If you’ve been in the shoes of Joshua Shulman, you already know that stepping into a Marketing role at a tech company is a high-skill, high-pressure job. Below is his account of how he navigated the first few months as the Head of Marketing Growth at Innovecs and a mini-guide on how you can too.
If you’re looking to:
- Hire a head of marketing growth or currently building up a marketing team
- Get hired as a head of marketing growth
- Get promoted to/transitioning into a head of marketing growth position
Want to up your marketing game?
Things to do in the first 60 days at your marketing job:
Dealing with performance anxiety
A lot goes into excelling at a new position, and the performance anxiety to do your best keeps people up at night. 3 things to remember:
- They hired you for a reason. You’re capable of handling the job and you are good enough.
- You’re going to make mistakes and fail. That’s how you learn. If you’re doing everything right, chances are, you aren’t taking enough risks.
- Find a way to drive your fear to work for you.
Asking the right questions
From a marketing perspective, being prepared by reviewing past strategies and campaigns, making additional checks, analyzing past data, etc can help a lot to set the stage.
Figuring out what you need to do better as a leader starts by asking the right questions. Luckily, there are only 2 broad questions you need to ask your team:
- What do you do?
- Why do you do it?
These two questions can tell you a lot about the team’s goals, aspirations, ambitions, and priorities.
Actively instigating a mindset shift
Being a leader requires you to think like one. Most mid-level marketing managers have the tendency to look at TOFU metrics like leads and web traffic. Becoming a leader forces you to look deeper into B2B marketing KPIs.
Other than looking at a few important metrics like annual revenue, target markets, and ICPs, it’s also important to understand marketing’s impact & influence inside the organization as well as on the user base.
Realigning your team to focus on the “right things”
Marketing has a lot of noise, and because there is no absolute truth in marketing, it is easy to stay stuck in chaos. Teams tend to pick a side and stick to it, for example by being either solely data-driven or strategy driven. As a marketing leader, it is your responsibility to allocate resources at the right places and bring balance where there is none.
It’s important to prevent your team from taking extreme stances on anything because B2B marketing is dynamic, and being rigid doesn’t exactly help here.
Hiring to fill gaps
In the first 60 days, you should ideally be able to evaluate the existing gaps in your department and draw up a plan to fill them. The “right” people for the job need to align with company values, fit your team’s culture and have skills (or need to be trained in skills) that you currently lack.
As a leader, it is also your job to spot talent within the organization and encourage your team to upskill. Scaling marketing teams is a decision that needs plenty of thought and consideration, so don’t hire just to fill up positions in the short term.
Understanding the buyer journey
All B2B buyer journeys differ. The important thing to remember here is that buyer journeys are not linear, so creating content for TOFU, MOFU and BOFU doesn’t really imply that only buyers in that specific stage will consume it, or all buyers will have touchpoints with you in that order.
The best you can do is understand where the touchpoints are, and where they usually sit on a timeline.
Speaking to your customers
Want to up your marketing game?
- Don’t let performance anxiety and overwhelming work consume you. (How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.)
- Learn to ask the right questions
- Quality > Quantity. For people, leads, content, everything.
- Urge team members to have an experimental mindset and not stick to orthodox thought processes
- Understand that your buyer journey isn’t linear and draw up a plan accordingly
- Know and listen to your customers. Nothing else you can ever do will match up to a buyer interview