How To Accelerate Your Career Growth as a Marketer
Marketers from Primary’s Growth Mastermind Network share how they work cross-functionally and their advice on leveling up.
With the launch of Primary's Growth Mastermind Network, a community for top mid-to-senior marketing professionals to build their networks and fast track their careers through best-in-class programming, I’ve gotten the opportunity to engage with performance, brand, and product marketers and learn more about how they all play key roles in accelerating consumer growth. Not only does each marketing function directly impact customer acquisition, engagement, and retention, but their ability to work together seamlessly is what leads to hyper-growth. If you’re a marketer interested in growing your network and working better cross-functionally, this network is for you. Apply here to join our third cohort, launching at the end of July.
I spoke with Kenneth Chong (Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Rent the Runway), Marisa Dunn (Growth Product Manager at Venmo), and Jennie Snyder (Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Small Door Veterinary), to better understand how the different marketing functions work together at their startups. At a high level, the growth marketing team is responsible for acquiring new customers efficiently, essentially utilizing existing marketing channels, and testing emerging channels to help the company drive growth and scale. In order to set this function up for success, the brand marketing team carefully crafts the touchpoints—from creative and tone of voice to campaigns and partnerships—for building awareness, finding the right audiences, and converting them to members. Marketers then work with product teams to enable growth efforts by aligning on audience segmentation, value props, and user experience. The user experience from marketing channels into the product needs to feel seamless and cohesive, eliminating any friction to convert.
Working cross-functionally is an unlock for many marketing professionals and the key to accelerating your career growth. The ability to successfully do this comes with better understanding how each function works and leveling up. Our Growth Mastermind members shared their advice on what key skills and traits are necessary below.
Be (ready to be) resourceful
“Something I've learned over the years, that particularly applies to working at a startup, is that no task is too small. If everyone has the same goal it shows real dedication and camaraderie when you help with whatever needs to get done; job description goes out the window. In time, you'll get more support and resources, but when it's time to be resourceful, you show up to the best of your abilities. Even during my time at Small Door, I've been a graphic designer, a photographer, a copywriter, a brand ambassador, an event planner, and more. Six months later, because of my various efforts, the brand has a much more solidified foundation, on which I'm building out the marketing team and shifting my focus onto larger initiatives that match where we currently are as a company and where we're going.”
—Jennie Snyder, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Small Door Veterinary
Follow the data and be a product expert
“You don't have to know SQL to be data-driven (though it's a super valuable skill to have). Spend time with your company’s KPI dashboards, create user funnels, and dive into any and all user research.
The best way to be an expert on a product is to use it yourself. Put yourself in your users’ shoes to know what works well and what could be improved (if you can’t use it yourself, spend time in the associated Figma or whatever design interface tool the team uses). This knowledge will make your campaigns stronger—and also help build a mutually beneficial relationship with the product team. Your insights can inform product development and their feedback on your campaigns ensures you’re building cohesive user experiences.”
—Marisa Dunn, Growth Product Manager at Venmo
Stay curious, remain persistent, and be the expert
“Testing is a big part of the role, and don’t be afraid to fail—you’ll fail more times than you’ll win, but that’s okay. If you’re able to understand and learn from it, you’ll be able to apply it to your next test.”
“Regardless of your marketing role, become an expert in a marketing channel—it could be paid social or search engine marketing. Having a specialization will open more doors; you’ll have the opportunity after to expand your skill set.”
—Kenneth Chong, Senior Growth Marketing Manager at Rent the Runway
An easy way to level up on these skills is to join a professional network. We at Primary launched a Growth Mastermind Network, a community with best-in-class programming for marketing professionals.
Apply here now to join our third cohort, launching at the end of July.