Characteristics These Seattle Marketing Experts Have That VCs Want

I was recently contacted by to do a write-up of an article that I liked titled " What VCs Want in a Marketing Exec". I thought of tweaking this piece to highlight some marketing experts in my network.

Basically the article talks about the characteristics VCs look for when recruiting a marketing executive for a tech startup in their portfolio. Great read to get a head start in understanding what is expected of a marketing leader in a VC-backed startup.

The ideal marketing candidate VCs want:

Speaks in Metrics like Doug Wheeler

Even thought marketing is a creative field, it has to delivery business results that drive sales or cut costs. VCs want someone who can explain them how their money is being used and how is it helping their company grow. If you can't explain that - don't go play golf with them.

Tells Stories like Rand Fishkin

VCs want a candidate who is ready to quickly communicate how the company's offerings solve the customer's pain. They want to see that you have successfully told stories for other companies in the past and may even test your 30 second elevator pitch skills before you know it.

Candidates who showcase this characteristic can effectively attract and engage their audience. They listen and respond with amazing presentations, and usually are industry evangelists.  

Is Well Connected like Shauna Causey

VCs like candidates who are positioning themselves as industry leaders and can drive attention to their companies.

Candidates who understand the power of social media are growing their networks as a habit and building new relationships as a ritual. Be social and build a quality network, and the VCs will pay for the tab next time you go out for a drink.

Knows Modern Marketing like Eric Layland

VCs like marketers who are well versed with new inbound marketing practices and used to working with marketing automation software because they are most likely to be able to tie in marketing activities to a return of investment. 

If your are still stuck in traditional marketing land, VCs will be wondering why you are even thinking of doing marketing for a tech startup in 2012.

Has C-Suite References like Andy Karuza

Candidates who have CEO or VP of Sales approval get a half smile from VCs.  These type of references are considered valuable because ultimately these c-suite individuals are in the best position to judge if the candidate can drive real tangible results.

Perhaps this is a good time to hit that CEO or VP of Sales in your LinkedIn network and ask for a recommendation ;)

I think in general these characteristics are valuable to any field dealing with people who are in business to win big. This is why being a well-connected data driven professional is key for people looking for a career breakthrough.