13 Crucial Roles You Should Consider Hiring First When Building a Marketing Department



Building a Marketing Department

Marketing is a crucial element of any successful business, and even small business startups will need to begin building their marketing department as soon as possible. However, some marketing roles are more critical to your business’s success than others. To help you determine which role you need to hire for first, 13 experts from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) answer the following question:

“When building a marketing division for your company, what’s one important role/position you should hire first, and why?”

Consider their suggestions to help determine the right first marketing hire for your company.



1. Data Analyst

“The first important position that I would hire for my marketing team is a data analyst. This position is like the core of the marketing department and can help us gather insights into the current marketing scenario. Knowing this will help us understand what’s happening in the marketing world and come up with a more powerful strategy to combat our competitors.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

2. SEO Analyst

“For my marketing team, I would definitely hire an SEO analyst first. This is one important position that can work closely with the rest of the team to get our business to the top search results of Google and bring in more traffic to our websites.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

3. Graphic Designer

“All roles within marketing represent an important element to starting the process effectively. However, a graphic designer would be my first choice, because that is who will give shape to the main ideas that you have for the development of a brand. Later, hire a person who will be in charge of the content. These are two basic aspects of marketing and they must be perfectly combined to achieve success.” ~ Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & VVS, by Leyes Empire



4. Product Manager

“A product manager is a useful position to hire first for your marketing department. A product manager is in charge of product strategy, including vision and development. They work with other departments to ensure that the products your brand creates have market demand and will do well with customers.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

5. Branding Expert

“I think that one of the first people to hire for a marketing department is someone with solid branding experience. A person who understands how branding works can take your goals and clearly but broadly inform the direction your brand takes. Then, when you hire content writers, social media specialists and others, they’ll have guidelines that direct their work and also keep them consistent.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. Creative Lead

“I suggest hiring a creative lead to help you chart the direction of your marketing. This role is essential to fill first because you might not need as many people in your marketing division as you thought. A creative lead can help you figure out how many people you’ll need to turn your marketing plan into a reality, which makes filling other positions easier.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

7. Editorial Director

“It’s important to have an editorial director on board as the head of content. An editorial director ensures that your brand has a content plan that will boost traffic, grow your email list and produce sales, among other things. Hiring them first allows your company to start from the top and work its way down.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms



8. Content Marketing Expert

“If you are running a bootstrapped startup, your first marketing hire should be a content marketing and organic promotions expert. You want someone who is an amazing storyteller. You want someone great at earning free press. If, on the other hand, you have a bigger budget and ambitious goals to match, you want to hire someone who has proven they can build, manage and lead a team.” ~ Ben Landers, Blue Corona

9. Demand Generation Marketer

“The first marketing hire any business should make is a demand generation marketer. Demand gen marketers understand that marketing needs to carry a bag and deliver revenue to the bottom line. The first marketing hire sets the tone between the marketing and sales teams, and a demand gen professional will set the role of marketing appropriately — to drive leads that convert to the bottom line.” ~ Kara Brown, LeadCoverage

10. Marketing Generalist

“Your first marketing hire should be a marketing generalist, someone who knows their way around all the marketing channels. They don’t need to be an expert in a specific channel, but someone who can at least operate in those channels. As you continue to grow, then you can hire specialists who can optimize those specific channels.” ~ Jared Brown, Hubstaff Tasks

11. Marketing Strategist

“One important role or position to hire first when building a marketing division is a marketing strategist. It’s important to have a very clear target audience for your business, channels of communication that will be used and key messages. From then on, you can build a team around the marketing strategist so you can build what you and your team have planned.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME



12. Marketer With Sales Experience

“Hire a marketer who knows how to sell and can think backward from the close. Effective marketing is about understanding and reverse-engineering the customer journey toward your product or service, and then generating awareness and opportunity pathways to that end. Any cornerstone marketing position must balance and build both brand growth and sales activation initiatives.” ~ Magnus Simonarson, Consultwebs

13. Marketing Director With Management Experience

“I would look to hire a marketing director with previous experience managing a team. Make sure they have hands-on experience with the areas you want them to focus on. For example, if you are going to focus on paid media to grow, then hire someone with previous experience managing large budgets on Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Then task this person with hiring the team, with your input and involvement.” ~ David Boehl, GoLastMinute

Image: Depositphotos


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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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