If you are looking for a role in digital marketing in San Francisco, you would expect a lot of choice - after all, plenty of tech companies are based here. But, there’s also a high level of competition.
For young companies, the roles in demand are all about growing the customer base. Simon Bromwell, Managing Director of Robert Walters in San Francisco, explains why ‘growth hacker’ jobs are in demand.
What is a growth hacker and what do you need to become one?
Growth hackers are hired to attract new customers. Your background isn’t so important - we’ve recruited people from both marketing and engineering backgrounds - but your approach is. You must be very analytical and be able to use both mobile and online analytical tools to tweak what you’re doing to get the maximum number of downloads or to increase traffic.
What specific skills or experience are helpful?
You will often need digital marketing experience. But, you may also be asked for specific experience in optimizing landing pages and funnels, managing Google Adwords campaigns, tracking analytics as well as blogging and email marketing. Social media experience can be useful and some companies may expect you to be familiar with the basics of video production as well.
What should someone emphasize on their CV?
For a role such as this, numbers and stats that highlight your previous successes are really important. You should emphasize how many users you were able to add in your last role. There’s a big drive to add customers without spending much money, so if you’ve achieved this virally at a very low cost, it’s even better.
Growth hackers aren’t so focused on keeping customers on a website or app, but getting them there in the first place. Retaining them will often be someone else’s responsibility.
How do the companies you work with plan their marketing spend?
One characteristic of the technology companies we recruit for is that they don’t generally have huge marketing budgets, so you’ll be expected to get great results without spending a lot. Working with large marketing budgets carries far less weight in this market. It’s all about being smart with relatively small amounts of money. If you’ve worked for a global company in the past, your marketing budget may have even been the same as the value of the start up.
You’ll also need to be able to show that you’ve chosen a particular plan of action because you have thoroughly analyzed and tested everything several times, and definitely not because of gut feelings. You’ll be expected to test ten different ways of reaching new customers, find out which one will work best and have the data to back it up.
How much competition is there for talent?
It’s incredibly competitive. We find jobs for people at the top end of the market, specializing in consumer-facing start ups. There are lots of these companies and everyone seems to want to hire the same people. If you have a good track record, the skill set and the attitude they’re looking for, you’ll probably have several offers. But if you’re trying to break into this area, you will have to pull out all the stops to set yourself apart from the crowd.
How can I move into this area?
There are lots of opportunities to learn here through social media meet-ups and networking opportunities where very successful people are willing to share their stories. It’s really important to learn as much as you can and to network. You'll soon realize what experience you need and you may be able to get that through your network. Invest time in building your contacts and learning from the experts.
What type of companies do you work with?
We work with technology companies from smaller A-round start-ups to large multinationals. At this current stage in our development, most companies we work with are consumer facing rather than business-to-business.
We currently specialize in sales, marketing, and product management recruitment at this stage, but we have plans to expand in other functions in the coming months.
Interested in a growth hacker role? Find out how your marketing skills could be transferable.
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