Some founders believe that marketing talents should wear many hats.

27 || September || 2023

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Issue #41

Founders say marketers
should wear many hats

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Greetings ET people 🖖🏾

Before we get into this week’s edition, which is the second part of a series, I need to ask a favour. 

We’re always telling you what to do. It’s time to return the favour and teach us instead. Could you take a few minutes to fill our survey?

We’d like to know what you think and how we can improve. 

Now, onto to today’s edition where founders tell us why marketing talents should do more than they’re paid for at work. 

by Timi Odueso & Faith Omoniyi.

Tech trivia

Some tech trivia to get the brain juices flowing.

  • What does “AIDA” , which represents the stages of consumer engagement in marketing, mean?
  • In email marketing, what is the average open rate percentage for a well-performing email campaign?

A quick recap

In the last edition of #EnteringTech🚀, we spoke to different marketers and got their perspectives about how marketing talents take on multiple roles in tech startups, and are often under-compensated. While the marketers suggested workarounds to budgetary constraints in hiring marketing talents, several others advocated that marketers should be compensated duly for their efforts. 

In today’s edition, startup founders are pitching in. All of the CEOs we spoke to all agree that marketing talents are an integral part of their startup’s growth, however, several limitations remain. 

What founders think

Olamide Olayinka, CEO of Kashbase, believes that it is nearly unavoidable for a marketing talent to take up multiple roles in a startup setting. Olayinka cited a startup’s lean structure and tight budget as a cause. 

Babatunde Akin-Moses, CEO of Sycamore sides with Olayinka on this view. “For most growing companies and startups, it will be hard to have one person simply dedicated to content building. Usually, the person will handle social media, and a bit of digital marketing too.”

Anthony Itaigbe of Izesan believes that it is important for content marketers to wear multiple hats due to the importance of their job in painting a picture of what a startup represents to the public. Itaigbe is of the opinion that content marketers should take on whatever form that helps drive home a startup’s message to the public.

Olamide Olayinka, Babatunde Akin-Moses, and Anthony Itaigbe

Several founders agreed that budget is indeed a limiting factor when hiring marketing talents. However, according to the founders, having a workaround is important. For Akin-Moses of Sycamore, his workaround involves taking a chance on someone with less experience, or employing a marketing talent that fits within his budget. 

For Olamide, it’s freelancers to the rescue. According to him, while budget might be a restriction, Kashbase does not compromise on marketing strengths. To navigate work that requires a marketing expert, the startup hires freelancers or marketing experts on a part-time basis.

The pros and cons of many hats

Having a marketing talent handle multiple operations has both advantages and disadvantages. According to Akin-Moses, some of the advantages include cost savings, better alignment and speed. Olayinka believes that one benefit this offers is that if a startup hires a great marketing talent they could help establish a framework. “If your initial hire is a great fit, they can help establish a solid foundation for the team. For instance, when we had to define our brand’s personality, tone of voice, go-to-market strategy, and overall brand essence, it was more manageable because we were a small team; one person led the conversation and everyone had something to contribute and the alignment was quick. When new intakes come on board, they could seamlessly fit in, into the existing framework.”

On the flip side, marketers who spoke to us in the previous edition attest to the fact that having one marketing talent take on multiple roles could easily wear out the person and affect their level of output.” Akin-Moses agrees, “The challenges are the possibility of burnout and not having specialised output since one person is doing many things.”

All of the founders we spoke to all agree that having marketing talents wear multiple hats in startups is inevitable. While this may wear out the marketing talent, some founders suggested some workarounds to help alleviate the stress off the marketing talents while helping them manage their tasks effectively.

Olayinka believes to curb the fatigue that arises from one person handling multiple tasks is to have a clear plan for expanding the team. “If you start with one person handling everything, it’s important to plan for expanding the team to enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and ease the workload.”

For Otaigbe, the workaround involves striking a delicate balance. “There should be some dynamism, you don’t have to wear multiple hats all the time, it could be a temporary thing. But there is value and dedication, so it’s important for marketing talents to find a delicate balance,” he said.

From the various conversations we’ve had with both founders and marketers, having marketing talents take on multiple roles in startups is inevitable. Due to a startup lean structure, founders have resulted in hiring generalists within their budget who have a grasp of multiple marketing skills. However, a careful line needs to be drawn between burdening marketers with too many tasks and undercompensating them. 

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Ask a techie

Q. As an accountant, how can I stay relevant in the tech space? Are there courses I should take? What specialization do you think I should go for?

Great question. To stay relevant in the tech space as an accountant, you can take several steps, including pursuing specific courses and considering relevant specializations. Here are some recommendations:

  • Learn Data Analytics and Data Visualization: Data analytics is becoming increasingly important in accounting. Consider taking courses in data analysis using tools like Microsoft Excel, SQL, and data visualization tools like Tableau or Power BI. Understanding data analytics can help you extract valuable insights from financial data.

  • Try Programming and Automation: Learning programming languages like Python can be highly beneficial. Python is widely used in finance and accounting for tasks such as automation, data manipulation, and analysis. Understanding how to write scripts and automate repetitive tasks can make you more efficient.

In terms of certifications, consider pursuing certifications that are relevant to both accounting and technology. This includes Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Data Analyst (CDA), Certified Blockchain Professional (CBP), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a focus on technology or information systems.

Remember that the specific courses and specializations you choose should align with your interests and career goals. The tech space offers a wide range of opportunities for accountants to leverage their skills and contribute to the digital transformation of finance and accounting functions.

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 AIDA model typically uses four colors, representing Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
  • The average open rate for a well-performing email campaign is around 20-25%.
  • 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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    Faith Omoniyi Reporter
    Timi Odueso Senior Editor, Newsletters

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