This post is part of a series outlining the Top 5 Creative and Marketing Trends for 2018. For more trends, and salary information for more than 35 positions, read Vitamin T’s full 2018 Digital Creative and Marketing Salary Guide.
Marketing technology—better known as MarTech—continues to dominate the conversation as we march forward into 2018 and a digital-driven future. Connecting the dots between technology, data integration, and top talent is a huge challenge that few businesses have solved. Companies require the right MarTech teams to integrate the two arenas effectively. Knowing what to look for in the team you assemble can make the difference in how far your company goes.
The Current State of MarTech
Digital advertising is already big business, and that growth curve is still rising. While digital advertising already represents one-third of global advertising budgets, that percentage will continue to grow. In the coming years, it will likely catch up to television advertising, and it shows no signs of slowing from there. And because of the unique way in which MarTech has helped advertisers target precise audiences and serve them personalized messaging, digital advertising will only continue to grow.
Catching Up to Yesterday
Unfortunately, many digital marketers are having trouble keeping pace with the rate of change in MarTech. In a Boston Consulting Group survey of 1,100 marketers, they scored themselves at an average of 57 out of 100 in terms of digital marketing capabilities. While the potential for huge growth in digital marketing is apparent, the ability to realize its potential is often lacking. This creates an opportunity for those agencies able to get ahead of the curve and seize the future in MarTech.
What Is Needed Today
To capitalize on the MarTech opportunity, companies need to build capacity in two key areas: training and recruitment. Marketing technologies themselves are largely accessible to both businesses and agencies. Most technology is affordable enough for businesses of various sizes, and the skills required are usually transferable for most experienced MarTech professionals. The challenge lies in developing those skillsets in current—less experienced—talent or pinpointing and acquiring talent with the necessary skills to bring into the team.
One of the biggest challenges to implementing a long-term solution in MarTech is identifying the hard skills necessary today and in the near future. Soft skills such as creativity and responsiveness are a given, but who can say which technical skills will be needed in MarTech five years down the road?
An ability and a desire to learn are two of the most important skills anyone in MarTech must have today. As teamwork and the ability to shift between multiple teams becomes more important, good communication and an ability to work in those teams will only increase in importance.
Training Current Staff
Given the difficulties in identifying the skills that will be needed tomorrow, it is important to have a training program in place that encourages continued development. It can be difficult to find a balance between finding time for training and meeting current workload demands, and some business cultures may be less supportive of investing in constant improvement. The reality, however, is that investing in training pays dividends down the road that make it worthwhile, especially in a field that is changing so rapidly. Highlighting the importance of continuous training and development can begin to shift the perspective of those who are not yet committed to learning on a regular basis.
Recruiting New Talent
In many cases, a key skill is immediately necessary and is outside the range of current talent. Recruiting new talent is a constant struggle in any digital marketing organization. The pool of people with the right skills—who are in demand—is not large enough to meet all the opportunities in MarTech. In fact, the demand for digital marketing professionals rose by double digits in 2017, and will likely continue to rise for the foreseeable future. This means that recruiting top-quality talent will continue to be a challenge in MarTech for some time to come.
The Power of a Specialized Recruitment Agency
A recruiting agency can be your best friend when attempting to find the talent necessary to stay ahead in MarTech. The three big factors an agency can bring to bear on your behalf are speed, expertise, and adaptability.
A Speedy Search
One of the major advantages in using a recruitment agency is in acquiring new talent in a speedy fashion. A good recruitment agency will start finding talent on the day you contact them; they will already have an idea of possible candidates and where to advertise to bring in potential talent suited to your organization. Rather than starting from scratch as your HR department might need to do, the recruiter is already well on the path to bringing new talent your way. Great recruiters can tap into deep talent networks to find passive candidates and generate referrals, fast.
Expertise in the Field
While you know the soft skills you need, you may not be as familiar with the hard skills needed for a given position. Because of the pace of change in MarTech, you may not be familiar with all the latest tools and the skills required by those who use them. A recruiting agency has more experience vetting such talent and can also help to identify the skills you need to meet your specific business goals. Top agencies have proprietary systems and processes for gathering the right data to assess skills and providing that data to clients efficiently.
For example, Vitamin T captures outside reviews, hiring manager feedback from assignments, and independent assessments from an expert network. With our online tools that allow easy access to these deep insights, you can make the best hiring decision possible for your business.
Adaptability in the Face of Change
While most marketers rank themselves poorly in their ability to keep up with the field, having access to the best talent gives you the wherewithal to pivot quickly when a specific skill set is needed. Fast-paced change requires agility in meeting the demands of the marketplace; working with a good recruiting agency provides that agility and enables your organization to stay ahead of the curve.
Recruiters interview thousands of candidates and gather business requirements from a wide variety of businesses. A great recruiting agency will ask a lot of questions and provide guidance based on their experience, helping you adapt your search to find the best possible candidates.
Having the right staff in place is one of the biggest keys to gaining an advantage in MarTech. The field is ripe for an organization to leap ahead of the competition by making the right moves in talent acquisition. For more information on how we can help find the MarTech talent you need to grow, please contact us today.