Marketing mavens: Here’s what 4 tech companies look for in candidates

by Justine Hofherr
March 21, 2018

Fast-growing tech companies need smart, savvy marketers that can juggle growing the brand, capturing new market opportunities, and catering to existing customers — all while collaborating with teams across the company to maintain their team’s internal culture.

If this sounds like you, you’re in luck. Dozens of Boston tech companies are looking to add marketing mavens to join their rapidly expanding teams. Here, we caught up with four of those companies to get the scoop on their team’s culture, and what they look for in job candidates.

 

toast
Photo via Toast

Marketing Directors Rob Hale, Kelly Esten and Derek Stangle, said Toast looks for marketing folks who can balance creativity with analytic chops.

What do you look for when hiring members to your marketing team?

We look for self-starters. As part of a high growth company, we need team members who are able to understand our company objectives and implications for their focus areas. Having team members who can identify and execute strategic projects within their domain of expertise, while also having an impact on company-wide initiatives, is critical to maintain high growth. We also look for people with a mix of creativity and analytics chops. The best marketers are able to build out creative ideas, learn from them quickly, and then figure how to improve going forward.

How would you describe your marketing team's culture? Any fun traditions?

Our team at Toast is driven by challenge, and that is very much present within our marketing team culture. We set ambitious goals for ourselves, often in the face of adversity, and collaborate together in order to produce amazing results. Celebrating our success together is much more gratifying when we know it was a true team effort.

 

mendix
Photo via Mendix

Pranshu Tewari, CMO at Mendix, said the marketing team celebrates each Friday with a happy hour.

What do you look for when hiring members to your marketing team?

Attitude, a desire to win and analytical ability. Everything else can be taught.

 How would you describe your marketing team's culture? Any fun traditions?

We are an energized and collaborative team. We are self-directed in our respective roles, however we rely on each other to brainstorm ideas and support each other’s work either in advice or action.

 One of our fun traditions is that we occasionally prank each other — all in the spirit of fun! One recurring prank is if someone leaves their laptop open we’ll send an “I love you” message to the marketing team alias. We now have different truces and alliances to keep an eye on each others’ laptops. It sounds silly but it keeps our day-to-day fun and entertaining. A team that can laugh together will support one another as we strive to accomplish our marketing goals.

Also, in all three of our offices, every Friday afternoon, the full team will have a happy hour called “Vrijmibo,” the Dutch word for “drinks with friends.” It’s a fun way to unwind after the long week.

 

cybereason
Photo via Cybereason

Veronica Gage, director of brand activation at Cybereason, said they look for marketers with “t-shaped skills,” meaning that they are personalities comfortable with being both generalists and specialists.

 What do you look for when hiring members to your marketing team?

Coachability is crucial, especially for marketers who are early in their careers. Showing that you can take feedback and adjust and improve is really valuable. At Cybereason, we look for individuals with a growth mindset who are able to take feedback in a positive way, without getting defensive. As a fast-growing startup in an incredibly dynamic industry, change is a constant. Versatility is a necessary attribute. There have been many great opportunities here for team members who have been willing to jump in and take on any project they are assigned, as well as switch roles and do what needs to get done without hesitation.

In order to stay as agile as possible, Cybereason CMO Mike Volpe likes to focus on hiring individuals with what he calls “t-shaped skills” meaning that they are personalities comfortable with being both generalists and specialists. If you put together a team of folks who excel at something broad as well as have deeper knowledge in specific categories, then collaboration flows better, teams move more quickly and your results are much better.

How would you describe your marketing team's culture? Any fun traditions?

We have a very robust Slack culture in the marketing team; emojis, GIFs, and memes are considered primary forms of communication. One of the best additions to the marketing area of the office was our own dedicated Sonos speaker, open to whoever on the team wants to play D.J. on any given day. Fridays however, are reserved for Beyoncé.

 

medtouch
Photo via MedTouch

Erica Larkin, MedTouch talent acquisition lead, said her team looks for marketers who are “hyper-collaborative and relentlessly curious.”

What do you look for when hiring members to your marketing team?

First and foremost, we look for candidates whose previous roles have given them in-depth experience with Google Analytics, Adwords or Tag Manager. Since these are the tools we use for our clients, it’s very important that candidates have experience and the certifications to prove it. Other telltale signs of a great new team member include client-facing and presentation experience and creative problem-solving abilities.

How would you describe your marketing team's culture? Any fun traditions?

Our marketing team is pretty great, if we do say so ourselves! We’re a small but growing team of strategists that gets a lot done in a single day. We’re hyper-collaborative and relentlessly curious — always looking for new trends and measures of success. Our aim is to become a trusted partner with our clients, identifying new strategies that enable success or will provide actionable insights. We wrap up each week with a team meeting that helps us stay synced up, on track and ushering in the weekend together.

 

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