If you’re a startup founder who’s looking for someone to build your marketing team, what do you look for? It’s a tough question.
Before you start holding interviews, ask yourself this: What is the purpose marketing in the first place? There are two traps you can fall into if you don’t know the answer. One is that you have a limited view of marketing, and you hire someone who can deliver on a few tactics but fails to drive real impact. The other trap is expecting too much: thinking a world-class marketing hire will be a panacea for all your growth challenges.
How do you avoid those pitfalls? Instead of defining marketing head on (which I’ll do at the end of this post), it’s more helpful to start by identifying the most common misconceptions about startup marketing. Here are the eight that I hear most often:
Marketing Is Growth Hacking
Andrew Chen of Uber once claimed that “growth hacker is the new VP Marketing.” Can you argue with him? Uber hasn’t exactly grown slowly. But Uber is a great example of how marketing failed to add value to other areas of the company. Uber could have avoided much of its bad PR had it done a better job of building a values-based brand and reinforcing that internally.
Marketers Can Split Test Their Way To Success
We have myriad tools to test and measure campaigns, so marketing should be a lot easier, right? Not really. Split testing is great for helping you improve a message you crafted after having real conversations with the people you’re trying to serve. But unless you have an infinite amount of time, no amount of split testing will help you understand your audience.