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Hiring An In-House Digital Advertiser? Look For These Traits And Skills

Written by: Carolyn Berk, Content Marketing Associate

Once you’ve decided that the benefits of in-house advertising outweigh the challenges, your next step is to hire a growth marketer (or three). The stakes are high, since talented in-house digital advertisers can drive serious revenue for your business through customer acquisition and retention campaigns.

While there’s no exact blueprint for what makes a good in-house advertiser, there are indicators that a particular candidate will be successful at maintaining KPIs and achieving scale over the long-term. Based on conversations Nanigans has had with the all-star digital advertisers that use our software, here’s what hiring managers should keep in mind:

What An In-House Advertiser Does

In-house advertiser -hiring in-house advertise
The job description of an in-house digital advertiser can be very dynamic based on your company’s size and goals. The person in this role may spend their day syncing with sales to share successful selling tactics, crunching numbers to extract performance insights, identifying technology solutions to reduce friction in the marketing funnel, or ensuring that advertising efforts align with your company’s brand marketing and collaborating on new creative strategies to improve performance.

Regardless of their day-to-day tasks, the following are common core duties of an in-house digital advertiser:

  • Seeking and testing new advertising opportunities
  • Analyzing performance metrics
  • Iterating on top performing creative
  • Measuring key performance indicators
  • Pacing against monthly goals

What To Look For In An In-House Advertiser

A great in-house advertiser can come from pretty much anywhere. They may have more of a traditional background like paid search, display advertising, email marketing, media planning or buying. They may a more outside-the-box background, such as investment banking, computer science, management consulting, graphic design or a position involving customer relations.

Even if a particular candidate has not worked in advertising or used advertising automation software previously, training programs such as Nanigans University can quickly get them up to speed. Most importantly, an ideal in-house marketer will have a creative mind and a passion for experimentation.

What makes a great in-house advertiser

This natural propensity can sometimes be more crucial to the role than an educational background in data or statistics. It’s also important to vet candidates for the following traits:

  1. Hypothesis-driven testing: In-house marketers are constantly asking, “What would happen if…” and using analytics as a magic 8-ball.
  2. Tenacity: Once data has revealed whether a campaign is a dud, what’s the new approach? If it is successful, what does iteration on similar themes and audiences look like?
  3. A drive for hitting goals: This is nearly impossible to train; it requires someone that enjoys numbers and never-ending challenges.
  4. Creativity: Testing only works if there are plenty of variables to play with, and sometimes outside the box ideas lead to the best-performing campaigns.
  5. Empathy: A fascination with consumer behavior and recognition that real people are behind the numbers is key.
  6. Passion: Digital growth professionals love getting the big-picture view of the advertising industry by reading related publications and comparing notes with fellow growth marketers. This approach allows them to receive inspiration and avoid creative isolation.
  7. Collaborative skills: In-house marketers don’t exist in a silo; the best constantly sync their efforts with outside team members to ensure branding unification and alignment of business goals.

How To Vet An In-House Advertising Candidate

In-house advertiser -hiring in-house advertiseWhen you’re first scanning the resumes and cover letters of candidates, keep an eye out for words and phrases such as:

  • A/B testing
  • ad exchange
  • ad servers
  • direct response
  • display
  • new user revenue
  • performance
  • programmatic
  • retargeting
  • user acquisition

Also be aware of non-traditional keywords such as:

  • business development
  • digital
  • economics
  • finance
  • project management
  • strategy
  • technology

When first talking with candidates

Make sure they have experience managing projects or campaigns and have the ability to adhere to a budget or other limitations. Also inquire if they have previous success measuring and meeting business goals and possess the creative and analytical ability to maximize resources.

While interviewing a candidate

Request that they bring a set of data from a project they’ve worked on before. Ask them about the project, what their hypothesis was, and the results. If the test did not return expected results, how did they adjust their strategy? If it was successful, how did they scale that success?

Interviewing an in-house advertising candidate

Another helpful tactic for vetting candidates is to give them a take-home assignment asking them to prepare a direct response ad campaign launch plan for a hypothetical company.

Ask them to consider factors such as how they would structure the campaign, which ad types they would leverage, how they would approach creative, what metrics they would track, how they would allocate budget and what they would do to optimize performance throughout the course of the campaign.

An assignment like this will provide you with insights into their thought process and also give you a preview of how they would perform if you were to hire them.

eBook: Recruiting In-House Digital Advertising Talent

Demand for data-driven marketers is on the rise. This guide offers concrete insights and practical tips on attracting and retaining the best advertising talent.

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