Community Outreach · Marketing

How to find out-of-the-box thinkers for marketing-cofounder role?

Bryan Riester Economy, Process, Design

Last updated on August 19th, 2018

*EDIT* I'm looking for links or references to any specific environment in which someone has found success in recruitment of marketing personnel :D

I've built a tasking platform with some unique features. Our mission is to provide the marketplace/platform for a smooth transition between today's economy and the automated economy of the future. I'm looking for a marketing co-founder to shine a light on our offering, and here's the problem I hope someone can advise me with:

Tasking platforms aren't traditional. It's a B2B paradigm in a C2C market. Traditionally-thinking marketers I've interviewed so far have a pretty specific box to think within, and that's a perfect framework for startups that make soap or beer or social networks... things that speak to a specific consumption need. Yet they aren't so illuminating in terms of an employment service.

I'm curious if anyone here has had experience launching a startup that's sat on the cutting-edge of the market's mindset - neither 'completely new' (we have competition in certain niche markets) nor 'tried-and-true' (everything we're doing wasn't possible 10 years ago.) Where have you gone to find such people and had success? Please advise!

David M

August 16th, 2018

Bryan, I would say to cut to the chase. What is the need you see? How does what you are doing provide an opportunity for the end user to meet that need and its/his/hers. From there, go directly to the people who have the need. If it is business to business, get a direct line with the CEO's. Start there and build into the customers. I have a colleague who manages assets for one of the wealthiest families in the world. One of his many businesses he oversees is where he places execs with businesses....people who can get a job done for a company that has a need. He does not use email and prides himself on this, which is also one reason he has great relationships because he believes in face to face and picking up the phone. Once when I was asking him about someone, he went over to a color coded binder and went through it for a name and number. A guy who prides himself in speaking plain and simple and getting done what needs to get done. Point being...what you say above is not clear and to the point. Speak in terms that anyone can understand. Who has a need, what is it? You mention does that play into it? Give an example. If you want someone who will look outside the box, you can't look to traditional MBA types and career marketing people. My guess is you need strategy people who could care less about whether a task fits into economic, finance, marketing, or operations...but rather look at the problem with all encompassing competence...what gets the job done. Unfortunately very few people including even some entrepreneurs get a well rounded competence. So if you reach out to a traditional marketing person who has been assigned creation of marketing campaigns for 20 years but has never had to fill the shoes of idea creation and execution, or interweaving creative finance into the overall process, or create an operating budget…its entrepreneurship right..everything interweaves. My two cents.

Bryan Riester Economy, Process, Design

August 16th, 2018

David, thanks for your response :D You're starting to pick up the problem I'm solving right now - where does one post one's cut-to-the-chase? I have no problem articulating our business model, and have marketing collateral to use as reference. Doing so here is against the rules on this forum. (I can post a question with a discrete answer, but I can't post a direct attempt at recruitment, per CoFounder's use policy.)

In any case, you're hitting on why I'm asking. General competence is indeed rare. I'm happy to put in the legwork to find a person, and one segment of that legwork is scouting out venues to search.

What I'm doing right now:

  • Attending in-person meetup events and talking to as many people as will bend their ears.
  • Combing CoFoundersLab for marketing professionals looking to take on a new project.
  • Mining LinkedIn contacts.

Got any other venues you'd like to share?

Tina Wefer Product, Growth, Scalability & Execution in Software & Services, Kellogg MBA, Pragmatic Certified

August 16th, 2018

Bryan, is there a similar product or market that you could look to, to recruit candidates? It sounds like you're talking about creating a market where the prospect has a comparison point of a similar solution that you can point to, but educate as to how you're different and better. The examples you give in your last paragraph - neither 'completely new' (we have competition in certain niche markets) nor 'tried-and-true' (everything we're doing wasn't possible 10 years ago - aren't uncommon. If you look at similar types of solutions or situations of creating a market, you can target people who have worked in those companies.