Who here loves office politics?
<sarcasm>What? No one? Crazy. How can that be?</sarcasm>
So imagine this scenario: you’re a hard working marketer churning the sales & marketing machine. You put in 60 hour work week, not because you care about the company’s product or vision per se, but you really deeply care about what you do and pride in your work. Your efforts result in 7 figure sales but you’re pushed aside when it comes time for promotion.
So, that story is actually mine.
I happened to work for a mid size company that had tons of sales & marketing people, yet did close to zero online marketing. I came in and literally boosted their online sales lead generation by a factor of few thousand %.
In fact, it became their #1 sales channel when I left. Their inside sales team members even tag teamed me to try and persuade me to not quit because they had such easy time closing the leads I was sending them.
Why did I leave?
Because when it was time for “career assessment”, apparently I didn’t fit the bill as their VP of marketing position. My first gut reaction, “oh, it’s cuz I don’t look like YOU people!” (It was predominantly white people there.)
They hired some old marketing MBA dude who told me TV and news ads were critical to any company’s success. He looked & smelled like he sold cheap perfume at a mall.
But more importantly, the dude went to the same church as the CEO’s wife.
Whatever the reason may be, I left. I am a big believer in “eat what you kill”. I didn’t kill… i slaughtered for them, but they wanted me to eat peanuts. So I left. Few months later, I checked their website and the roster shrank. Was it because I left? But who knows.. market conditions, change in management…. but I’d like to think it’s because I left.
So why on earth do people still hire dumb marketers who think the only way to make more money is to spend more money?
No.. not a “hippo”. Highest Paid Person in the Organization.
They make the decisions, regardless of how little he/she knows the subject… regardless of what the right decision is.. regardless of what their people them..
Now, are you a HiPPo / person in charge of hiring? Forget MBAs. Remember, you can surround yourself with people who know & do nothing and suck your business dry… or you can build a team that wins.
Here’s where your next VP of marketing should come from:
1) Direct response marketer
Hello? This is 2014 not 1914. Offline media is about as alive as Michael Jackson.
Hire someone who’s had experience in direct response marketing – an affiliate, a lead generator, a performance marketer, etc. Someone who’s had experience using his/her own money to run their own campaigns is even a plus.
Every marketer, in my opinion, needs to tell you how much, down to dollars and cents – what the cost per X is.
2) Growth hacker
I don’t know why on earth silicon valley people coin these ridiculous terms.. but a growth hacker is someone who does both online marketing & coding.
For example, incentivizing people to share your link on the thank you page (for example)… or using your users as your marketers (like affiliates), like how DropBox & Groupon did.
In fact, I wrote a growth hacking tool that taps into email & social that’s beginning to get some market traction.
How? I code AND do online marketing. It’s not just “two birds, one stone” idea… (no you’re not going to ask him/her to code AND do online marketing). It’s a synergy that comes only when you can understand both.
3) Self-taught entrepreneurs
The BEST hires I’ve had were self taught dropouts. Programmers, marketers, sales people… the ones who were the strongest were almost always the hugriest too.
Rand Fishkin from Moz said, “attitude determines altitude”.
I once hired a phd graduate from USC who couldn’t even code 1/2 as well a San Jose State University dropout, who I paid FRACTION for.
Books can only teach you so much as life does.
OH and trust me.. losing money is about the greatest teacher anyone can have.
It doesn’t matter if this self taught persons succeeded. Hire him for his passion, drive, and willingness to learn.
Shoemoney taught me to build a list with my own newsletter. (And yes, you should join my kick ass newletter where I write about growth hacking)
It made a huge difference to my business and that’s only because I was and still am moldable .