Creative Commons by JerryFeist
Last week, Justin Gray (@myleadmd) posted a great commentary on the growing number of skills needed by Marketers moving forward. We have been blogging about this for as long as we’ve been blogging. Through the years, there has been almost Luddite-like pushback from a dwindling number of clueless Marketers, but as we like to say, the the arc of marketing and business is long, but it bends to efficiency and sensibility.
To underscore what Justin Gray is saying and what we’ve been saying, look at these two recent job postings for Marketing professionals. Company names have been omitted for privacy reasons; boldness is included for our emphasis.:
“Marketing Operations Specialist – ABC Company is seeking a Online Marketing Systems Administrator for a freelance-to-hire opportunity. Under the supervision of the Director of Operations and QA, this position is responsible for the day-to-day management and global support of key marketing systems including SalesForce.com, Sitecore, Eloqua, Kayako, and WordPress. This is a great position for an entrepreneurial individual, who will work with business leaders and develop mission-critical analytics.”
Wow. That’s a lot of platforms to run and as many people know, Eloqua is one of the most complex Marketing Automation platforms in the market. Salesforce by itself generally needs a individual to administer it; but relying on a “freelancer” at a “specialist” level (read: we won’t pay fair rates for a real “expert”) to know about and keep all your Marketing and Sales applications running? Tall order.
Here’s another one. Disclosure: We’ve done some editing to reduce verbage related to traditional marketing responsibilities; however, we feel we have not altered the context of the content relative to digital responsibilities. Additionally, we know the hiring manager and the company, and have solid respect for them and mean them no ill will by mentioning this job posting, but are they being realistic in looking for a lower-level “Super Marketer” that will already have this broad set of skills and will actually last within the organization with such demands?
“Marketing & Sales Administration Coordinator – This position helps lead XYZ Corporation’s awareness and lead generation efforts. Candidate is responsible for brand building efforts, sales tool development, website/blog/social media management, HTML landing page/email creation and tracking, salesforce.com management, public relations and event planning.
Essential functions include:
Aid in overall goal of executing inbound marketing strategy and ultimately drive the development of new, qualified leads; manage SEO & PPC programs; manage content creation for blog, emails and other HTML templates, and webinars; work with writers and XYZ specialists to create white paper and benchmark studies.
Social Media Support – Create content, distribute and track efforts for XYZ’s social media accounts
Salesforce.com Support – Be a knowledge resource for Sales, Marketing and leadership; create custom reports; drive adoption efforts through coaching/training users; develop proficiency in CRMfusion; upload new prospect lists from Data.com, D&B and Hoovers, assign prospects and track through the campaigns; perform mass updates and maintain data hygiene.
Marketing automation management (Marketo) – Lead scoring; ensure data synchs properly with Salesforce.com
Must be proficient in Microsoft Office applications, Salesforce.com and Marketo.”
Double Wow. Remember, this job description was whittled down to emphasize digital responsbilities; That is a lot for a lower level staffperson to manage.
Now, don’t get us wrong when we ask if those are realisttic expectations of the employers – we do not doubt for an instant that they need those skills and believe that they have honestly communicated what they want. The question is can one person at slightly above entry-level experience and rates actually possess those skills?
The reality is, that’s what is needed. Marketers who are technologists – who understand systems analysis, linquistics, analytics, and the language of finance- are rare.. Many current Marketers will not be able to make this transformation. They are “right brained” and not trained or have otherwise been socialized into a Marketing culture that does not understand this tectonic shift due to the Internet Age. For the near term, demand for “transformed” Marketers will exceed the supply. Someday, there will be more IT-focused people in an organization’s Marketing department then there are in a normal IT department!
If you are reading this, then hopefully you understand what a great career opportunity there is for younger Marketers to embrace Marketing Automation and other web based technologies that help organizations gather, store, analyze, share, and act upon data that drives revenue. The next few years will be successful and lucrative for those that prove they master these skills. If you are an older Marketer, encourage a younger one to heed this advice. If you are younger Marketer, then bootstrap your professional development and master the skills that will be needed for years to come.
You are in a golden era of Marketing career opportunity!