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13 || September || 2023

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Issue #40

Should marketers
wear many hats?

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Greetings ET people 🖖🏾

We’re back with new episodes of Entering Tech Shorts. 

In this week’s edition, Uchechukwu Azubuko, frontend engineer at OneLiquidity tells you what you need to know about getting started with frontend engineering.

If you missed the last season, take a peek here.

by Timi Odueso & Faith Omoniyi.

Tech trivia

Some tech trivia to get the brain juices flowing.

  • What is the recommended character limit for a meta description tag in search engine optimization (SEO)?
  • According to the Pareto Principle, what percentage of a company’s customers typically generate 80% of its revenue?

A “marketer” of all trades

In August, Milton Tutu, Chief Marketing Officer at Selar sparked conversations about how marketing talents take on multiple roles in tech startups and were often undercompensated.

As expected, responses began to flood in under Tutu’s tweet, and the discussion rapidly spun into a debate between startup founders and marketing talents. While some argued that a startup’s budget might be a limiting factor to hiring sufficient marketing talents, others argued that marketing talents were not as important as product builders like software engineers—because you know, all products sell themselves.

“I think people should learn how to stick to their budget. If your budget can only hire a social media manager then stick to that,” Tutu tweeted

“Milton, have you seen the economy?” tweeted Jude Dike, CEO of GetEquity. 

While Dike’s counter comment might blame the country’s stringent economy as a cover for not employing sufficient marketing talents, Tutu argues that it is not an adequate excuse. “Chief, is it only with marketing talents we look at the economy? What about engineers and product designers (technical talents)? Why don’t we hire one technical talent to do 3–4 different roles? “Stick to your budget and hire what you can afford. If it’s only a social media manager you can afford as a start, hire that and don’t try to give you a social media manager.” 

Reading through the comments under Tutu’s thread, another tweet popped up: 

It appears as though people are conflating different social media roles. 

So let’s get into it. What are the different roles under marketing and who should be responsible for what?

The many hats of marketing

What marketers think

While the conversation on twitter took several turns, with several founders arguing against the motion, today’s #EnteringTech edition looks at the dynamics from the lens of content marketing leads. They give their best advice on what should be the norm and best practices in the marketing space.

“Many early stage startup founders do not understand that content and marketing are different skills,” said Ama Udofa, content marketing lead at Vendease. “They are focused on sales. They don’t really understand that they are different skills. A lot of them don’t understand that building a content engine is long-term play; it’s about building the foundations, it’s about building the community, it’s about building an infrastructure for information so that as you grow and scale, your new users have a bank of information. Many of them are just focused on sales.” 

Image source: Zikoko Memes

Damilare Fakorede, partner and brand and marketing at GrowthMax Africa is of the opinion that startups should have two marketing talents: a head of marketing and a community manager. The Head of Marketing would oversee a startup’s overall marketing strategy and direction, coordinate with other departments to align marketing efforts with business goals, and handle high-level decision-making for marketing campaigns. 

While the community manager on the other end should be someone skilled at building an engaged customer community deploying content that resonates with the startup’s core audience. This unique combo will drive a startup’s growth efficiently in the short and medium term.

Mibiola Ifeoluwa, content lead at BrandEye, is of the opinion that handling multiple roles makes a startup’s marketing less efficient and overwhelms the talent. “One person should not handle more than three roles, especially based on expertise and based on the person’s strength,” she said. Micheal Inioluwa, marketing lead at Cowrywise agrees with this sentiment, “While starting small and working within their budget is understandable, startups should manage talent expectations and know that there’s a limit to how much deep work a marketer can do if they have to juggle five roles at the same time.” 

Image source: YungNollywood

While Ama acknowledges that a startups budget might be an hindering factor to employee multiple marketing talents, he says that a startup should hire a generalists who can handle multiple tasks and be compensated duly. “If you’re going to hire one person to do three people’s jobs, I think you should pay three people’s salary,” he said. Damilare believes that there is talent for every budget and that the goal of every startup will be to find the best talent that matches the startup’s budget.

In the next edition of #EnteringTech, we will bring you perspective from startup’s CEOs to understand how they are thinking about the subject matter. 

Tell us how we’re doing

We’re always telling you what to do. It’s time to return the favour and teach us instead.

Fill our survey and let us know what you think

Ask a techie

Q. I am a UX designer and a product designer. I recently started a UX course on Coursera and currently. When is the right time to start applying for internships and how should I position myself? I am already working on my portfolio and would love to know how best to put myself out to hiring managers for internship roles.

Here are some tips on how to position yourself effectively for an internship:

  • Start early. The timing for applying for internships can vary, but it’s generally a good idea to start thinking about them early, especially if you’re still in the early stages of your course. 
  • Develop a strong portfolio. Your portfolio is your calling card, so make sure it showcases your best work. Include case studies, wireframes, prototypes, and other projects that demonstrate your design process and problem-solving skills.
  • Network with professionals. Attend design meetups, conferences, and workshops, and connect with professionals on LinkedIn. These connections can help you learn about internship opportunities, get advice, and even land a job.
  • Create a strong online presence. Your online presence is a great way to showcase your work and connect with potential employers. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and highlights your skills and experience. You can also create a personal website or blog to share your design work and thoughts.
  • Tailor your applications. When you apply for internships, take the time to tailor your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to each specific position. This shows that you’re interested in the opportunity and that you’ve taken the time to research the company.

Be prepared to learn. Internships are all about learning and development. Be prepared to take on new challenges and be open to feedback. Show employers that you’re eager to learn and that you’re willing to put in the work. The internship search can be competitive, but it’s important to stay positive and persistent. Keep refining your skills, expanding your knowledge, and building connections within the industry. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be sure to land your dream internship.

That’s all we can take this week. Have any questions about working in tech? Ask away and we’ll find answers for you.👇🏾

Ask a question

Tech trivia answers

  • The recommended character limit for a meta description tag in SEO is typically around 155-160 characters.
  • The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 20% of a company’s customers generate 80% of its revenue.
  • Opportunities

    • Jamit is excited to announce the Hear My Voice podcast storytelling contest, in partnership with Focusrite. Contestants are to record and submit an original podcast entry centered around one or more themes: Black love, joy, bloodlines, sisterhood, friendship and community. The first-place winner will be awarded $500 and the Vocaster Two Studio podcast equipment sponsored by Focusrite. Apply by October 1.

    • If you are an aspiring economist entering your first year of undergraduate studies in the 2024 academic year, the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB)  Economic Research Department in collaboration with the SARB Academy, invites you to apply for competitive SARB bursaries in the field of economics, economics and econometrics, economics and mathematical statistics and economic science. Apply by September 30.

    • Calling all emerging conservation photographers and storytellers! Applications are open for the Ocean Storytelling Photography Grant 2023($2,000 prize). Four successful grantees will receive a fully-funded assignment to choose a conservation photo story on location (including day rate and travel), under direct mentorship from the Ocean Storytelling Grant team. Apply by October 13.


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