Why You Should Hire Developers as Marketers | Ep. #589

In episode #589, Eric and Neil explain why you should hire developers to work as marketers. Tune in to hear why developers are so good at marketing.


  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: Why You Should Hire Developers as Marketers
  • [00:35] Neil think developers are really good at understanding data and making changes.
  • [00:54] They are amazing marketers because they are creative, make changes, and run tests without relying too heavily on others.
  • [01:04] Marketers on the other hand, may have good ideas, but have to figure out how to get them implemented by someone else.
  • [01:26] During Eric’s time at Treehouse, the CTO was a developer who would help him get things done.
  • [01:36] The CTO didn’t know marketing, but learned as he went.
  • [01:52] Engineers/Developers are self-motivated.
  • [02:27] What Neil loves, is that they believe in the “quick and dirty” approach.
  • [02:53] The one danger in hiring developers as marketers, is that they will sometimes run a lot of bad tests and you will lose revenue.
  • [03:22] When you run a test and things go wrong, you will absolutely lose money.
  • [03:52] Make sure that you have an individual contributor and also managers.
  • [04:30] Neil thinks you should be paying $150,000-$200,000 for a good developer who understands marketing.
  • [04:41] It doesn’t make sense for you to hire someone into this position unless you already have a business that is producing millions in revenue and you need more growth.
  • [05:10] You don’t always have to pay a lot for good talent, but those with experience will cost more.
  • [05:25] That’s all for today!
  • [05:28] Go to Singlegrain.com/Giveway for a special marketing tool giveaway!

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The post Why You Should Hire Developers as Marketers | Ep. #589 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: And today, we're going to talk about why you should hire developers as marketers. So Neil, you've been doing this for a long time. I mean, what are your thoughts around this in general?

Neil Patel: Developers are really good at understanding data and they're able to make changes. I was talking with one of my buddies who's a newer friend of mine. His name's David. He used to be a growth engineer/marketer at Facebook and charged a lot of stuff with push notifications and getting people back. Engineers not only can be creative but they're amazing marketers because they can go and do the changes, run the test, and they're not really reliant on too many people within an organization. While, when you have a marketer who's just in charge with the marketing, they may be able to come up with the ideas but they still have to figure out how to get it implemented from design to development, to testing it, to looking at the numbers. And engineers, if they're good and they're smart, which there's a ton out there, you're going to have to pay a premium. Not only can they be creative but they can do everything.

Eric Siu: Yeah, I remember my days ... so I'll give two examples ... my days at Treehouse I had a developer that was the CTO at the time and he actually helped me get things done. And he didn't really know marketing at the time but he learned by working with me eventually. And he eventually just started to coming out with ideas on his own and he started to implement them.

Neil Patel: Yeah.

Eric Siu: Now, I had another buddy who became the CTO of Success Magazine and I taught him a lot while I worked with him on a project there and then I just gave him so many resources, he ate it all up. So you're really looking for people that are kind of self-motivated and they want to continue to get better. Now I have worked with developers in the past that have actually crumbled under the pressure and said, "Eric, my job is to be a developer, I'm not a marketer. I'll never be as good as you, duh, duh, duh, duh, dah" And that's okay, that's their personality but that's when you know you need to go look for someone that's kind of hungry and wants to grow. Because, at the end of the day, developers that are growth oriented, they're down to learn this marketing stuff and it makes your life a lot easier as a marketer/entrepreneur when they understand the lingo and they can come up with ideas on their own. So it takes a lot of the pressure off of you.

Neil Patel: Yeah, and the best part that I love about working with developers who are marketers, they believe in the quick and dirty approach. They'll get things out and they're like, "Oh, I don't want to send that to design. I can figure out just how to whip something up. Who cares if it's ugly, if it works we'll fix it later."

Eric Siu: Yup.

Neil Patel: Such a much better mentality than hiring a marketer who'll be like, "Oh no. It needs to be perfect." Then we've got to send it to development, then they've got to code it up, and let's test it and then it doesn't work.

Eric Siu: Too slow.

Neil Patel: Yeah. It's too slow. But, there's one dangerous part about doing this. When you hire developers who feel like they're in control, kind of like the Treehouse CTO. I'm not saying you had this issue with them, or him, or her. But when you're dealing with the engineer or developer who's also in marketing, sometimes they'll start running a lot of tests that aren't good tests cause they don't have enough experience in marketing and you'll start losing revenue. What people forget about A/B testing is, when you're running a test and things go wrong, you also lose money. That lower converting version lost you revenue for that time period. But everyone always forgets that. They're like, "Oh, yeah, we got this increase." While you're running tests for three months, how much did you lose in those three months for all those other failures?

Eric Siu: Yup. A 100% correct. So I think there needs to be a healthy balance too, right? The developer ... here's the thing. Sometimes their egos will come into play too, so ideally you've got your high end process lockdown. We've talked about hiring in the past in terms of building a great process and also kind of making sure that sometimes you have an individual contributor. And there's nothing wrong with that. There are individual contributors. There are people that are really growth oriented, they just want to get everything done. And then you have the people that are managers too, right?
So you've got to kind of figure out what people excel at and then we can go into things about, you know, personality tests and all that. I'm not going to go into that but, I think it's such a huge boon to have someone who understands marketing to be able to take things off your plate in general. But, in the long run, there are some potential risks as well. The one thing I want to ask you Neil is, if you're paying kind of a typical developer that doesn't know marketing versus someone that does know marketing, what kind of premium do you think you're paying in terms of percentage?

Neil Patel: I don't know premum-wise but I do know for a good engineer who understands marketing, you're going to be paying someone between 150 to 200,000 per year. It doesn't make sense for you to hire someone in this position unless you already have a business that's producing millions of dollars in cashflow, you're profitable and you need more growth.

Eric Siu: Yeah, one of our mutual friends, he said his developers are actually mostly in the Ukraine and these are Google level developers. They're paying them 1500 to three grand a month and they're really high quality. So I'm actually going to check that out. I'm going to Ukraine twice this year and we'll see what we find. But sometimes you might find a couple of diamonds in the rough.

Neil Patel: You could. You don't always have to pay people a lot of money to get amazing talent but I prefer, because speed is everything to me, I'd rather hire people who have experience. And, usually if you want to hire people who've already done this in the past, you're going to be paying somewhere in the six figures.

Eric Siu: Great. So, that's it from us but before we go, go to singlegrain.com/giveaway to check out our daily giveaway and we'll see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here on Marketing School.

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