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Benjamin: Welcome back to the Martech Podcast. This podcast is sponsored by Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics sets the standard for innovation in the content and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve their organic rankings in Google. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the Searchmetrics suite of software and services will help you optimize your existing content, help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective content. 

Benjamin: There are billions of Google searches happening everyday and Searchmetrics gets your stories to the top. Okay. Well, today we're going to talk about the difference between traditional marketing and growth marketing with Graham Hunter, who is founder of Groundwork Growth. Groundwork Growth is growth consulting and recruiting firm that helps early stage startups validate their marketing channels and recruit the talent they need to drive scale. In this episode, Graham is going to tell us how he thinks about the difference between growth and marketing and the strategies that he applies to both drive results while keeping an eye on the big picture of marketing. 

Benjamin: Here's our interview with Graham Hunter from Groundwork Growth. Graham, it's great to have you here. 

Graham: Thanks for having me on, Ben. 

Benjamin: Very excited to talk to you and let's start off by hearing a little bit about Groundwork marketing. What's the company do and what's your role? 

Graham: Sure. I'm the founder of Groundwork Growth and basically we come in to seed in Series A startups, help them build out a process and a roadmap for all the growth and marketing experiments that they should be trying, and then help them recruit some top talent to execute those. 

Benjamin: Essentially you are creating marketing and growth strategies, validating that they work, and then handing them off to people to manage them on a full-time basis. 

Graham: Exactly. 

Benjamin: Before we talk too much about that, walk us through your career and what led you into founding this company. 

Graham: Sure. I've always sort of wanted to be an entrepreneur. I think that led me to sort of study entrepreneurship at Temple University, but when I got there, I realized that everyone who "wanted to be an entrepreneur" was more excited about being an entrepreneur than they were about actually running the business that they had. I just noticed that nobody really had any real customers and everyone was like working on conceptual things. I became kind of like the customer guy for all of these startups in the Temple startup incubator. Then I realized kind of nobody's working on software. Everyone is a little too interested in social impact and I love social impact. 

Graham: The first startup I ever went to work for was a social impact company, but they were just sort of like, "I'm going to change the world. Everything's going to be great," and not really growing their businesses. I went over to Penn and just hung out there in the Venture Initiation Program, VIP, and got to meet a bunch of entrepreneurs there and they were serious about growing real businesses. I met the guys at this company called Hydros Bottle. They have manufactured a water bottle with a built-in filter, and some of the proceeds went to build water infrastructure projects in developing countries. Loved what they were doing. 

Graham: Did a marketing internship and then became the director of marketing. From there, I stayed at Hydros for about a year and a half and then I left to do freelance work. I just started out building people's AdWords campaigns and setting up their Google Analytics and doing Google Display Network stuff and all sorts of things like that just for whoever would pay me. That sort of turned into a place where I could be more picky about clients. Then from there, I decided I should probably move to San Francisco if I was serious about working with startups and growing them. I moved to San Francisco and joined an agency called Mediasmith. 

Graham: A great media agency that evolved from like and old school programmatic display world into helping companies update their media plans to incorporate things like Facebook and search. I've done SEO and things like that with them too. That was the first time I got to spend like real client money both to drive direct response, but also for brand dollars. I got to see a good blend of what direct response at scale looks like and what a brand campaign really looks like and everything in between. From there, I joined Techstars as the first employee of a company called GoodApril. We worked on automating tax planning for self-employed people. 

Graham: Eventually sold that company to TurboTax. At TurboTax, I got to sort of be the marketer on the Obama Care tax team for about three months, and then I went and joined Tradecraft teaching marketing full-time to people who wanted to level up their careers. Stayed there for about two years and trained a hundred people. Then became the director of marketing at Patreon where I stayed for about a year and a half before starting Groundwork Growth and helping smaller companies build out these growth and marketing roadmaps. 

Benjamin: It sounds like you've had obviously a few stops in your career along the way and got into training other marketers. Tell me about some of the techniques you used putting together your training materials or sort of what's the syllabus when you're working with people that want to learn marketing. 

Graham: I started out building my syllabus skill by skill. What does a quantitative marketer need to know? Okay. They need to like be an Excel jockey and know SQL and know this handful of analyses that they need to be able to do in whatever platform or program people are using to analyze data. At the same time, we need to learn channels. We learned SEO conversion rate optimization paid and what the trends in softwares in each of these channels were and what they should try first depending on the business type. We talked about process. 

Graham: Really it started out channel by channel, selecting the best resources to learn that channel, and evolved into a more holistic approach to learning marketing in terms of process and some of the soft skills involved and things like that. 

Benjamin: Now you're focused on implementing growth strategies for relatively early stage startups. How is it different training a marketer or somebody who's a marketing enthusiast, what the basics are, as opposed to building the growth strategies while you're in house at early stage companies? 

Graham: They're very different and in some ways completely the same. A lot of what I'm doing is sort of training founders how to think about this and how to treat marketing and growth as a function going forward and what are going to be the most effective. While I would teach the same exact sort of thought process to some junior people, its application when they're at a new company is probably going to be limited to the vertical that they're in depending on the role. 

Graham: A lot of people went to be sort of marketing managers who would own a single channel like SEO or paid as a good mid-level marketing manager role that didn't have the chance to implement some of the more wide things that they learned like experimentation process. 

Benjamin: In your working with early stage companies and helping them set up the growth strategies, you're coming in and working with people that are sort of installed on the marketing team and also training the founders to think about marketing, what are the common things that they don't understand that you're preaching needs to be done? 

Graham: It depends on where the founders come from. Founders that come from big companies sort of think of marketing from a blended CAC and a very long term strategic standpoint intended to under utilize the importance of direct response marketing, like user acquisition in early stages. Then there are sort of like more management consulty product history founders that think of everything as an experiment and undervalue strategic initiatives. In general, both of those people are trying to assign marketing budgets before they have any data or information about what they might want to try and what might work. 

Graham: In general, I walk them through how I think about it from budgeting to experimentation and channels and boiling those channel experiments down to MVP things that if it works, we can say, "Hey, maybe there's something here." If it doesn't, we're saying, "Okay. Cross it off the list and let's keep going." 

Benjamin: Marketing is the combination of an art and a science and where some people think of marketing as a transactional channel that is about customer acquisition, like you mentioned CAC. Other people think of it as the positioning of my company relative to other options, competition and sort of market creation, and it's setting the idea that somebody needs a specific product. Tell me a little bit about how you think of what growth is and what marketing is. 

Graham: I think in order to do that, we'd have to sort of look at the history of startups and how marketing fits into that. When we go all the way back to sort of like old school Silicon Valley, I think that marketers wanted to insert themselves into these companies early on, but all they had were traditional marketing techniques like big brand advertising campaigns and things like that. A lot of startups spent a lot of money on marketing. It didn't really make a big difference for their company. I think that created this bad taste in founder's mouths about what marketing's role was in growing an organization. 

Graham: They go, "You know what? Those marketing people, they're all fluff and no practicality. They're all soft skills and no analytical skills. Yada, yada, yada. We don't need marketing people going forward. I want quantitative like former management consultants and finance people running my paid acquisition. I don't want marketers," things like that. Growth sort of evolved to me as a positioning away from those old marketing people that you don't want to hire. To me, it was more about positioning than it was about roles, but it did involve a new type of role. I think that marketing was formerly a much more siloed function. 

Graham: I think what we see now is people saying, "Listen, I'm here to grow the company, to grow revenue, to grow retention, to grow all this stuff. I don't really care whether or not that means that I have to pull a lever that used to be in the marketing function or not." It's sort of a broadening of the scope of things like retention and user acquisition and conversion rate optimization and things like that. It's sort of like more of a catch all where it's like anything that's not being covered by anyone else that we can use to grow this business we're going to be responsible for. 

Benjamin: As a brand marketer and as a growth marketer, I think that the overlap between the two is fundamentally marketer's responsibility is to understand who the customer is, what their needs are, and how to communicate with them. That has an impact not only on what direction the product should be driven, on what your advertising strategy is, on how you're differentiated from your competition, your pricing, all of those different things, right? It touches finance. It touches obviously customer acquisition. 

Benjamin: It touches product, but marketing is really the shepherds of the customer relationship in my head and then growth is about the experimentation to see what's working and sort of validate a hypothesis that you have to understand if a specific channel or a specific type of message works. 

Graham: Yeah, I like that. I see sort of growth and marketing as this broader function at startups that people need to be developing early on. Once you get to be a larger startup, that growth and marketing would be like separate functions like Series B or C and beyond. That there would be like a head of growth and a head of marketing separately, but that early on I think owning both of those functions of growth and marketing is important and probably falls under the same senior person. 

Benjamin: I think in terms of job titles, what I've seen is that there is a head of customer acquisition, which is the data scientist running the SEM, search engine marketing campaigns or doing SEO analysis, fixing websites, making sure the content is being syndicated, running your Facebook Ads, right? Like getting butts in seats. I think of that as customer acquisition. Then there is a brand marketer who is responsible for awareness and positioning and making sure that not only do people know what the company is, but know why they would need the product so they can make the decision on whether they should follow through with any purchase intent. 

Graham: Yeah. I think that in the early stages, like pre Series B, that those things about positioning and value props and even messaging to a large extent have to belong to the founder of the company. In a way, your value prop defines what your business is and having a marketer come in and finagle with that is like as if you haven't decided who your market is or something like that. 

Graham: Early on those brand and positioning things really need to belong to a combination of the founder, of the product people and that head of marketing role and having their responsibility early on being just like finding those channels that can drive conversions and then growing the team into something that can operate at a much more strategic level like helping to tweak messaging and positioning and things like that as the company grows. 

Benjamin: I feel like having created, having worked at and having worked with a handful of early stage startups, what I've seen is that in the early days of a startup pre-product market fit, you have the flexibility to be able to try on lots of different hats. 

Graham: Yeah, absolutely. 

Benjamin: There doesn't necessarily need to be one person that owns the brand and shepherds it in the right direction because you can go multiple different directions every week until you find one that works. Then this is kind of where the growth mentality is is like okay, we're getting a signal. Let's now head that direction and see what we can do to amplify that signal. As a company gets more mature, they say, "Okay. Now we have a signal that is meaningful. We have a steady base, but we never really stopped to say what direction we want to go long term. We really need to pick a lane here." 

Benjamin: That's where the need for a brand marketer to come in and sort of figure out positioning and identity established and put a little bit more thought behind it comes in. It seems to me that there are some relatively predictable needs in terms of growth marketing and brand marketing by stage. It sounds like that's what you're saying. 

Graham: Absolutely. That's a great way to put it. If I were to take what I perceive to be some of the biggest mistakes that founders make, it's to not find the resources that are appropriate to your stage. Either people are trying to jump the gun and get too much too early or they're behind and they're being a little too reactionary and only starting to look for something once they need it, and then they realize that it takes six months to find that senior marketing person that they need and now they're even more behind. 

Benjamin: Okay. That wraps this episode of the Martech Podcast. Thanks to Graham Hunter from Groundwork Growth for joining us. In part two of our interview, which we'll publish tomorrow, Graham is going to talk us through how he allocate his marketing budget between strategic operational and experimental channels, what his process is for creating marketing experiments, and how he helps companies find the right marketing talent. If you can't wait until the second part of this podcast and you'd like to learn more about Graham and Groundwork Growth, go to GroundworkGrowth.com. 

Benjamin: If you'd like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website at Martechpod.com, M-A-R-T-E-C-H-P-O-D.com. Special thanks to you if you're a subscriber to the Martech Podcast. We, of course, want you to feel like a member of our community. If you have questions or comments of if you're a marketer and you'd like to be a guest on our show, feel free to reach out to me directly. You can get in touch with me at podcast@benjshap.com. that's B-E-N-J-S-H-A-P.com, or you can contact us on Twitter. Our handle is benjshapLLC.  

Benjamin: If you haven't already subscribed and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, in addition to part two of our interview with Graham Hunter from Groundwork Growth, we've got some great episodes lined up the next few weeks. If you're interested in learning about other topics like running CPC campaigns, learning analytics, direct mail, we already have some interviews recorded and we think you're going to learn a lot from them. Hit that subscribe button in your podcast feed and we can stay in touch. Okay. That's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy. 

Benjamin: Welcome back to the MarTech podcast. This podcast is sponsored by SearchMetrics. SearchMetrics sets the standard for innovation and the content, and search engine optimization industries. They support businesses who care about understanding both how to use content as a marketing channel and how to improve their organic rankings in Google. If you're an enterprise level marketer, the SearchMetrics with software and services will help you optimize your existing content. Help you understand what topics you need to cover next, and how to ensure that your writers produce effective content. There are billions of Google searches happening everyday, and SearchMetrics gets your stories to the top.

Benjamin: Okay, today we're going to finish our conversation set at around the differences between growth marketing and traditional marketing with Graham Hunter from Groundwork Growth. In our last episode, Graham walked us through what he thinks are the differences between growth and traditional marketing, and some of the strategies that he applies to drive results while keeping an eye on the big picture. Now, if you missed the episode, Graham's a really smart guy. It's worth going back and listening to.

Benjamin: That said, in this, the second part of our conversation with Graham, he's going to walk us through how he allocates his marketing budget between strategic, operational, and experimental channels. He's also going to talk through some of his process for creating marketing experiments, and since he works in recruiting and marketing consulting, he's going to walk us through how to find the right marketing talent. Okay, here is the second part of our interview with Graham Hunter from Groundwork Growth.

Benjamin: I think understanding the nature of a marketing channel, whether you're doing brand marketing or growth marketing is very important, and I'll use an example, if you're creating an SEO, a search engine optimization strategy, the nature of those channels, they start small when you have very little content and the more you add into them, the more they grow, and you're essentially building an asset that gets more valuable over time. So, what you're looking at, your traffic generation with an SEO strategy, it's a small line that's close to zero for a long period of time, and it starts to go up and up, and up, and up, and up, and it rarely ever goes down barring you getting hit by a Google algorithm change, which is if you're doing it the right way relatively and frequent.

Benjamin: On the other hand, when you're looking at a paid acquisition channel, it's $1 in equals $2 out, and that's a steady line as long as you're continuing to spend money. So your cost per acquisition will stay the same as opposed to go down over time, but it happens more immediately.

Graham: That's a great point, and I think that some of the things that I'm helping founders to understand, like line up with that perfectly, one of them would be how I think about budgets. I tend to separate out my budgets into experimental, operational, and strategic. I generally try and get founders to set or this might be a senior marketer at the company to set a fixed experimental budget that doesn't change month to month that is allocated to whatever experiments we're doing, and as soon as an experimental channel usually more direct response like dollars in, dollars out. Other things that are shorter term, maybe like marketing partnerships or something like that, that as soon as it shows a little promise, and we're saying, "Hey, now that we've seen that this can potentially work, we should add some performance benchmarks, and give this it's own budget."

Graham: We've seen that it's a dollar in and a dollar out and that worked at a few thousand dollars a month. Let's see if it can take 5 or $10,000 a month, and we'll put some performance around that operationalize that channel and free up the experimental budget to continue moving down the list to see if we can develop new channels. Now, that to me is completely separate from a strategic budget, and at first you might not have a strategic budget. You might say, "Hey, we're just trying to figure out if people are interested in this and we need customers, and revenue now."

Graham: No one's going to sign up and droves the first time you make a blog post, but you can see down the road, and you're saying, listen, there's no way we're trying to revolutionize the blank industry, and there's no way that we could do that without helping to educate our customers. For example, Patreon. Many artists still feel like they're business people, but running your own independent media company is a big operation from a business standpoint, and we knew at Patreon that if we were going to help creators get paid for the work that they do, that we're going to have to help teach them how to be business people.

Graham: That means content. Content was a strategic initiative. It wasn't that the first blog post was supposed to acquire X users or whatever. We just knew that even if these posts required no users that we would still make the content, because of that we gave it its own budget to operate, and share their guideline benchmarks and things like that, but it lived in the strategic category and not in the direct response category. So that's how I separate out all those things that you brought up, experimental, operational, and strategic.

Benjamin: What percentage of the spend would you allocate to the three buckets you mentioned?

Graham: Depends on the company's stage. If you're starting a company like Dollar Shave Club or Harry's or Trump Club, tool marketer I feel like it's pretty obvious. Those are businesses that run on the bucket paid. It becomes rather obvious that you're going to run some paid experiments and that things are going to work much more on the experimental and operational side versus the strategic side. They're not writing a bunch of blog posts about how razors work or the best shave that you can blah, blah, blah, but Patreon on the other hand, and knowing that we had to help creators understand how to run their own independent businesses.

Graham: That's a strong strategic imperative almost. Because of that, the ratios are going to be different. In general, I'd say that experimental budgets come in at a minimum of 5k a month to build them out, run it effectively. The worst thing you can do is to run an experiment and not do it fully, and then get the results back and be like, "So what does that mean?" I guess it just means that we need to do it again because we didn't fail, but we didn't succeed. Just the middle of the road, and you want to make it big enough that you're either like "Whoa, that didn't work for sure.", or "There's opportunity here and we should pursue this further."

Graham: Then after that, I treat like I'm a financial adviser to the founder. I'm saying like, "Hey, I've got a great investment opportunity. Every dollar you give me, I can give you $2 back, and you tell me how much you want to do that.", and there are limits to that, but they say, "Oh, okay. That's great to know.", and when I find a new "investment opportunity" in terms of marketing, I present that to them too. When I say, "Hey, we found a new one. It's not as good as $1 in, $2 out, but it's much more scalable." Or maybe we can user paid to acquire and this is a really common thing.

Graham: I think using paid to acquire customers that have lower engagement, lower retention, but do convert profitably so maybe people sign up and then they stay for three months rather than a year, like people who come through content or something like that, and then suddenly you have another challenge to take these people who are a little more fickle, and maybe used that same content to teach them a little bit, and get them to stay longer, and stuff like that. I just see the operational side as not my call to I can make recommendations.

Graham: "Listen, I think we could put in at least 10k a month before we started to see diminishing marginal returns, and that just comes from knowing a channel and where people get stuck, and I think in Facebook, it's 10, 50, and 100k. We see performance plateaus as we try and scale those channels, and stuff like that. It's different for everyone, and depends on how big your market is, and how much people like your product.

Benjamin: Right. Talk to me a little bit about experimentation. What is the approach when you're setting up an experiment? You mentioned that the worst thing you could do is stop an experiment when you have some data, but not enough. So, talk to me through experimentation process because that seems to be a big part of what we were calling growth marketing.

Graham: I think experimentation and in general scoping is the most important part. I think the first stage of that, which is pretty universal like if you follow a Brian Balfour or Sean Ellis approach to these types of things, I think that brainstorming, evaluation, and prioritization is a key activity for the whole team, and even maybe some of the founding team to do together where you're saying, "What are all the things that everyone thinks are a great idea? What to try?" It could be some referral program in the product. It could be ads, and these could be questions too, like can I serve ads to people who have YouTube channels inside YouTube? Is there a way to know that they are creators and not just viewers? I don't know. Let's check it out.

Graham: There's that whole process of brainstorming, the evaluation where you say, how much juice do we think is here? How much scalability? How much risk? How much would it cost, and can we scope this thing down to a size where we could see that this would be a good idea or a bad idea in a matter of weeks. That scoping phase that comes after this brainstorming, evaluation, prioritization, and then scoping. You just take the things that are at the top of your list, and scope them down to say, hey if we spend $5,000 and we see X number of customers coming in, both from a quantitative and qualitative standpoint, we'll say, oh we need to see this many customers and then from the qualitative standpoint, I literally in the early stages of something like paid acquisition, go in and research every single customer that signed up from that channel.

Graham: If it's B2B, I'm going their LinkedIn profiles. Sometimes I'm just reaching out to them via email after the fact, just to say, "Hey, I saw you blah, blah, blah. Just wanted to chat.", and if there's a sales team in a B2B company, I'm having them do that just to connect and see just how qualified of a lead are they. How much do they really need this? And maybe these are people on free trials, and Patreon, this might be the completeness of the Patreon page that they set up.

Graham: Did they include a description and images, and have multiple categories of rewards and all these types of things, and if we see all those qualitative things happening. When we're looking at all the customers that have come in, we'll say, feel really good about the potential for this channel both in terms of a qualitative and quantitative standpoint.

Benjamin: One thing that resonates with me that you said is taking a look at the people that are converting and treading to learn as much as you possibly can about them when you're running an experiment. A lot of the times let's say you're testing out a specific channel. You're testing out Facebook, the ads you're running might not perform at the ROI that you want, but you get your first few customers if you're at an early stage start up and learning who those customers are and what their backgrounds are will help you build targeting profiles that you can apply for your next test.

Benjamin: So learning as much about your customers as you go along the way, and understanding why a certain type of person coverts to me is a big part of experimentation even if you're running a channel that doesn't work. You would still learn just as much from channels that aren't working as channels that are.

Graham: Absolutely. I would also say that I don't think of channels as the only attribute of an experiment. For example, I might think of paid user acquisition as a way to acquire customers by just throwing our value prop out there, saying, "Hey. Are you looking for this recruiting software? Check it out?", and if that doesn't work, content that's being promoted via sponsored posts on Facebook might be extremely effective. Let's say for example that you're targeting engineers. Engineers are a little advertising verse. They're like, that's gross. I don't want to be a part of ads and that whole thing, and so something that's very value [inaudible 00:13:33]. Like try this product.

Graham: They might not like that, but some think piece on the future work and how you think your company can be a part of it might be very effective. Those to me are almost two separate "channels". One that's just direct response ads, and one that's more like the content marketing amplification. Those are completely different experiments even though they both utilize the same marketing channel.

Benjamin: Let's play that example out a little bit. Talk to me a about content marketing amplification because I think that's one of the things that bridges how people think about organic growth, the content creation piece, and paid acquisition where they're paying for advertising. What are some of the tools in your bag that you use to distribute content?

Graham: I've got all sorts of ideas and things that I do in order to get content distribution. In general, it depends on the stage that the company is at. How B2B it is. How B2C it is. I've used my personal network for boosting the profile or the number of views for a piece of content. If I think that it's really great piece of content to get up votes on some of the content up voting sites and things like that. If they're a B2C company, and they have the strong social presence, that's a great foundation for using Facebook a potential content amplification thing because you've got all those people who like your page already that you can do look a likes off of, and stuff like that.

Graham: Personally, I think that display is a cheap, underutilized resource that people can use to do content marketing amplification in general for those people, I would choose big sites that match the profile that we're looking for and only serve on those sites, but still only use programmatic tools to do it. So you're not paying premium rates on those sites, and maybe you only get "random inventory" when they're not selling those premium packages, but if your seed start up promoting your post and you can make that ad look like it belongs a little more the native way is a great place to start doing paid content amplification.

Benjamin: Talk to me, you've made the transition from working specifically in marketing growth, user acquisition and now you're focusing more on recruiting. Tell me a little bit about that side of your business.

Graham: Well, it's really a type of thing that I didn't plan on doing, but what happened is I wanted to build the agency that I would have wanted to work with coming up through my career, especially in terms of PR agencies. There's always this effect where people said, "Oh, we've got a great new thing around the corner that we want to try with you.", and it's just this strategy to get you hanging on, hanging on, hanging on, don't fire us. Please don't fire us. Please don't fire us, and to me that's so misaligned with the best intentions of the company.

Graham: I want to say, "Yeah, please fire me. I hope it's because I've done a great job and built up some processes and channels that you can then take internally and build core competence around, and come back to me when you need help again." Because of that, I started looking for candidates for some of my clients, and then I just started getting random email entrails being, "Oh, Graham knows some of the best growth in marketing talent. Yada, yada.You got to talk to him.", and then people started becoming interested only in the recruiting side and I was like, whoa, okay. Well, I guess if the dogs are eating the dog food, that's great.

Graham: In general, I think that the whole thrill a lead for a candidate over the wall and charging 30% of the annual salary, first of all, that price is outrageous. It's disgusting and only really works for sales or engineering when you need entire teams of people. You might open up 10 racks all at once. So, filling that volume is really hard, but for marketing you might open one to three racks at once, and that's even a bigger company, and so I charge a flat fee no matter what the role is, and I also get involved and I sit in on first round interviews and see how the candidate that I sent in is matching up with their expectations.

Benjamin: Tell me about the goals for the company that you're building. It seems like you're split between doing strategic marketing work and finding marketing talent for the companies that you work for. What's the long term vision for you?

Graham: So, there's something that happens at smaller companies that's a challenge. You can bring in a senior person, you got find and hire that person and they cost a lot more and maybe they're not as execution focused and so you've got to have your execution focused person too, and your strategic person, and maybe your strategic person is doing some execution too, but that costs a lot early on that that's how people are guaranteeing that they're working on the right thing.

Graham: The alternative is to just hire that junior person, maybe connect him with one of your advisers and they pitch their idea, "Yeah, that sounds great. Go ahead.", and just start executing and then bringing in that strategic person later on. I think that just as a paradigm that there's this third option that leverages the strategic vision of start ups in Silicon Valley generally that takes process that has worked for a lot of people in the past, and brings it in, and then you can rely partially on consultants and partially on that junior person, and then wait for that senior higher.

Graham: I'd imagine that I want to be that strategic early consultant that then comes in and leaves that Director of VP in our wake who we can tell is aligned with the way that I think about things and have structured things for that company so that when they come in, they say, "Oh my gosh. You've done six months of my job for me by flushing out all these experimentation framework, and not just I don't know what all this is. This is weird, let's start square one.", and give companies a head start by doing that.

Benjamin: Makes sense. Talk to me about lessons that you have somebody that's early on in their career. A lot of the people that listen to this podcast are just starting out with marketing, what advice do you have for them?

Graham: I think the first piece of advice and it depends on who you are, but the first piece of advice is just about curiosity, and hunger, and taking on responsibility, and just doing what's ever needed. I mean, this is how I land it almost every single role. When I was "Director of marketing" at Hydra's Bottle, guess what? Somebody had to rework our entire inventory management system, get us on fulfillment by Amazon, find an intermediary software that connected to our label printing and shipping and order management system, and I was like, "That's me. I got it." That wasn't my job, but taking on responsibility in anything that's required, and just being really curious, and investigating every channel, and reading books, and taking night classes, and to me that's really the way to show that you're the person for the job.

Benjamin: Great. Well, I appreciate you joining us on the podcast. Before I let you go, is there anyone you're looking to meet? Anything that you like to promote? Here's the change to pub your company.

Graham: Sure. My website's groundworkgrowth.com. Work with seed and series A founders of start ups that are looking to build out or grow some marketing road map. Always interested in meeting people in all sorts of industries. I do B2B and B2C, especially in the talent industry, meaning people who are working on product in job boards, recruiting, things like that, as well as the arts, and would love to talk to even anybody who's trying to make big career moves, senior people who are thinking about career moves, I love just chatting with people about where they're at and giving advice.

Graham: Not trying t make it all about getting new clients and stuff like that. I just want to help people out with my experience, and everything will come around.

Benjamin: okay. That wraps up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to graham Hunter for joining us. If you're interested in learning more about Graham or about groundwork Growth, go to groundwork.com. If you like to read the transcript of this podcast, we've published it on our website, MarTechpod.com, and if you're a subscriber to the MarTech podcast, just want to take a second tho thank you very much. We really appreciate it. We feel like we're building a community here. If you have any questions or comments or if you want to be a guest on the show, feel free to reach out to us. My email is podcast@benjshap.com. That's B-E-N-J-S-H-A-p.com. Or you can find us on LinkedIn tr Twitter, the handles is BenJShap LLC.

Benjamin: If you haven't subscribed to the MarTech podcast and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge in your podcast feed, we have got some great episodes lined up. We're cover things like the technology behind using direct mail. How to get your products into Google search and Amazon, and a little bit about analytics. If you're into marketing and you want more in you podcast feed, hit that subscribe button. Okay, that's it for today, but untie next time my advice is to just focus on keeping your customer's happy.

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