A record 381K growth marketing positions were listed in 2021 according to a LinkedIn study. As the demand for growth marketing roles rise - becoming a necessary standard for both established and hyper-growth companies, finding the right leader to build and grow the team is key to scaling.
Growth marketing enables companies to adapt to their evolving customer base in real time, making the role of Director of Growth Marketing invaluable.
As you prepare to source and hire for a Director of Growth Marketing, here’s a list of strategic questions and talking points to guide the process efficiently.
Interview questions to ask a Director of Growth Marketing candidate
1. How do you drive customer acquisition for a hyper-growth company or startup?
Why ask: A large part of a Director of Growth Marketing’s role is focusing on the data and understanding how to scale specific areas based on tested metrics - customer retention and revenue being the most critical to a company. The role of a Director of Growth Marketing is directly linked to customer-based growth, making it the vanguard of the role. Ensuring a candidate can effectively increase new customer acquisition, while also focusing on retaining current customers, will directly relate to their success at the organization.
Elements of a good answer: A good answer will include a detailed strategy and creative concept that illustrates sustainable growth. Answers will vary depending on the stage of the company. For instance:
- An example strategy: A plan that outlines cadence and communication with leadership and sales stakeholders. The Director of Growth Marketing will likely act in a more hands-on manner focusing on lead generation and demand generation.
- An example creative concept: The candidate should outline a past campaign in which they collaborated with relevant internal teams to reach specific customers across channels. An effective campaign will include a variety of paid ads, targeted ads, and SEO-driven content.
2. What are the most important elements of developing a budget for a Growth Marketing team?
Why ask: A Director of Growth Marketing will be required to manage and oversee a robust budget - and ensuring they know how to delegate and employ funds is vital to the teams’ success and longevity. A thoughtful answer will demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to scaling growth marketing efforts based on the size and trajectory of the company.
Elements of a good answer: The link between customer growth and revenue is important regardless of whether you're a seed stage organization or an established company. Thus, a good answer will highlight the connection between the two as the basis for their budget strategy. The candidate should then expand on known, regular expenses, including pay-roll, travel, and technology platform expenses, as well as proposed new investments, such as agencies or tech stack additions, that they believe are necessary for the team to team's success.
If the candidate is creating a growth marketing budget at a startup, their answer will likely include:
- Budgeting for resources to expand the growth marketing org chart within the next 1-2 years, including senior and specialized roles.
- Identifying pivotal events, such as summits, speaking opportunities, and other events that will generate awareness and leads.
- Plans to hire agencies that can specialize in tasks that exceed the current growth marketing team’s bandwidth and skillset.
- Investing in technology applications and other innovative tools to streamline processes and automation.
If the candidate is creating a growth marketing budget at an established company, their answer will likely include the above list of investments, in addition to:
- Working with the finance department and VP of Marketing or Chief Marketing Officer to budget funds towards hiring additional team leaders and mid-level positions.
- Opportunities to sponsor or host the industry's leading events, conferences, and summits,
3. How would you approach building out a growth marketing team?
Why ask: Responsible for building and leading a dynamic team, a candidate will have prepared a thorough short and long term hiring plan. Depending on the stage of the company, resources will vary based on what skills are needed to build a strong foundation versus specialized skills needed later on to accelerate execution
Elements of a good answer: A thoughtful answer will include the collaborative nature of hiring for a growth marketing team, in collaboration with other marketing leaders based on progress toward meeting KPIs. Depending on resources, a growth marketing organization should include the following four specialized roles, along with supplemental marketing positions:
- Director of Content who can build out a multi-channel content plan, while also leading a team of copywriters and/or content writers
- Director of Demand Generation who can lead a team of specialists to execute on multi-touch demand campaigns through inbound and outbound methods
- Director of Brand or Creative Director who leads a team of creative writers and designers
- Director of Product Marketing who collaborates closely with product teams to align on go-to-market product messaging and positioning
4. What optimization tactics are most effective in helping you reach a target audience?
Why ask: A Director of Growth Marketing is in charge of spearheading all optimization strategies in conjunction with a Director of Demand Generation, SEO and Lead Generation Specialists, and content writers. For this reason, it's crucial to identify the strategies and technologies the candidate plans to adopt in order to reach the desired target audience.
Elements of a good answer: A candidate with a strong background in optimization best practices should highlight tactics, such as:
- Focusing on key metrics through comprehensive data analysis and tests based off of the targeted audience’s past searches in order to optimize existing content and campaigns.
- Utilizing SEO and internal linking through waterfall pages to increase click-thru-rates and website traffic of current and potential customers.
- Integrating banner ads, targeted ads, surveys or email marketing into existing and future campaigns. The candidate should determine the most effective ad strategy through metric testing which can include internal link audits and collaboration with the ABM Director to identify possible leads.
5. Describe your process for organizing and implementing compelling campaigns and/or projects. How does your strategy augment their effectiveness?
Why ask: It is the responsibility of the Director of Growth Marketing to own and execute all campaigns and projects relating to the company’s growth strategy. Having them delve into their process elucidates their ability to lead and strategize with their team on large, impactful projects.
Elements of a good answer: A good answer will lean into the conceptualization, creation, and execution of the campaign. To accomplish this, they should:
- Discuss the collaborative aspect of strategizing. Designers, writers and lead generation specialists will be a part of most, if not all, projects.
- Propose a timeline for the execution of the project. They may highlight specific tools or marketing applications to streamline the process.
- Track engagement metrics once the project or campaign has gone live.
- Report on key results and plans to optimize or improve for future campaigns.
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