I am a spelling nazi and find markteting (sic)....
I'm marketing LoseThos, an operating system. It's meant to be used with other operating systems, however, I've discovered Linux sees me as a rival.
I disagree on Branding. Linux has cohorts are crazy zealots who show-up and sabatauge any publicity. In the initial stage, I really need some zealots myself--loyal customers.
The brand I am is, naturally, is hostile to the Linux mentality in many ways, but keeping a cool head might be best to cleverly chill-them-out.
For example, LoseThos is public domain and I hate commie GPL licenses. A cool head might be, makes little difference, now, so downplay that.
I have the potential for a very colorful brand distinction -- Christian, Rock music, non nerdy cool people as opposed to loser IQ obsessed atheists who love talking about Darwin all the time, the usually nerdy mentality.
I have a decision -- distinguish myself or not raise a ruccus, unnecessarily.
Great post as usual! As an long time marketing executive, I would just comment that, like developers (or any other profession for that matter), marketing people also have functional specialties. The main specialties:
Marketing Communications - advertising, branding, graphic design, media deployment tactics etc. Per your Social Media doer point, you definitely want these people to be eating the dog food.
Product Management - product/market fit, product requirements, portfolio management, etc. Per your point about customer lover, particularly important for this position.
Business Development - customer development, partnership development, deal structuring, etc. Domain expertise is most important here along with being a customer lover.
Market Research - competitive intelligence, market sizing, customer demographics, etc.
Having hired many in my career, I found that just because a marketeer is good in one functional sub-specialty does not necessarily mean that they are going to be good at all. It also means that finding one person who is going to be good at all is also a stretch.
In hiring, make sure you know what marketing problem is most important to solve and hire accordingly.
Sorry for the sloppy post. I'm at the stage where I must pick my target market. My operating system if for programmers. Most programmers are atheists, but the vast majority of people are not athiest. Linux is highly atheist and proud of it. That seems like a moron move, doesn't it! I'm not not an atheist. Opportunity.
LoseThos has potential to appeal to beginner programmers for several reasons, but it can also appeal to elites. I haven't figured which I should target.
I'm definitely going for some kind of niche, but I'm not clear.
LoseThos is for screwing around with your own programs, not web browsing. It is independent, but likely you'll use it as a secondary operating system.
It doesn't require Linux, but I might shut-up the crazy linux zealots by saying "Works with Linux", even though it requires nothing from Linux. There are many angles this could go. I like LoseThos and Windows. There are plenty of not-yet-atheist young programmers who probably use their family Windows computers.
GREAT idea for an article. Now if only there was one that addressed the reverse: "Marketing people who need to find and hire outstanding developers." That happens to be my current need... if anyone knows of any good posts.
Jason, great post...the person you're "interviewing" in your post is more of a product manager than a marketing professional.
That's not a bad thing, but you should distinguish who you need because you're going to get vastly different applicants.
Could not agree with you more about your comments on "branding". We always tell our sub-$100 million customers that, branding is "nice", but lead generation from outbound and inbounding marketing feeds the sales machine and pays the bills.
For small companies and especially for early stage, venture-backed companies, given our 20 year experience at this, I would throw "branding" into the same old bucket as "PR": mostly a waste of money and effort .
Most of the suggestions are really useful for starups who wanted to hire a marketing personal..
thanx a lot darmesh, expecting more from you
I think this is a great list for a startup wanting to hire that scrappy marketer who can wear a lot of hats. This ties into customer love, measurement and testing, but it's also a good sign if your candidate geeks out on usability testing and customer observation.
This is a really good post about a challenge that every technical company founder faces at some point. I'm a sales guy, and I've observed that technical folks see sales hires as different from technical hires, and somehow mysterious. I think the hiring process is the same:
1. Write a job description that sets out very specifically what you want the new hire to do (Edwin's post above is a great place to start).
2. Write a set of hiring criteria that set out very specifically the characteristics of someone who could potentially do the job.
3. Interview using these tools and the suggestions covered by Jason in this post.
All good points but way too much for one person. Knowing nothing about developers, but a little about brain research, I suspect that having one or two core skills is realistic for developers. Same is true for other people.
Marketing has gotten so multidimensional, real-time and technological based that special skills are needed. Deeper is often better than wider.
Critical then, as marketing savvy industries know, is the ability to find, hire and get the loyalty and work of the best outside agencies, people and firms.
Very interesting summary. Found it very useful.
Some good points, but I'd have to agree with Edwin and Elmer above.
Marketing like software engineering, has different specialties and a broad brush comparison just isn't applicable.
The same is true of engineering. You wouldn't post a blog on "What to look for when hiring an Engineer", because you know not all engineers are the same and there's a massive difference in skill sets between Architects, QA folks, UI designers, Release Engineers and Web Developers.
My advice would be to ask your marketing friends for a good referral, and then employ that person.
You made me laugh with your branding rule!
Last week I was attending a very low level event about social media and the marketing director proudly presenting her "case study" kept saying this word every two seconds!
Of course when I aked her how she was measuring her success with her so-called social media strategy, she answered with a little smile "Interesting question... We are not there yet. Branding is currently our main focus".
No comment ;-)
Funny that you talk about this. About the same time you blogged about this we were creating a list of questions to ask during interviews depending on expertise ( SEM
, etc...). We found that these questions were a way to discover if you understood the language and thought process of your trade. I think many of your questions do the same while layering in overall fit into your organization relative to their functional roles. Good post.