While internal marketing has helped us grow fast, it has also introduced a new kind of a challenge:
At a fast growing company like Drift, you can’t afford to get territorial over your job. From day one, you need to accept that every single goal, task and output will be somebody else’s responsibility soon.
As Molly Graham, a former Facebook, Google and Quip exec explained to us at a Lunch & Learn at the Drift HQ in Boston: You need to be ready to replace yourself every 3 to 6 months.
“That is how you get the opportunities that no one should reasonably give to you… If you’re willing to take these enormous leaps, and just be unafraid of what you don’t know and be willing to learn.”
What she means is that your job isn’t yours forever. At any given moment, you need to be ready to let go of your LEGOs and let the other kids (a.k.a. teammates) play.
Because here’s the thing: The kind of hypergrowth we’ve been lucky enough to witness first-hand doesn’t just happen to the company — it must be driven from inside the company. And in reality that means that every employee must be ready to take on new responsibilities and let go of old ones.
That’s why we’ve made it our mission in marketing to learn as fast as we can.
Let’s look at Dave for example. When he joined Drift back in 2015 as a Senior Marketing Manager, he was employee number 10 and the first marketing hire for a company that didn’t even have a product yet. It was his job to define what marketing meant for Drift, and which channels and tactics the new function would consist of — and that meant he had to own everything from blogging to email to SEO to events to PR to paid marketing and more.
But as we grew, Dave grew too. And in the past three years, he’s been asked to replace himself multiple times, hiring writers, video producers, product marketers and many others.
And it’s not just Dave — we’ve seen the same exact thing happen with the other members of our team.
Dan has switched between product marketing, demand generation and then back to product marketing — all within a year. Sara transitioned from being a customer advocate (a support role) to join the marketing team and is now working on the Growth team. Alex has lead our email strategy, co-marketing and now is shifting into channel marketing.
So the bottom line is this: As easy as it is to get sucked into your current role and start manically defending it, the territorial model just doesn’t work in a fast moving environment. Instead, you have to rely on your whole team to help you out and learn to look up and down the organization to execute on your goals.
And in the next play, we’ll explain how we approach hiring new team members when the time comes.
This Won't Scale will show you how in 41 unique marketing plays.
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