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Director, Audience Development & Growth Marketing

Status: Full-Time

Reports To: CEO

Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Position Description

Lookout’s mission is an unusual one for a news company: Help make our communities a better place for all who live in them. Consequently, robust audience engagement — both to drive our community betterment mission and our business model — is fundamental to Lookout’s new model.

Reader engagement, satisfaction and revenue drives our whole team’s work. The Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing embraces Lookout’s model, and the crucial journalistic mission it supports, and possesses the strategic and tactical chops to bring it fully to life, both through newsroom and revenue functions.

Building on an initial six months of success, the Director of Audience Development and Growth Marketing spearheads our full audience lifecycle strategy, from identifying qualified audiences and drawing them in, to building healthy habit-forming reader relationships to ultimately fostering paid membership growth, all of which put Lookout squarely on the path to rapid audience-supported success.

This position works closely with both Lookout’s newsroom and business teams, focusing on two key areas:

  1. Leads audience development, working within and collaborating with the newsroom. The everyday goal: identify key, new audiences to reach and build two-way relationships with the diverse spectrum of readers that Lookout serves, matching how they want to read with what they want to read, using and prioritizing all the digital tools available;
  2. Leads our full audience funnel strategy, coaxing new readers to keep returning to Lookout converting engaged users into paying members and accelerating our rapid path to audience-supported sustainability.

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

Candidates are highly organized, with the ability to turn data into insights that translate into actionable projects and optimization plans. A proven track record driving audience demand through paid and owned digital channels, managing budgets and generating reports is a must. Flexibility and collaboration within a fast-paced startup environment are key. A passion for Santa Cruz and a keen interest in local media are a plus.

What You’ll Be Doing: Focus in Three Connected Areas

Reader-Centric Audience Development and Community Engagement

  • Work with and within the newsroom to further build on our audience development strategy that is inclusive, reader-centric, and community-engaging. Champion a responsible, data-focused newsroom culture that learns and makes smart choices to deepen reader engagement and deliver new views.
  • Using community feedback, data analytics and market research, extend Lookout’s reach and impact throughout Santa Cruz County by pinpointing audience segments with unmet needs that Lookout can connect with. Focus on underserved and/or overlooked audiences whom Lookout can better serve to fulfill its mission as the county’s primary news source.
  • Collaborate with the newsroom to extend editorial content deeper into target communities and audience groups, furthering engagement with Lookout. Develop a comprehensive set of practices for utilizing effective audience development techniques and channels to connect with audiences wherever they may be, on and off of Lookout.
  • Build playbooks and training manuals around an established set of Lookout audience development standards, educating the newsroom and the full company on these, with action plans for correspondents engaging communities (geographic, interest-based, etc.) to include reader voices in Lookout’s editorial planning and product development, and incorporate audience feedback as a continuous practice.

Digital Marketing and Membership Acquisition and Retention

  • Grow readership and membership.
  • Provide day-to-day leadership and own Lookout’s member 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, search engine optimization, content syndication. Manage relationships with key vendors to understand competitor strategies and new testing opportunities, ensuring our team is staying on the edge of innovation.
  • Connect Audience Development and Digital Marketing functions into a streamlined growth plan, where each supports and accelerates the other (being mindful that while the jobs are closely intertwined, 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 our campaigns have the best chance of succeeding.


  • Be a collaborative and engaged member of Lookout’s founding team, providing domain expertise in digital marketing (email newsletters, social media marketing, paid marketing programs, and other channels), audience development, and membership/subscriber development.
  • Partner with editorial, revenue and creative teams to create campaigns, test new channels and develop newsroom-centric programs that grow audience and member/subscriber base
  • Encourage a collegial, creative and transparent audience development and marketing culture by sharing data, reports and audience understanding on a regular basis.

Experience Required

  • 3-5 years of experience in digital marketing at a direct-to-consumer or media company preferred with an emphasis on acquisition, including hands-on experience in paid campaigns, newsletter management and member/subscriber conversions
  • Experience in campaign setup, management and optimization, specifically paid marketing management (display, PPC, social) for customer acquisition
  • Deep 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 with events marketing (virtual and/or in-person) is a plus


  • Ability to build and document processes across departments and systems
  • Ability to build and foster strong relationships with internal stakeholders and external audiences and partners
  • High attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Excellent data analysis skills and a test-and-learn mentality
  • Experience creating offers and landing pages in a CMS or other platform; CMS experience is a plus
  • Google Publisher Suite (analytics, tag manager, ad server); Audience development experience required (Google Analytics, Chartbeat,, Adobe Omniture)
  • Email service provider experience
  • CRM experience (Pico, HubSpot, Salesforce, etc.) preferred

Benefits and Application

Director, Audience Development & Growth Marketing is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits.

Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to