Startup marketing roles [Revised 2024]

Moises Beahan
Talent Manager at HireCMO

Welcome to another one of our spitfire series where we get straight to the point. Our blogs are brief, accurate and precise so you get exactly the information you're looking for.


A marketer is entrusted wiThis article only gives you a high-level idea of the different kinds of roles that a marketer can have. We do not go into detail for each and if you're looking for job descriptions for marketers, then I'll be sure to link them here the moment we have them ready - promise!

th the crucial task of strategizing, implementing, and managing marketing campaigns. These campaigns are aimed at expanding the company's reach and attracting potential customers. And so if you're a recruiter or founder looking for your next senior rockstar marketer, you should totally hit us up because we already spent weeks vetting the best ones out there and we can share some tips on how to hire for your next role! Why waste time scanning through 200 candidates yourself?

Types of marketing roles

Below are short descriptions of each of the different roles that marketers can play in your startup or organization. If you feel any of these definitions can be improved upon, please feel free to get in touch and let us know!

Marketing Manager/Director:

A Marketing Manager/Director is responsible for leading and overseeing the marketing department. They will usually report directly up to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) with a health report of all marketing initiatives underway.

Additionally, they may be (depending on the size/maturity of the marketing team) tasked with developing and implementing strategic marketing plans and campaigns. The Marketing Manager may also be in charge of effective allocation of resources and analyzing the performance of marketing initiatives to make data-driven decisions. Fancy terms. But you get the idea.

Content Marketer/Manager

A Content Marketer/Manager is responsible for creating and managing compelling and relevant content across various platforms, such as blogs, websites, and social media. Basically the Gen Z in your startup posting videos on TikTok. Kidding.

Their main goal is to engage your target audience, build brand awareness, and generate leads (hopefully good ones).

They are responsible for developing content strategies, coordinating content production, optimizing content for search engines, and analyzing content performance over time. Their efficacy at this will depend on their maturity and experience of course.

Also, I've seen instances where the Content Manager will coordinate with external marketing agencies (or freelancers) as well to build out the creatives, distribute the content, etc.

Social Media Manager/Strategist

A Social Media Manager/Strategist is responsible for creating and implementing effective social media strategies to enhance brand visibility, engagement, and reach. Again, fancy wording but the idea is that they're trying to bring in leads through social media channels like Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc.

They oversee social media channels, create and curate compelling content, interact with the community, analyze campaign performance metrics, and stay updated on social media trends. Ideally, they'll foster meaningful connections with your target audience over time.

SEO Specialist

An SEO Specialist plays a very important role in maximizing online visibility and driving organic traffic to your site. It's why we wrote this blog in the first place haha

They (ideally) possess a deep understanding of search engine algorithms and utilize their expertise to do comprehensive keyword research, optimize website structure and content, and implement on-page and off-page SEO strategies. It's funny we're talking about this because we know a Fractional CMO at HireCMO who is absolutely pro at this. Anyway, I digress.

They'll do the research for what keywords/topics your website should write on and whether SEO is even a viable channel given your business and where your ideal customers look for solutions (e.g., your target may be 60 year old moms who don't know how to Google). And then they may write those 200 articles themselves, or just outsource it to marketing agencies such as ours at HireCMO. The scope of this role's work really depends on what you require the most at the time. And your budget of course.

Digital Marketing Specialist

A digital Marketing Specialist is a highly skilled professional who specializes in developing and implementing (you guessed it) digital marketing strategies to drive online brand awareness, customer acquisition, and revenue growth.

This person ideally will possess a deep understanding of various digital marketing channels, including search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and display advertising. Kind of like a generalist imo.

Their key responsibilities generally include conducting market research, developing targeted campaigns, optimizing digital assets, analyzing performance metrics, and continuously refining strategies to maximize ROI and achieve business objectives.

But when you're looking for someone to fill this role, be a bit cautious because it's unlikely that one person will be the best at everything I just mentioned up there (if they are, they're expensive lol). And if they claim to be the jack of all trades, be extra wary and your interviews must go deep. Test them. Give them case studies.

Growth Hacker/Growth Marketer

A Growth Hacker/Growth Marketer is a versatile (you heard me) and data-driven person who focuses on rapid and sustainable user and customer acquisition, retention, and revenue growth.

They use a combination of creative marketing strategies, experimentation, and analytical skills to identify and optimize growth opportunities across various channels.

Their responsibilities include conducting user research, optimizing conversion funnels, implementing viral marketing tactics, leveraging data analytics to identify growth drivers, and collaborating with cross-functional teams. Wow that's a mouthful.

This is my most favourable role of them all. It sounds the most "creative" and whoever heads this role is tasked with finding non-intuitive ways to increase demand generation. Isn't that super fun?

Product Marketing Manager

A Product Marketing Manager is a strategic role responsible for driving the success of a company's products or services in the market. They ideally possess a deep understanding of the target market, customer needs, and competitive landscape which would require a finger on the pulse and consistent user interviews.

Their key responsibilities include conducting market research, developing product positioning and messaging, creating go-to-market strategies, collaborating with cross-functional teams to support product launches, enabling the sales team with effective sales collateral, and analyzing market trends and customer feedback to inform product development and marketing strategies.

This will be one  of the more collaborative roles within your organization.

Email Marketing Specialist

This person can single-handedly make brands love or hate you. They gain the right to your customers/prospects' inbox once a week or month. And the excitement these emails draw, will determine how much people get happy coming across your brand over and over again.

An Email Marketing Specialist specializes in developing and executing effective email marketing campaigns to engage and nurture leads, retain customers, and drive conversions. They're basically the ones who keep reminding your prospects/customers about how great your brand is.

Their key responsibilities include creating engaging email content, optimizing email deliverability, managing subscriber lists, analyzing campaign performance metrics, conducting A/B testing, and continuously refining strategies to maximize open rates, click-through rates, and overall campaign effectiveness - and each one of these takes months (if not years) to master.

PR Specialist/Manager

Based on my experience, smaller startups don't have this role until they've hit the 8-figure annual revenue mark.

A PR Specialist/Manager is responsible for managing the public image and reputation of your startup. They develop and implement strategic PR campaigns to promote brand awareness, build positive relationships with the media, stakeholders, and the public. And hopefully they do a good job - otherwise your brand's in deep trouble lol.

Their key responsibilities include crafting compelling press releases, coordinating media interviews and events, managing crisis communications, monitoring media coverage, maintaining relationships with journalists and influencers, and analyzing PR campaign effectiveness - again, mostly things to worry about for organizations pulling 8-9 figures in annual revenue.

Data Analyst/Scientist

A Data Analyst/Scientist collects, analyzes (duh), and interprets large volumes of data to derive valuable insights and support data-driven decision making. This brings me back to the day when I realized how heavy DoorDash relies on Engineering and Data Science to drive their growth. I mean, they have an entire website talking about engineering.

Charted: DoorDash is Dominating the Food Delivery Market
DoorDash dominating the U.S. Food Delivery Market (Source)

Not to be too nerdy here, but a good data science team can truly change how and to whom you sell.

They possess strong analytical and statistical skills and utilize various tools and techniques to extract, clean, and transform data which can then be used by your sales, marketing and operations teams. Highly valuable.

Their key responsibilities include designing and implementing data collection processes, conducting exploratory data analysis, building predictive models, performing statistical analysis, visualizing data, and communicating findings to stakeholders.

They play a critical role in uncovering patterns, trends, and opportunities within the data, enabling you to make informed decisions that drive you upwards.


That's it for now. I sincerely hope this article was helpful. I'll be sure to link the job descriptions for each of these roles shortly. And if you want to chat with us about how to hire marketers for your growing startup, give us a shout! :) 

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