Report: Marketers in demand in startups

All marketing roles are in demand when it comes to start-ups, with senior roles valued by fledgling businesses, finds a new startup salary guide.

Australian startups provide 'growth marketers' with solid salaries across the country, according to a new report just published.

The Australian Startup Salary Guide 2019/2020, compiled by startup talent and growth firm, Think & Grow, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), analysed the salaries of 1000 people working across 63 venture capital-backed Australian startups.

Think and Grow director and partner, Jonathan Jeffries, told CMO marketers are important to the new growth sectors of the tech ecosystem and, more broadly, community building. And as the focus on customer experience grows, the roles of chief experience officer and chief customer officer will become "the next evolution of marketing".

"We have seen this develop over the past five years and it’s highly likely this will accelerate post-COVID-19 as we move into a new way of working and connecting to customer journeys," he said. "The emergence of ‘growth marketing’ as a role in high demand has seen many qualified marketers begin their careers in digital analytics and end up with growth becoming an important part of their job, as many online businesses prioritise customer growth and engagement."

While salaries are comparable, there is a caveat - this is only at a later stage of funding, but many outfits look to bring on marketing chief earlier, Jeffries said.

“Startup CMOs/VPs of marketing in APAC are paid well and can earn as much as c-level talent in corporations, especially in startups that have raised beyond Series B level. However, Australian tech firms tend to hire CMOs during the scaleup growth phase,” he explained to CMO.

In terms of marketing roles in startups, the report finds a broad split between the types of professionals in demand: Those who build and finesse the company narrative through traditional campaigns, design and messaging; and those who conduct more transactional marketing, where they manage the social, digital arbitrage and trading mechanisms.

The report stated many marketers are moving from traditional digital agencies into the startup ecosystem, with those experienced in SEO, SEM and social media management finding roles that offer them more autonomy and less corporate bureaucracy.

Like most roles in early-stage Australian technology firms, key positions in startups require an understanding or creation of a business strategy followed by strong execution, with an often limited budget or team, Jeffries said.

“The level of analytical depth usually is higher than that of a corporate, and to some degree from a spend basis, the assumed generated revenue is greater from a justified return-on-investment in startup marketing roles. On the other hand, spend on PR and product marketing and events can be more significant,” he said.

According to the survey, transactional marketers are attracted to the technical nature of startups, particularly people who enjoy the data analysis component, where they can abstract and analyse in real time.

When it comes to B2B vs B2C startups, the report argues marketing demands are quite different. The report stated those in the industry have reported B2B startups require marketers with long lead times outside the sales function, and typically use enterprise tools like Salesforce and IBM.

On the B2C side, the transactional trading culture prevails and marketers who are skilled at reading the behavioural metrics from social media platforms and digital marketing tools are finding good roles.

"This year we found 50 per cent of all roles hired by fledgling companies underneath a $3 million cap raise are senior marketing roles, indicating startups value the marketing function from the get-go."

While the report didn't provide gender pay gap data for startups - comparing male to female salaries for the same jobs within the sector - it found women held 75 per cent of senior marketing roles and 50 per cent of senior HR roles," Jeffries continued.

"In the work we have done, female candidates have been more successful in securing CMO roles, as well as country manager or managing director for regional expansion positions, when they have a commercial mind and CMO background."

To support the Australian startup ecosystem during this period, Think & Grow is extending free career coaching services to those in the technology industry who have been made redundant.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

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