How to Attract and Keep Modern Marketing Champions

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Today’s most competitive marketplace isn’t technology, but talent. The challenge of attracting and retaining talent is particularly strong in  marketing.

The marketing function  and careers in it have historically been relatively uncertain. The digital revolution has placed marketing at the forefront of the most successful organizations. Has your company made the switch to being marketing-centric and do you know what it takes to compete for top marketing talent?

Marketing has been turned upside down in recent years as a result of digital technology, which has led to more empowered employees. Regardless of their vertical or level of experience, the best marketers tend to possess a handful of remarkable traits:

  • They hear what no one else can hear.
  • They always manage to be part of the conversation, even when they’re not in the room.
  • They can convert raw data into meaningful, profitable insights.
  • They make silos disappear.
  • They bring out the best in others make make everything they touch better.

How can you attract and retain the talent that exhibit these “superpowers?” What will create the gravity that pulls top talent into your company’s orbit and keeps them there? If you hope to acquire and retain this kind of difference-making talent, you’ll need to adjust your strategies surrounding who you hire, how you hire, and what you do once they’re on board.

The Who (No, Not That One)

Find Multitalented Marketers

The demands of marketing today mean that top talent is able to combine skills that don’t often go together, and might even seem to be opposites. Some skill combinations are in particularly high demand at all levels, from entry-level to C-suite:

  • Creative + analytical: These people use “both sides” of the brain to reach the head and the heart of customers. As the data gets bigger, you have to know what questions to ask to turn information into insight.
  • Leadership + digital acumen: Many digital natives lack leadership experience and many seasoned leaders lack natural digital fluency. Truly top talent is skilled at both leading internal teams around a shared vision and building digital products and communities.
  • Content creation + product expertise: Brand marketers are becoming more and more like publishers. There are content creators who can engage an audience but don’t know the product, and product experts who lack the ability to tell a good story. The result is an ability to connect and engage both colleagues and customers.
  • Innovation + execution: Marketing teams can no longer be divided into those who come up with ideas and those who execute them. The best talent has an ability to envision what’s possible and make it happen.

The How

Think Like a Marketer, Not HR

Ironically, many marketers don’t think of  marketing recruiting as a marketing challenge but as an HR issue instead. But acquiring and retaining talent is really not particularly different from acquiring and retaining customers.

Most marketers would never think to execute a customer acquisition strategy without a clear value proposition, segmentation, pricing, collateral, sales enablement, metrics, and brand. Yet when it comes to talent acquisition, even hiring managers with decades of marketing experience forget the basics.

Here are things to consider as you apply what you know (marketing) to get who you want (talent):

  • Value proposition: What is the source of your differentiation? Do you have a compelling elevator pitch and consistent messaging throughout your communications? Why should exceptional marketers choose to work for you?
  • Market research: Where can you find the talent you want? What is important to them in a job, career, team and employer?
  • Pricing: What are the key elements of compensation (salary, bonus, benefits, equity) and how do you compare with competitors?
  • Sales: When you have found the right candidate, do you move quickly to close?
  • Metrics: What are marketing’s KPIs for attracting top talent? How do you track your progress and measure success?
  • Brand: Is your employer brand visible in the marketplace with a reputation for innovation and excellence? Are you known for creating “marketing that matters?”

See it from LinkedIn: A Great Panel on the Power of Building an Employer Brand

video from LinkedIn

The What

Offer The Things Top Marketers Want Most (Hint: It’s not Money)

Keeping great talent is tough and turnover is high in marketing. It’s not enough to pay people well. In today’s talent market, you have to offer meaning as well as money.

The organizations we’ve seen do the best at getting retaining talent promote and focus on certain aspects of working for them:

  • The ability to grow: Top marketers relentlessly search for opportunities to expand their talent and meaningfully advance their career. The best want to know that there is a real likelihood of other positions with even more responsibility and challenge in the foreseeable future.
  • Interesting and compelling new challenges: These are people that actively hunt new challenges to conquer and puzzles to solve. If there’s no challenge, then there’s essentially no job for them.
  • Greater authority and responsibility: The talent you want is the talent who is confident in the abilities excited to take on the burden of responsibility for their success.High-intensity, motivated individuals make good use of their authority and thrive under pressure.
  • Competitive compensation: Okay, so maybe money isn’t the driving factor for top marketers. But it’s still important, and many organizations are well behind the times on modern market prices for marketers. Make sure you understand the value of exceptional talent and compensate accordingly. And remember: average salaries will attract average talent.

In a broadcast world, marketing has never been more important. And great marketing begins and ends with great marketers. In today’s digital landscape, you need to create content, build communities, leverage data, and drive revenue. None of that will happen without the right people in the right position in your organization.

It’s time to take marketing recruiting back from HR and turn it into a marketing mission. (TWEET THIS)

Source: The Customer Edge

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