Experienced Full Stack Marketers and other Unicorns
First, what do we mean by the term full stack marketer? This means a person who has strong skills across the entire marketing ecosphere. They can “check the box” on everything from SEO to user experience to database management to paid advertising.
In order to gain strong experience in multiple areas, it’s necessary to have actually spent sufficient time focusing on each area to acquire knowledge beyond just a basic precursory understanding.
Consider these two ways of gaining a working knowledge in multiple areas:
- Perform a cross-function marketing role for many years at a couple different companies. Spend 1/10th of your time in each function over 20 years – thus acquiring the knowledge equivalent to 2 years of experience in each function.
- Move around between different job functions at different sizes and types of companies, spending 2 years each in 10 different roles.
Most growth company narrowly focus only on recruiting the former. Their ideal candidate is a person who has scaled a couple companies from pre-funding to IPO, spending a number of years in each.
But I must ask, if the person is looking to do a similar role all over again, are they the bold risk-taker you need to scale your company? Or, would the truly talented be looking for their next challenge – as an investor, a CEO or a CMO at a multi-national company?
Companies want to hire someone who has done the exact same thing before, whereas superstar talents want a new challenge. Hence, the catch-22.