As a recruiter who works exclusively with marketers, I work with companies to help fill a broad range of marketing positions. But at least half of our open positions at any given time are for demand generation specialists. As one of our partners likes to say demand gen is in big demand.
I get this trend. Lead gen has evolved from art to science, fueled by the growth in marketing technology platforms and robust analytics. These platforms – the martech stack – have given marketers really exciting ways to measure what’s working and what’s not, often at the push of a button. They allow marketers to better understand their customers’ buying habits, more surgically target their marketing spend and more effectively collaborate with Sales. It’s not quite marketing nirvana, but it’s close.
But there’s an interesting – and certainly unintentional – downside to this hyper focus on demand gen talent. We’ve found that candidates with excellent brand and communications skills are being left out in the cold. They may not be able to spell “Marketo” or may think DAM is a hipster iteration of a four-letter word, but their skills are still very relevant. No matter how great your marketing technology platforms are, leads won’t happen without strong brand awareness, compelling messaging and a consistent customer experience.
So, what does this new world order mean for experienced marcom professionals? And the people who (used to) hire them? It means stay the course. Brand still plays—and will always play—a critical role in the success of a company. Your brand is what your customer or prospect feels when he hears your company’s name. There’s no fancy martech tool that can change that. If no one on the marketing team has responsibility for keeping an eye on the brand – on the overall customer experience – the company will ultimately suffer.
What does this mean for the evolution of your marketing org chart? How should you structure your team so the marcom and demand gen functions complement, not compete with, each other?
Register for DC Marketing Tech Talks’ second annual Marketing Tech Magnified, a conference for marketers by marketers, on February 2 in Tysons Corner. Come learn how local marketing leaders like Charles Gold of Virtru, Dave Bornmann of Naylor Association Solutions and JulieAnne Evanina of SiriusXM Radio have structured their teams to capitalize on the power of marketing technology while keeping a strong focus on their brands.
This article was contributed by Sue Keith who is a Managing Partner at Ceres Talent, where she matches seasoned marketing professionals with clients who need interim marketing support or permanent hires.