How/When to hire your first marketing employee

I've heard it a million times. The growing small-company who decided it’s time to look like “a real company” therefore is thinking of hiring their first marketing employee. It usually goes two ways, either they hire a very seasoned Marketing VP type or a very Junior kid-right-out-of-school, yet the expectations are the same. Because the general expectation is that this person will have to wear every possible hat in the Marketing world, including but not limited, to Online, Print, Strategy, PR, Packaging, Branding and PR; and all of this with no real metrics to measure it by, the poor bastard is pre-destined to fail. If you go the youngling route, you are being very unfair to the kid; yet if you go the senior route, you should be weary that he/she doesn't realize you are setting them up for failure, which means they are senior in age but not necessarily in marketing/business experience. By the time you decide to pull the plug (usually 6 months or so) on this new hire, you would have spent an average of $100,000 that you could have put back into the business, improve your product, or spread the wealth with those who are currently making the company grow. This is usually the best case scenario, since most will think it was the new hire's fault, therefore will try their luck again and start a vicious cycle that will eat away your hard earned cash and sometimes grows to a full USELESS marketing department. Here some advice on how to avoid this increasingly common Money Pit: When to Hire? Like with everything else in business, the time to make a change is when the need will be met, under the return of [...]