dedication to the growth and success of their business and that they have expertise.

The Bottom Line

Finding the right marketing candidate to secure the success of your business can be a challenging, time-consuming, and downright frustrating task. Make the right hire by analyzing data that helps you make intelligent business decisions.

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