Growth marketing is essential for ambitious companies, helping them expand faster and reach new audiences.
But with so much attention paid to the latest data strategies and growth hacks, many brands overlook the single most important part of their growth marketing strategy: hiring the right people to implement it.
The average cost per hire is $4,700 in the USA.1 Meanwhile, the cost of a bad hire is estimated at around 30% of the role’s annual salary.2 So making the right talent-sourcing decisions can have a staggering impact on your bottom line.
In this two-part series, we explore exactly how to hire the best marketers to accelerate your growth — including how to plan your growth marketing team, which roles you need, and how to fill them in the most efficient and effective way.
5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a B2B Growth Marketing Team
1. What are my goals?
Growth marketing is all about growth, but what kind of growth do you want? This will be partially determined by your constraints, such as budget and existing marketing efforts. But you should also be very clear about what you expect to achieve over the next six weeks, months and years.
2. What’s required to get there?
With a clear goal in mind, you can start to strategize. What are the clearest paths to growth? How have other brands in your market scaled? What specific marketing channels do you expect to produce the biggest gains?
3. What level of skills do I need?
There is a wide spectrum of growth marketing expertise, and experts are not always worth their price tag. It’s important to assess exactly which areas of your marketing will benefit from highly experienced talent and which can be covered by competent “all-rounders.”
4. Do I have enough work to sustain these roles internally?
Not every brand requires constant design work or web development. Especially early in your growth, hiring highly specialized marketers is a recipe for wasted budget. You need to honestly estimate the volume of work your growth marketing team will have in the coming six months and determine how many in-house marketers are required to meet that demand.
5. How much outsourcing do I need to achieve my goals?
It’s perfectly possible to deliver an effective growth marketing strategy using in-house talent. But given the number of different channels B2B buyers use — and the specific skills involved in effectively leveraging each of them — most brands will benefit from outsourcing talent. The question really is: does the volume of work you require justify hiring a growth marketing agency?
8 Key Growth Marketing Roles
1. Product Marketer
What is a product marketer?
A product marketer translates information about your product into a variety of marketing materials that help buyers understand the value it offers, how it applies to their business and how they can use it to maximum effect. They use deep knowledge of the product to determine who the ideal audience is and why they should care. They ultimately position your product as the best possible solution to your buyer’s problems.
What makes a product marketer valuable?
Many B2B products are often complex, and few buyers have time to wade through tech specs to make sense of the value you offer. But a standard marketing team is often overstretched and, therefore, can’t spend the time required to develop intimate knowledge of individual products. As a result, many brands suffer from a lack of specificity in their marketing, leading to a lack of differentiation and missed opportunities.
Product marketers provide that level of specificity and act as a strategist for your growth marketing team. It is less a question of technical skill or experience than mindset. In many companies, the first product marketer is actually the CEO, as they typically already know the product inside out — and are, therefore, the first member of the company’s growth marketing team.
2. Analytics Specialist
What is an analytics specialist?
An analytics specialist collects and analyzes data to measure and track marketing performance and develop insights. They configure your tracking and monitor each channel of your marketing to better understand how buyers interact with your brand.
What makes an analytics specialist valuable?
Data should inform everything your digital B2B growth marketing team does. Leveraging data for performance insights allows you to make strategic decisions based on reality without guesswork. This helps ensure your budget is being used on the campaigns that are driving the best results.
While plenty of growth marketing teams share analytics responsibilities — platforms like HubSpot are great for this — having a specialist reduces the burden and ensures a high level of competence.
3. Web Developer
What is a web developer?
Web developers design, build and maintain your various digital assets. This covers everything from user experience (UX) design to technical SEO and is usually split into two distinct categories: front-end developers, who handle design elements like layouts and user interfaces (UI), and back-end developers, who create the technical aspects, such as server-side code, databases and APIs.
What makes a web developer valuable?
B2B buyers rank vendor websites as their second most important tool when considering a purchase.3 While it is now possible to use template platforms like Squarespace, it’s difficult to achieve a truly differentiated site that way, which means you are usually better off building a website from scratch.
Solid web development ensures the website looks, feels and runs exactly as you want it to. This has a big impact on the perception of your brand, from the consistency of the design to the functionality of the pages. As a result, web development is not simply a technical resource but a vital strategic element of your growth marketing efforts. How quickly your website loads also impacts your SEO, which means web developers can play a key role in your SEO strategy.
4. Full-Stack Designer
What is a full-stack designer?
A full-stack designer is responsible for the visual aspects of your marketing, including your brand design to the layout of your eBooks. This can involve everything from traditional graphic design to UX design, but many B2B growth marketing teams will hire a full-stack designer who is capable of covering all of these bases. These designers also tend to be well-versed in conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practices and have a deep understanding of buyer psychology.
What makes a full-stack designer valuable?
While B2B buyers are typically considered more rational than B2C customers, they are still highly susceptible to the effects of imagery. Simply having a consistent brand image across all of your marketing touchpoints can increase revenue by up to 23%, and as buyers look for a more B2C-like experience, they are increasingly influenced by the look and feel of a brand.
An expert designer elevates your brand, ensures consistency and unlocks vital creativity that is often overlooked by growth marketers. Combined with the feedback derived through data, designers can optimize the aesthetic of your marketing materials to accelerate growth.
5. B2B Writer
What is a B2B writer?
A B2B writer produces all of the written materials your growth marketing needs. This is often split into content writing, which involves things like blogs and eBooks and copywriting, which focuses on shorter deliverables like social posts, website copy and straplines.
What makes a B2B writer valuable?
B2B buyers read up to 13 pieces of content before making a decision, and that’s not to mention their interactions via your website and social media. Written content therefore forms the foundation of most marketing campaigns and can make or break any brand’s efforts to grow.
While many brands make the mistake of producing their own writing, marketing writing involves more than just phrasemaking and product knowledge. Good writers work with designers closely to develop creative concepts, use psychology to make your marketing more persuasive and are able to transform standard messaging into attention-grabbing stories.
6. PPC Specialist
What is a PPC Specialist?
A PPC specialist configures, monitors and optimizes your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns. This involves coordinating the development of creative messaging and strategy, conducting in-depth keyword research and monitoring your bids to maximize the returns of each ad.
What makes a PPC Specialist valuable?
As B2B buyers use more channels, it becomes harder to make advertising cost-effective. And from choosing the right keywords to optimizing your bids, many brands still run campaigns that are far from optimal.
A PPC specialist is able to locate inefficiencies and ensure your results improve over time. For example, at ProperExpression, our PPC specialists leveraged their expertise to revamp one client’s strategy to produc a 70% year-over-year increase in ad revenue.
7. SEO Specialist
What is an SEO Specialist?
An SEO (search engine optimization) specialist helps you improve your website’s search rankings. This involves a mixture of two factors: on-page or content SEO, which involves building content that search engines identify as valuable, and technical SEO, where your website’s backend is optimized to meet search engines’ demands.
An SEO specialist might hold some expertise in one of these areas, but their role is typically more akin to a strategist, determining the right keywords, identifying gaps in content and delegating tasks to writers and developers.
What makes an SEO Specialist valuable?
Seventy-two percent of B2B buyers say they have made a purchase that started on Google. While ranking on page one of search results generates more leads, it is also a signal of authority. Even if a buyer doesn’t directly go from search to purchase, they will likely perceive a high-ranking brand as more trustworthy.
SEO specialists make search optimization a constant thread through your growth marketing. Whether it’s developing blogs or building your website, they provide vital feedback to ensure everything you do contributes to a high-ranking web page — and is maximally visible to your buyers.
8. Email Marketing & Automation Specialist
What is an Email Marketing and Automation Specialist?
An email marketing and automation specialist produces, manages and optimizes your email marketing campaigns. That typically involves setting up a system to send and track your emails, testing variations to improve performance, and developing strategies that enable emails to help reach your growth marketing goals.
Why is it important?
Sure, everyone sends emails. But growth marketing emails are a different beast entirely. They need to be highly strategic, using the right psychological triggers to ensure your buyers open, read and act on the emails they receive.
An email specialist leverages a combination of platform-specific expertise, knowledge of your buyer and careful A/B testing to meet those goals. Given the financial efficiency of email marketing, it should be an “always-on” function for growing brands, which is why you need a specialist to manage your campaigns.
How Should You Fill These Roles?
Now that you understand the skills involved in growth marketing, it’s time to start assembling your team. But with so many viable options for sourcing growth marketing talent, it’s easy to get overwhelmed — and make a mistake when hiring.
In part 2 of this series, we’ll explore all of your options and give you actionable advice to build the ultimate B2B growth marketing team.
If you’re ready to talk to one of our growth marketing experts to explore how ProperExpression can become a critical part of your team, book a consultation.