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Director, Audience Development and Growth Marketing


Status: Full time

Reports to: CEO

Location: Santa Cruz, California

Job Description

Lookout’s mission is unusual for a newspaper company: to help make our communities a better place for all who live there. Therefore, strong public engagement – both to drive our community improvement mission and our business model – is fundamental to Lookout’s new model.

Reader engagement, satisfaction and revenue drive the work of our entire team. The Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing embraces Lookout’s model and the critical journalistic mission it supports, and has the strategic and tactical skills to bring it to life, both through newsroom and income functions.

Building on a first six months of success, the Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing spearheads our full audience lifecycle strategy, from identifying qualified audiences and their appeal, to building relationships healthy with readers creating habits and ultimately promoting the growth of paid subscriptions, which puts Lookout on the path to rapid audience-backed success.

This role works closely with Lookout’s newsroom and sales teams, focusing on two key areas:

  1. Lead audience development, work and collaborate with the newsroom. The Daily Goal: Identify new key audiences to reach and build two-way relationships with the wide range of readers Lookout serves, matching how they want to read with what they want to read, using and prioritizing all digital tools available;
  2. Leads our full audience funnel strategy, driving new readers back to Lookout, converting engaged users into paying members, and accelerating our rapid path to audience-driven sustainability.

Ideal candidates have a deep understanding of digital marketing best practices and trends, coupled with audience development and newsroom experience, and thrive in a collaborative work and startup environment, connecting the room drafting and revenue operations to streamline growth. The Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing has a critical seat at the table, working across the Lookout team to develop strategies and tactics that help us thrive and grow, starting through our Santa Cruz launch market, then beyond.

Candidates are highly organized, with the ability to transform data into information that translates into actionable projects and optimization plans. A proven track record of driving public demand through pay and owned digital channels, managing budgets and generating reports is a must. Flexibility and collaboration within a quickstart environment are essential. A passion for Santa Cruz and a keen interest in local media is a plus.

What you will do: focus on three connected areas

Reader-centered audience development and community engagement

  • Work with and within the newsroom to further develop our audience development strategy that is inclusive, reader-centric, and community engaging. Advocate for a responsible, data-driven newsroom culture that learns and makes smart choices to deepen reader engagement and deliver new views.
  • Using community feedback, data analysis and market research, extend Lookout’s reach and impact across Santa Cruz County by identifying audience segments with unmet needs that Lookout can connect. Focus on underserved and / or neglected audiences that Lookout can best serve to fulfill its mission as the county’s primary source of information.
  • Collaborate with the newsroom to extend editorial content more in-depth to target communities and audience groups, increasing engagement with Lookout. Develop a comprehensive set of practices for using effective audience development techniques and channels to connect with audiences wherever they are, on and off Lookout.
  • Build playbooks and training manuals around an established set of Lookout audience development standards, educating the newsroom and the entire company about it, with action plans for correspondents engaging communities (geographic, interest-based, etc.) to include the voices of readers in Lookout’s editorial planning and product development, and mainstream audience feedback as an ongoing practice.

Digital marketing and member acquisition and retention

  • Increase readership and membership.
  • Provide day-to-day leadership and own Lookout’s membership acquisition funnel and success metrics (KPIs: returned users, email subscribers, membership units and revenue, etc.).
  • Work closely and strategically with our relevant partners, including Second Street, BlueLena, Active Campaign and Pico.
  • Create, coordinate and manage the execution of digital marketing campaign strategies including, but not limited to: paid search, paid social media, search engine optimization, content syndication. Manage relationships with key vendors to understand competitor strategies and new testing opportunities, ensuring our team remains at the forefront of innovation.
  • Connect the functions of audience development and digital marketing into a streamlined growth plan, where each supports and accelerates the other (keeping in mind that while jobs are closely related, they are also distinct).
  • Report on monthly and quarterly numbers for all critical growth KPIs Lead creative testing and strategy, working closely with stakeholders and design teams to ensure all of our campaigns have the best chance of success.


  • Be a collaborative and committed member of Lookout’s founding team, providing expertise in the area of ​​digital marketing (email newsletters, social media marketing, paid marketing programs and other channels), audience development and membership / subscriber development.
  • Collaborate with editorial, sales and creative teams to create campaigns, test new channels and develop newsroom-centric programs that increase audience and member / subscriber base
  • Encourage collegial, creative and transparent audience development and marketing culture by regularly sharing data, reporting and audience understanding.

Experience required

  • 3-5 years of digital marketing experience in a direct-to-consumer or media business, with a focus on acquisition, including hands-on experience in paid campaigns, newsletter management, and conversions from members / subscribers
  • Experience in setting up, managing and optimizing campaigns, in particular managing paid marketing (display, PPC, social) for customer acquisition
  • In-depth knowledge of digital acquisition marketing, audience targeting, social platforms and paid media attribution
  • Experience with mission-critical technologies including subscription / membership management platforms, marketing automation, CRMs and ESPs preferred
  • Experience in event marketing (virtual and / or in person) is a plus


  • Ability to create and document processes across departments and systems
  • Ability to build and foster strong relationships with internal stakeholders and external audiences and partners
  • Great attention to detail and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent data analysis skills and testing and learning mindset
  • Experience creating offers and landing pages in a CMS or other platform; A CMS experience is a plus
  • Google Publisher Suite (analytics, tag manager, ad server); Audience development experience required (Google Analytics, Chartbeat, Parse.ly, Adobe Omniture)
  • Experience as a courier service provider
  • CRM experience (Pico, HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.) preferred

Benefits and application

The Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing is a full-time employee of Lookout Local. We offer competitive benefits.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status. .

To apply, please send a cover letter and CV to [email protected]


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