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When to hire your first growth marketer

When to hire your first growth marketer

When you've nailed a product-market fit, it's time to hire a growth marketer that can focus full-time on understanding your target audience, know how to find them and the best way to persuade them to use your product.

In time, your growth marketer can improve different parts, but the acquisition is a priority at the primary stage. 


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Consider the level of seniority

At this stage, find an all-star junior athlete that can grow with your business as they're more willing to do the hard work of finding the 1-2 marketing channels that will drive most of your customer acquisition.

Ideally, look for someone senior enough to lead a small team. A successful growth marketing hire will test and scale a new marketing channel every 3 - 6 months.


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Characteristics to look for

The best growth marketers possess a combination of the following characteristics:

  • Curiosity: Growth marketers continually have to come up with novel ideas, then test and learn from them.
  • Impact-driven: They are motivated by the economic results of their campaign.
  • Will get in the weeds: They work through all the details to ensure experiments are useful and the customer experience is good.
  • Quantitative & understands your customer. They measure results and focus on understanding the customer.
  • Works well with others: They can partner with creative, finance, product and data-oriented people.


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Experience to look for

Look for someone with experience in business, marketing and products.

They should also possess the following:

  • Growth marketing, management consulting, or finance experience (investing or banking)
  • Managed 1-2 priority marketing channels, ideally someone with hands-on experience.
  • Experience with marketing tools, such as Google Analytics & Excel. Knowledge of tools such as email, paid search, social media, AB testing, BI.
  • Worked with a product team.


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Knowledge to look for

The ideal growth marketing candidate:

  • Understands how to create value - the impact of accelerating customer acquisition, boosting retention, and improving conversion rates.
  • Expert at building business cases that estimate the impact of new campaigns.
  • Knows growth marketing tactics.
  • Adept in marketing analytics.
  • Understands human behaviour. The best growth marketers know about professors like Kahneman, Tversky, and Ariely,


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Interview tips

During the interview, test for characteristics, experience and knowledge.

Initial conversations

  • Are they curious? Ask: "What was the last thing you taught yourself?" Curious people like to learn.
  • Will they get in the weeds? Ask about a time they had limited resources to get a project off the ground. Did they take ownership? Do they remember small details about the project?
  • Will they understand your customer? Ask about personal experiences with terrible companies. Good growth marketers will remember details and think about how to improve customer experiences.


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Case studies

Case studies are effective for screening candidates.

Present your candidates with a prompt, including a business goal, and ask for a 90-day plan and a prioritised list of new campaigns to test. While the candidate discusses the case study, pay attention to:

  • How detailed is the plan?
  • How good are the proposed marketing tactics?
  • How strong are the business cases?
  • Can they operationalise the ideas?
  • Did they consider what motivates your customer?


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