Dear SaaStr: How Many More Junior Marketers Should you Hire Before Hiring a VP of Marketing?
Unlike many positions, I say 0 if possible. In fact, one of the 10 most unforced errors I see founders make is hire someone too junior to get marketing going.
If you are, say, $500k in ARR, you can’t hire a CMO that needs a team of 15-20 around her/him. You just don’t have the capital or infrastructure.
But what I’ve learned time and time again is you need to hire the most senior marketer you can that will still do the work.
Why? You need someone that will hold a number, a commitment. To leads, to pipeline, to opportunities, to revenue. Whatever stage of the funnel makes sense for you, you need someone that can own it.
Most junior marketers simply have not had the experience of owning a number. They may have helped. They may have managed a spend. They may have even supported a sales team.
But owned it? You need someone usually at director or above to get that experience. Almost always.
And if you hire a director from a more established company, she/he is probably going to want to be a VP at yours. 🙂
A little more here: I Hired My VP of Marketing at $20k MRR. It Wasn’t a Week Too Early. | SaaStr and here: Hire the Right Type of VP Marketing — Or You’ll Just End Up With a Bunch of Blue Pens with Your Logo On Them | SaaStr
(note: an updated SaaStr Classic answer)