- Customer acquisition is “the hottest” category in hiring for DTC brands right now.
- With iPhone users now able to opt out of data tracking, brands need new ways to target consumers.
- Hiring managers are looking for candidates who are able to experiment on new platforms and offline.
As 2022 dawns, direct-to-consumer brands are on a hiring spree for talent that can reel in customers and keep them buying after many companies’ customer-acquisition strategies were scrambled in 2021.
Last fall Apple rolled out an update to its iOS 14 software, including the App Tracking Transparency Prompt — a
allowing iPhone users to opt out of data tracking on every app downloaded to their phone.
DTC brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s were able to grow large customer bases within a few years of launch, thanks to affordable targeted-ad campaigns on Facebook. Apple’s iOS software update means DTC brands now have to get more creative about how they market to customers, without relying too heavily on Facebook.
“It’s the hottest category in hiring right now,” said Josh Wand, founder and CEO of ForceBrands, a talent-recruiting agency that focuses on the CPG sector and works with DTC brands.
The roles that companies are hiring for have different titles. Some are called “customer acquisition managers.” Others are “growth marketing directors,” and some companies are on the hunt for a “paid acquisition manager.” The duties are similar, though: They have to find creative new ways of attracting customers.
At ForceBrands, at least seven of every 10 current, open roles are related to customer acquisition, Wand said.
Wand noted that brands will look for customer-acquisition hires with experience at companies that have scaled to the levels that other companies are hoping to achieve.
For instance, a company looking to grow from $10 million in sales to $50 million would likely be interested in a candidate who has experience working with a brand during that phase of growth. If a company were looking to grow from $50 million in sales to $200 million, they’d likely be looking at a different group of candidates.
The right hire for the right phase of growth
At Daily Harvest, customer acquisition and growth marketing is just one area the company is focused on building out this year. The brand is currently hiring for three growth-marketing manager roles focusing on offline paid search and paid social, in addition to creative, data, engineering, and customer care roles, among other categories.
The frozen-meals company is valued at $1.1 billion after its recent fundraising round, announced in November.
“We’re focused on scaling the business in a sustainable way, and part of that is growth marketing,” said Allegra Keith, vice president of strategic planning, talent, and culture in people operations at Daily Harvest.
“A lot of media was consumed last year, so being able to ensure you’re still being competitive in that space is important for all DTC brands,” Keith said.
Jessica Granata, chief marketing officer at Andie, a DTC swimwear brand, believes companies will likely never see “the results we saw in the heyday of Facebook marketing,” when brands were chiefly reliant on Facebook for customer targeting.
“The consumer is about to have so much media thrown at them,” Granata said. “I’m making a little note to myself to have refreshing and innovative messaging approaches to cut through all the noise.”
Fresh off an $18.5 million Series B announced in December, Granata is currently hiring for Andie’s first-ever director of customer acquisition.
Granata’s ideal candidate is willing to experiment across different platforms, from TV to TikTok to figure out the best formula.
“I just need that one person who is entirely focused on it,” she said.
Ragnar Gudmundsson, chief revenue officer at Public Goods, said the company was “hit pretty hard on the Facebook side,” after the iOS privacy changes in 2021.
Since then, Public Goods has experimented with new messaging in its ads and figured out what works through trial and error.
Now it is evaluating finalists for its open acquisition-manager role. Gudmundsson said Public Goods, which makes food and personal-care products, is looking for a candidate who isn’t afraid to experiment with new strategies.
Gudmundsson also said he hopes to have more customer-acquisition roles open soon.
“Sometimes, it just takes a lot of learning through failure to figure out how it works,” he said.
‘Your opportunity to pivot’
Many companies that spoke with Insider said their ideal candidates aren’t necessarily DTC or
Atlas Coffee Club, in a job description for a paid acquisition manager, called out bankers, consultants, and analysts, saying: “This is your opportunity to pivot.”
Luke Fernandez, an advisor and investor in Atlas, which delivers a different coffee every month to its customers, said the company is looking for “an innate ability to understand what engages people” more than someone who has done social media and acquisition professionally.
“They just understand what makes people tick,” he said, describing a competitive candidate.
Customer acquisition is the main way that DTC brands grow. With so many brands flush with cash and eager to expand, “you’re seeing a lot more demand for these types of jobs,” Fernandez said.
Who Gives a Crap, a sustainable
brand, is looking for someone to create a customer-acquisition strategy that leverages more offline methods, such as television and promotion in stores, said Jenna Tanenbaum, head of growth marketing at the company.
“We have a whole generation or two of marketers that are really reliant on algorithms and data,” she said. “Marketers have to go back and start acting like marketers again.”