B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 1733 · 5 months ago

Marketing Job Post Red Flags with Mary Keough


In this episode Benji talks to Mary Keough , the Senior Marketing Strategist at Gorilla 76 .  

Discussed in this episode: 

  • How to hone your job posts
  • 4 red flags to watch out for when looking for a marketing job
  • The power of clarity around roles on your team   

My biggest red flag is when they have a very general term like "plan, execute, and analyze, a digital marketing strategy." Am I in charge of the website? Blogs? SEO? Paid social? The digital sphere is gigantic. Huge red flag.

Conversations from the front lines of marketing. This is B tob growth. Today I am joined by Mary Kio. She's the senior marketing strategist at gorilla seventy six and we're so glad to have her here with us. Mary, welcome to the show. Thanks, Fenji. I am stoked to be here. Yes, today we're going to tackle the topic of marketing job postings and how to spot red flags. Before we get there, maybe just give us the the thirty two bio on you, Mary, and a couple of important things we should know about you. Yeah, that sounds great. So I started my career in house at a manufacturing and Industrial Company that manufactures and sells spray nozzles and spray equipment. I was a technical writer first, and then at that company I moved into like a makeshift business development role, a marketing role for the Rd team, and then moved into corporate marketing. Since September of last year, though, I've been on the agency side with grilla seventy six, also working with midsize be tob manufacturing and industrial companies, and that's kind of the boring career stuff. So if I'm not working, which is most of the other time I'm hanging out with my three kids, playing and doing adventures outside and then drinking wine are moving heavy stuff in my garage. Jim, that is a great rundown on your life. Yeah, I ask people with kids all the time what's your hobby, and then I've gotten so many like well, my kids are my hobby. Nos, yeah, right, like ver come all encompassing. Well, today I want to talk about something I saw in your linkedin. I think it's probably what you've become maybe most notorious or famous for over there, right, these marketing job post teardowns. What gave you this idea originally? Explain why this became so important to you. Yeah, so I'm going to start with like what they are first, in case you aren't familiar with the marketing job post teardowns, it's a series I do every Thursday on my linkedin page where I just find a job posting that was actually posted on Linkedin and just tear it down bullet point by bullet point. So it's almost always a marketing job and the point is really to help marketers weed through this barrage of job postings out there and find a company who actually knows what they need from marketing. And then, of course, the second point is just to have fun and emphasize some of the ridiculous expectations some companies have for their marketing departments. But this idea actually came from a from a podcast I did with girls founder Joe Sullivan, and we were going to discuss us like agency versus and House Marketing. How can a company know when they need a marketing team member rather than an agency? And so then that podcast episode just spawned this potential service branch for us where we could help manufacturers kind of fill a marketing job or build a marketing team and house, and especially with the support of a full service agency, which is kind of cool. Yeah, it is cool. We thought it'd be fun to give our listeners, like in this episode, for Marketing Job posts, red flags what to be looking for. Now that you've done this several times, I see a couple applications of the content. One is like, if you're hiring for your company, this is going to help you refine job posts and really hone your skill as someone posting. And then second, so many of us are going to be looking for new positions and Mary's helping us see through the smoke screens and find the jobs that are actually refined, well positioned and are going to get us off on the right foot and in the right position.

So, after doing several of these posts, looking at a bunch of marketing job postings, let's get into this. What's our first Red Flag, Mary? Yeah, so your first red flag is going to be if the job posting is for anything less than a senior vice president of marketing or ACMO. You are not going to want to see more than five bullet points under either the responsibity section or the requirements section. What do you think about that? Bunjy? I wish this was just true in general because it would have so much clarity packed into it. But my question for you is, okay, five, like five seams. I don't look at posts maybe as much as you do, but five seems like there aren't many companies hitting that number. That is a good amount of clarity. What made you think five is the right number? Yeah, so I've been reading through a lot of these marketing job posts to do this series and it seems that the more bullet points there are, as you get further down the list, the more convoluted those bullet points become so the maybe first five are very clear. They might be a little bit too packed for my preference. But then as you add more and more, they're kind of either repeating what they already said in the first five bullet points or the ladder bullet points are just adding in these really random things that like I would kind of assume someone in this position would do anyways. Right, Yep, that the end is always telling. Either they're trying to like bring things in that they're like, well, it's not really your role, but like maybe we could fit it in there, or there's always something in that last piece that's a giveaway area. Is that they're yelling like flug holes. Yeah, absolutely. Like I've seen responsibilities where, hey, it's like it starts out great, like you're going to be responsible for generating new indown pipeline via these three channels. You're going to be tracking it through our crm. Like I'm like in my head like yeah, cool, yes, makes sense, perfect, and then like it gets farther down the listen, it's like your responsibilities will be like utilize hub spot, like that's a whole bullet point. Like okay, I kind of assumed I'd be using some kind of more tech tool. anyways, if I'm using a crm, so like as just like yes, if you're writing these, just like mix those out, like we get it. We're going to be using MARTECH. HMM. So within this, one thing you had mentioned offline was this idea of like expecting too much from this role. Right, ultimately, it's like we start thinking. Or there you can tell they want you to plan, develop, execute, analyze. That's the language that we were using before. Yeah, is there ways to tell, like outside of just the five, that they're really expecting all four of these? Because that's honestly what you're getting at some some may not hit the exact five, but if they're asking you to do all of that, you could spot that red flag pretty easy. Oh Yeah, for sure. So I call this the triple threat. They're almost always done in trios. So it's like plan, develop, execute, analyze, coordinate, plan, plan, develop and assess. The you'll notice that they're using these three verbs in quick succession and that's my biggest red flag. Like, and it's usually like this. And then they do this very general term so that it'll be like plan, execute, analyze a digital marketing strategy, like what so my in charge of the website. Am I doing blogs? Am I doing seo? Am I doing paid social? Like the digital sphere is gigantic right now and that bullet point in and of itself, like plan...

...develop execute a digital marketing strategy, is so common, and I would see that as somebody who has a decent amount of experience in marketing at this point, and that's a huge red flag. I'd be like, they have no idea what they need from marketing. Yeah, you would want or I would want like channel specific. Tell me which one, because you can get an expert on a bunch of different mediums within like social, within online strategy. With like get people that are hyper specific. So why not just include that from the outset? Decide what you're medium supposed to be? Or you want to go heavy on two linkedin whatever your channels going to be, tell that and you're going to attract talent that is really in that lane, and that's a really great as the one also applying to know, am I actually an expert in what they want an expert in, unless you really do want a generalist in all things, which then you're not going to get. Probably the experienced marketer in that job. Yeah, absolutely, and like the thing that I love doing with those is like, okay, so you want a marketing strategist, a content marketer and SEO specialist, a social media specialist. Like, if you really break these things down into what they're asking for, they're asking for like five to seven specialties in a single bullet point. So, yeah, Yep, to your point, expecting way too much from one roll or even just a single bullet point. And my biggest point with the five is if you need more than five bullet points to tell somebody what their job is going to be, you probably need more than one marker. Yeah, you got to figure out your priorities of just what you want to hire four first. Then you can go from there and make it concise. Okay, so that's a great way to start this off. More than five bullet points is a Nogo. Is a red flag. What's the second one? All right, so our second big red flag is salary to experience level. This is by far the most common red flag and the most common misconception I see. So we have a marketing specialist, a marketing generalist, a marketing manager who's expected to do these fifteen bullet points and they're expected to have three to five years of marketing experience under their belt, and then the salary is like k like no, at a minimum anyone, especially a marketer, who has three hundred and twenty five experience. And it's usually like, I love when they put three to five years of proven experience or proven track record of of results. And anybody with three to five years of proven track record of results is making six figures, I guarantee you. So like it, just like the salary to experience ranges. That's probably the most laughable to me. HMM. It's so interesting too, because then you'll see, let's say your entry level, entry level can sometimes also be and like my wife's going through this right now, not in marketing but more on the UXUI side, where she's seeing like she's entry level, but then they say three to five years experience needed, and I just like, I s laughable. It's see how that's not entry level. So how can you post that in in your job posting? I think this one is so true on the other side too. If you have a proven track record and you're looking this over going, there's not a chance I'm going to come in and low ball myself in and like who is, I guess, like my myself and in the perspective of the company, and for sure like trying. It's so aspirational. You're like, I want to find the perfect marketer for the littlest amount of money possible, and that's a red flag to me that the company doesn't want to come in higher and just give from the beginning. Like what you you know what you're worth. How do you go about like having those negotiation conversations, because sometimes you'll...

...find a company you're really interested in right, but maybe the salary isn't what you want and you'd rather have a conversation than just go okay, red flag. I'm moving on completely. Maybe they're not off as much as like that. Sixty five grand is their offer. Yeah, for sure. I think that if it's a company really want, definitely go in and honestly, maybe you could either just attach it with your resume. If they're asking for a ridiculous amount of information, like a cover letter and all that stuff, like just send them your resume and say hey, is a salary negotiable? Because it's a little bit too low for me. But I think my experience and my track record of success is a good fit for this job. I think any hiring manager worth their salt is going to have that kind of conversation with you. But I would like to touch on what you said, like putting you yourself in the mindset of these companies. Like I've done that before too, and I can picture the argument they're having because when I was in house at the manufacturing company, I was on a hiring committee for like for admin rolls or like entry level rolls, and I get what they're doing. With the experience, like the years of experience, they're kind of disincentivizing anyone with not enough experience, and I get that. I understand they want somebody who's been in an office roll before or like had a job like I understand that. But you're also for sure driving away the best marketers and even the marketers who actually have the this level of experience. So, like I said, I fit that bill and I'd read that and just laugh and move on. What's the better way that they could word it? Like what if you were writing it taking into consideration where they're coming from? Any tips there or the way that you would do it now? Yeah, absolutely, I think it'll vary on the company this is how I approached it with my leader, who wanted, you know, I think three to five years is just etched and so many people's mind that it's almost just a like one of those giveaways, right, but I think it's also worth stepping back and asking why. So why do you feel like we need three to five years of experience? And the answer might be different for every company. So in the case of my former leader, it was I just want someone who's had experience in an office before, which totally understand. So we doesn't want someone who's just graduated college or, you know, maybe this is their first job after waitressing or something like that. Right, so I understand that. So say that I just want someone with six months of office experience. You know, take out the three to five years and like make it realistic and ask yourself why you're asking for this. Yep, that the clear and concise nature is actually embedded in both of these. It goes back to really what we're driving at with the first one, and it's funny because we're about to talk the third one is like big, warm buttery statements, and it fits in this same category to because ultimately what it is is it's language. Being used in ways where we're not really clear, and if we could just get hyper clear, we could probably make it five bullet points. We could definitely say exactly what we need. But it's going to take a little bit more time to gain that clarity and that would change your language for salary to experience level, instead of copying and pasting what you see so often posted another job postings and just saying, all right, we'll just do the same thing and and then, like hoping for the results, get the third one, big warm buttery statements. Give me an example of how you see this play out. What do you see people getting wrong when it comes to the this statements they use? Yeah, so I call this the butter alert. This is whenever I post these. This is like I put it with like the big, you know, traffic signal. Hey, butter alert right here. These are never a good thing. It almost always means a low respect job with crappy pay. If you want to challenge my assumptions there, please do, and if it's wrong, then send me a DM because I would love to hear about it. So...

I'll give you an example of what this means. So I tore down a job posting recently for an e business marketing manager, and the butter statement for this one was this is where our e business professionals come into their own. They are industry experts on emerging technology. So big red flag here is like they're like telling you what you are, which is kind of weird and a way I've that's probably the biggest thing I've seen. Another one, this was for a copywriter. This is like probably my favorite one. So the first job of a copywriter is to have ideas, to see the world in a new way and to share that unique vision with consumers through writing. So like these just giant like statements that are just like, Oh, you are so special, you're going to be so important to us, and how can we get you to work for FIFTYZERO dollars a year? Yep, Yep. It's so interesting. Like even in that language it feels very copy pasted, like we are looking up almost like a very general blog post about what maybe copywriters do. We took the little like description and we just threw it in there as now part of what you're going to do. I wonder, like, as you've done this, you see the language like more often than not be this way for entry level jobs and as they go up, because, like entry level, two couldn't can sometimes be catchall or so what have you seen? Like more clarity on higher positions and less on lower or how does that play out? Yeah, usually that's very true. So those, especially the midlevel, the midlevel positions, just get railed on these job postings. Like I feel like in a way entry level are at least a little bit better expectations. But Man, those midlevel job postings are just so convoluted, like to your point, no concise statements, no clarity, just very catch all bullet points and like these big buttery statements. So yeah, from what I've seen, anything like VP level or above are usually incredibly concise and incredibly clear, like I would know exactly what I was going to be doing if I applied for that job. But also is the move to write from like practitioner into more of a leadership role, where sometimes it's easier to write out like leadership statements than it is to say here's what your daytoday is going to look like in this mid or entry level role where you're going to be hyper in the weeds on certain things. So I understand, but again, man, more of a need to provide clarity for those that are coming into those roles, because if you can do that from the outset, you also set your team up to win so much better because the person's coming in knowing exactly what to expect. And that's the part of this where we've all ended up, probably, or a lot of our listeners and rolls, where you're like, Oh, I thought I'd be doing this, but like it wasn't. I guess we never really talked about it and I kind of like, this is what I did at my last company or this is what I was good at there, you know, and then you get into an you're like, oh, just so different. It's like I'm so having that clarity or from the outset. I think that's the most important part of the work you're doing with these and that takes us home right here. That's the fourth one. Lack of clarity around strategy. And yes, if you have this problem, you gotta be hiring a leader to then take on the strategy, but talk a bit about how you see this playing out. Yeah, so you totally nailed it. That was perfect kind of summary of it. If you are posting these big long, unclear job postings for mid or entry level rolls. What I see, and what I'm trying to get other marketers to see, is...

...that company has no idea what they need from marketing. So they're just throwing everything they've ever heard about marketing into a giant bucket and hoping you come out doing something. So what you need here, then, is to really look at some companies in their job posting will tell you who you'll be reporting to. If you are not reporting directly to a marketing leader your that's probably your red flag. That's probably a red flag that they don't really have a marketing strategy. So that's number one and, like you know, I've got a lot of flak for that. Like how do you feel, because you're more on the SAS side than I am. I'm an industrial and manufacturing so they don't really have a lot of marketing leaders. So what we tell a lot of these companies is, Hey, if you're getting serious about building an internal marketing team, you need to make serious investment and marketing leadership. I yeah, I mean having that person that then can lead the team has some leadership experience. Dunes, even if you sit within like a revenue type team, or if you have some sort of combination department, that's fine, but having someone that's really owning marketing so that as you move forward, like the next few hires are informed by somebody, even if that somebody reports to somebuddy that doesn't have the same marketing brain that becomes absolutely usual and I could see, I could see where you're at in your world. This definitely with the marketing conversation is different, I think outside of Sass as well. So, and these are a fun for I'm definitely coming to you anytime I want to apply for a job in the future. Of like, is this a good idea or idea? These red flags at work and I don't see. I'm okading. You're able to spot this. Yeah, so you're seeing so many of these. Okay, Oh yeah, let me ask you this as we start to wrap up, if you could give any advice to the to those that are responsible for hiring for the job writing, you know, job creation, what would it be? What would you tell them to focus on as we leave this episode? Yeah, so, I mean I think we've given some really good paths, some really good paths forward for people who want to write these job postings and want to build out that internal marketing function. I think the only thing we didn't really touch on in depth. When someone leaves and a position opens up, look at this as an opportunity to really assess your current needs. So what I see is a lot of companies have a marketing roll or a sales roll or some midlevel entry level roll open up because someone resigns or finds a new job or retires, and the immediate instinct is just fill that role, like let's go out and fill the role that we just lost. But Hey, take a step back and ask did we really need that marketing specialist? Did we really need that general marketing data analyst, or would we be better served at maybe looking at our one to three year goals and digging deep on how we picture our team and our company getting there? Because then I think those opportunities really open themselves up. Do we need more content, so do I need to actually hire like a really good copywriter? Do we need more video, so do I need to invest in a freelance videographer? How can I use this budget that I have, this giant budget set that just opened up, and really help us like get those one to three year goals? I love that and I think that is so true, how easy it is to copy and paste, like if we lose this role, we should just hire for the same instead of thinking strategically about that. was great to hire four before and now we might be in a position where there could be something that would suit us better, and so thinking through it that way help so much and you've given away great tips as well, obviously, for those that are in the job search right now, what to be thinking about, what to be focused on. Mary, thank you for spending...

...time with us on B to be gross, for sharing this, for breaking it down for people that want to see these posts. Actually you can go to Mary's Linkedin and we have that linked in our show notes. But anything else you want to plug? Tell US maybe a little bit more about grilla seventy six and ways we can check you guys out. Yeah, yeah, please. So, Girl of seventy six is an agency, full service demand Generation Agency for midsize be to be American industrial manufacturers. I know that's a big mouthful, but if you want to see some of the stuff that we're doing, really encourage you to go on our website, grilla seventy sixcom, and if you go to the events tab. We do a by monthly event called Industrial Marketing Live, where we just cover a topic and open it up to a community and hear about the struggles and successes of people in our industry. So a lot of marketing specialist, directors of marketing marketing managers in industrial companies just talking about what they do and who they help and how we can help them kind of reach their goals. It's really it's really fun. Love that. Thanks for sharing. Thank you for taking time to be with us today and we really appreciate it for our listeners. If you have yet to follow the show on whatever your favorite podcast platform is, be sure to do that. You can connect with me as well over on Linkedin. Just Search Benjie Block and we will be back real soon with a other conversation. Mary, thanks again for stopping by. Heck things bend. I appreciate it. For B Tob Marketing leaders, it can sometimes feel like you're on an island. Now more than ever, it's important for us to be connected with our peers enter marketing squad. It's the sweet fish take on community and it offers be tob marketing leaders an opportunity to share and grow learn more by reaching out to our community manager, Diana Mitchell, at Diana dot Mitchell at sweet fish Mediacom.

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