Go to Market: mid-year update


Market Trends

The Go to Market team at Robert Walters San Francisco (split into Go To Market, Enterprise and Go To Market, Consumer) continues to focus on placing leadership positions in a range of companies from Series A startups to publicly traded tech giants. This quarter, we developed partnerships with several later-stage pre-IPO companies as well, which means we now have a much wider pool of searches that we’re bringing to market. 

On the Consumer side, we have seen an increase in early stage businesses investing in talent across brand & product marketing. With the consumer start-up landscape becoming ever more competitive, companies are realizing the need to differentiate themselves at a much earlier stage. Consumer businesses have historically focused on bringing growth talent into their organizations to drive optimized revenue and acquire customers immediately. However, over the last 6 months start-ups have begun to realize the importance of ensuring their brand positioning and messaging is defined early on in order to capture full market share. This has led to an increased need for early stage consumer brand and product marketing talent, a skillset historically saved for later stage businesses.

On the Enterprise side, we are seeing the same influx in corporate marketing oriented roles, particularly in senior level Brand Marketing and Communication roles.There has been a definite shift, especially in early stage, product-driven organizations, where marketing has shed its reputation as a “service role”. We have seen marketing teams at startups become much more aligned with product, with a seat at the table and the ability to influence strategic decisions that ultimately impact the future of the business and product.

Hiring Trends

The easiest way to lose top marketing candidates is with a slow recruitment process. We have had much more success in our searches where candidates are moved expeditiously through the interview process, without much time between interviews. This is the nature of a candidate driven market, also a sign that confidence in the market is high, so many more individuals are open to new conversations and the possibility of moving jobs.

Consumer businesses are continuing to favor analytical marketing talent. Companies are increasingly interested in marketers with prior careers in finance, data science or analytics due to the quantitative nature of their prior training and the approach this enables them with performance marketing. These types of marketers are front line revenue drivers for start-ups at their most crucial stages of growth. 

Remote working is on the tip of everyone’s tongue this quarter, especially among clients who are seeking incentives to attract top marketing talent. Marketing roles are especially well-suited for remote work, as cross functional communication can take place digitally, without compromising the quality of work.

As a result of the law banning salary history inquiries (which went into effect January 1st, 2018), we’ve noticed a significant increase in salaries for marketing roles. We believe this to be a good thing-- as it enables people to make closer to market rate.

2020 Forecast

We predict that AI and FinTech startups will continue to grow and emerge next quarter and into 2020. We also believe HealthTech, Biotechnology and companies servicing the Autonomous Vehicle industry will see a surge in growth, as they are industries that have larger, more complex regulatory requirements and have yet to be be disrupted. 

We’ve seen a decrease in startups servicing the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality industries, compared to last year, as the area is still going through its infancy. AI as a business technology tool, however, is here to stay.

Offline marketing and brand/product marketing will continue to rise within early stage  businesses. Performance marketing will continue to dominate from a spend perspective, but start-ups will continue to diversify their channel usage.

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