Econsultancy: Please describe your job: What do you do?
Rebecca Hamilton: I’m the Head of Marketing at Koru Kids. We’re a marketplace that helps parents arrange great quality childcare. Our first service was nanny share — connecting local families together so they could share the same nanny. Now we also have an after-school nanny service where we recruit, vet and train the top university students and then match them to local families to help with childcare after school.
It’s my job to communicate the brand to parents and students. In a startup that usually means running hundreds of experiments on our digital marketing channels to find the most efficient and effective ways to grow the business. I’m also constantly testing out new messaging and making sure our tone of voice reflects who we are as a brand.
E: Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
RH: I report into Rachel Carrell, our CEO and Founder.
E: What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
RH: I started off my career in consulting and then joined a health tech business. I had no marketing experience but was driven, naturally curious and had strong analytical skills. My boss at the time taught me everything on the job plus I read A LOT. We’re recruiting for the marketing team at the moment and we’re open to applications from people with no marketing experience because I believe the intrinsics are much more important.
My main challenge at the moment is time [said everyone working in a startup ever] so you have to be able to prioritise. I try to take an agile approach and do one thing at a time, finish it and move on — but that’s easier said than done! It’s also really important for me to understand our customers so I can communicate effectively with them in our copy and creative. I constantly read their feedback and listen in to our customer calls.
E: Tell us about a typical working day…
RH: My role covers everything from online marketing and content marketing to PR and partnerships, so every day is completely varied! I always wake up, clear my inbox and check Slack. This means when I get to the office I can get straight into my first task of the day.
A typical day at the moment involves reviewing job applications and interviewing candidates as we’re hiring for roles across the business. I also try and speak to as many other Heads of Marketing targeting the same markets as us. Everyone’s really open to sharing ideas and telling you what they tried that didn’t work — which is really valuable!
The rest of the day will most likely be spent optimising our online marketing accounts, making new creative, testing new ideas or planning our next PR campaign.
E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
RH: Our team is amazing – we took the decision to hire slow (but ideally fast!) and get it right. So far it’s 100% paid off. Everyone is committed and driven but most importantly really nice! It’s the best team I’ve ever worked with.
I’m constantly testing new things and often they don’t work, which initially sucks. I’m the type of person who hates to fail but it just makes me even more determined to make it work next time.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
RH: My main areas of focus are parent and student acquisition numbers and the percentage of those that end up as customers. I track cost per acquisition (CPA) at top of the funnel as well as further down – this way I’m tracking quality too.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
RH: Google Analytics is really important for me as it allows me to see a snapshot of our performance at any time and measure campaign success. I also love Slack – it’s easy to communicate with the team and also keep up to date on all our consumer feedback. We use Front to manage our inboxes and CRM. It has so many features that save me time and help me manage my working day.
E: How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?
RH: I was previously the Head of Ecommerce at the world’s largest Online Doctor, DrThom.com. Rachel (my boss) was the CEO there before she started Koru Kids. When I was ready to leave I went to chat to her for some career advice, as she had always been a great mentor, and she offered me a job! To everyone else it seemed like a huge risk, as at this point we had no funding. But I knew Rachel was going to build something amazing and I’m so proud to be doing it with her.
I haven’t thought about my next role – I’ll think of that when Koru Kids is the world’s leading childcare brand. For now I’m just focused on making that happen.
E: What new tech are you most excited about (if any)?
RH: I’m really excited about the opportunities the world has with data. I’m currently reading a lot in this space. There are so many companies doing amazing things with machine learning and it opens up a whole world of new possibilities. I also think it could bring about amazing social change in healthcare and education if done in a responsible way.
E: Do you have any advice for people working to scale a business?
RH: Start with no or small budgets and find out what works. We only started paid marketing a year after I joined. Then when you find what works put budget in and grow fast. Otherwise there is a risk you’ll spend a lot of budget acquiring the wrong customers and only realise when there is no budget left.