Praxis is hiring a marketing lead. (Check out the role and apply here.)

It’s so hard to find good marketing people with experience.  Entry-level marketing talent isn’t hard to find.  There are a lot of hungry young people with the raw material to do some basic content, social media, SEO, etc. work.  But if you want someone with a track record of marketing success, it gets hard.

Why?

A bunch of reasons I suspect.  One is that marketing is surprisingly hard to quantify, even in an age of data tracking for everything.  If a company grows, anyone working in marketing there will take credit for the growth.  But I know a lot of products so good they’d grow with a monkey at the helm.  I know others where sales teams do all the work, and marketing just sort of puts shine on it.  The reverse is also possible, that good marketers are putting their bright ideas and tight execution behind crappy products or bad markets or a team that can’t close and onboard leads, so you don’t know.

Truly elite marketers probably started companies of their own.  Others gravitate towards to hottest, best products.  Others help a company or two grow then go the consulting route.  Unfortunately, the best business model in consulting is to hit larger companies with more money, but servicing those morphs the marketer into a buzzword buffet that loses touch with earlier, hungrier businesses and markets.

I’m slightly more inclined to go for someone with a kick-ass track record of grit, grind, passion, organization, intelligence, and creativity in some other role who can learn marketing than someone who’s got more marketing experience but not enough proof they have the more raw character qualities.

The other challenge is that it’s hard to define what I actually want in the role.  A visionary, creative type?  Sounds great, but not as great as an organized, executor.  Then again, the executor can’t lack insight and imagination and empathy with our market.  Then again, creative types are often not driven enough by prove-able growth as they are their grand vision.

Marketing is early sales, but it’s different too.  Lots of great sales people are not good marketers.  But good marketers have to be good salespeople.

I sometimes wonder if leading marketing is more like founding a company than anything else.  You can’t just transfer it to any old business.  You can only do it well if you’re sold out in love with the product, vision, and market.  It’s not a totally liquid form of career capital.  Maybe good marketing is more of an emergent property that comes out of a person with deep passion for the product and some inherent ability they may not have even known about before.

Who knows.  If you think you do, you can apply!