When top startups hired their first marketer

30 examples of the first marketing hire across B2C and B2B

ūüĎč Hi, it‚Äôs Naiomi and Erik and welcome to Demand our weekly newsletter to help you become a top 1% marketer. We‚Äôve missed the last few weeks as we‚Äôve been busy with family, life and travels. But we are excited to welcome 372 (amazing!) new Demand subscribers who have joined us since we last published. ūüéČ

Marketing at a startup is unpredictable. 

You‚Äôre trying to find product-market fit, the team is evolving, and cultural norms haven‚Äôt been established. 

It‚Äôs an exciting time where high agency people can have a tremendous impact on the company. And just as companies evolve as they scale, the role of marketing can change dramatically in the early years. 

While there is plenty of literature on how to hire your first marketer and mistakes to avoid, there is little coverage on the actual first marketing hires at fast paced startups. 

Today, we share the first marketing hire at 30 well known startups across B2B and B2C. Some of these companies went on to become big winners in their space. Others ended up getting acquired, acqui-hired or shutting down. While the first person responsible for marketing is typically a cofounder, and sometimes they continue in that role, oftentimes they hire a jill-or-jack-of-all-trades that can handle all things ‚Äėmarketing‚Äô. 


1/ Founders are often the first marketer. In the early days, founders wear all the hats. And even if the founding team is mostly/all technical, someone is talking with customers, shaping the messaging, and acquiring initial customers. 

2/ Both sides, candidates and companies, are betting on upside. The companies are often unknown at the time of hire. And the candidates are often unproven as well. Most of the companies don‚Äôt have brand recognition to compete with FANG, so employees are often referrals or have high upside. 

3/ The background of first marketing hires varies greatly from directly out of college, to banking and finance, to consultants, marketing managers, PR, and interns. 

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