How Marketing Leaders Can Better Develop Top Talent

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Is your marketing team falling behind in the skills needed to keep up with the rapid pace of digital? As digital marketing headhunters, we see organizations recognize that the pace of change in marketing is faster than ever. However, many still fail to understand the magnitude of how it impacts the need for the development of top talent.

Finding great marketers in today’s war for talent is a feat of its own. Once organizations have the talent they need onboard, a different kind of challenge emerges where CMOs and marketing leaders must effectively support the professional development of their employees. The value of proper training and leadership isn’t only a way to keep great talent in, but adds to the profitable growth and bottom-line of your business.

The Hidden Benefits of Marketing Recruiters

Identifying the Missing Key

CMOs must recognize how the pace of change in marketing affects today’s talent pool. Marketing professionals are extremely busy, want work-life balance, and want to work for companies who will help propel their career forward.

Marketing recruiters know the race for top marketing talent is only becoming more competitive. As communication and technology improves, organizations will compete for talent on a global scale. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize when you have A-level marketers on your team and how to make sure you keep them by offering opportunities to grow. If you don’t continuously invest in developing your employees, they will likely look for other opportunities, leaving you back at square one looking for new talent.

Many organizations have short-term thinking that limits their focus on the development of their employees. Leaders get stuck in the day-to-day operations of what they need to do in order to make their numbers for the month, quarter, year; causing them to place the development of employees last on their priority list. However, the long-term view in driving profitability and building a sustainable competitive advantage requires the support of highly-skilled and capable marketers.

The key to successful professional development is a joint responsibility between employees and employers. There should be resources and tools leaders provide for the individual and things the individual does on their own to progress their learning. Employers have the responsibility of stepping up in helping their employees reach their full potential. Employees, on the other hand, have the responsibility of taking ownership of their career and development.

Best Practices for Developing Top Marketing Talent

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1. Build Individual Development Plans

In order to help cultivate their skills, you should build an individual development plan for each marketer on your team. Sit down with your employees and discuss their career goals and personal interests.

The development plan will act as a blueprint that outlines KPIs and the steps needed to help the employee meet goals. Having these one-on-one meetings regularly will help you get to know each member of your team and help identify how you can best guide them in reaching their goals.

2. Lead By Example

Marketing leaders must be honorable role models and exemplify what they expect their employees to do.

Things like taking training courses, going back to school, reading up on business books, becoming active in mentorship programs and professional associations show that you are serious about your own professional development. If you want to truly encourage your team to take charge of their learning, you must actively do so as well.

3. Encourage Lifelong Learning

Become a lifelong learner. Lifelong learning isn’t just for junior level professionals; senior level leaders must aim to continuously learn and grow throughout the course of their career.

The pace of digital makes it challenging to be an expert in everything marketing, no matter how much experience you have. However, being open to learning and growing your own skills is a great way to encourage your employees to be a lifelong learner and propel their development. When employees see that leaders are motivated and committed to lifelong learning, they are better committed to growing within the company.

Open the door for close collaboration between you and every member of your team. Reverse mentorship programs are a great way for senior leaders to learn from junior-level employees and opens up leadership opportunities for these younger marketers.

4. Provide a Range of Resources

As digital marketing headhunters know, you must invest and re-invest in your team’s learning. Offering valuable resources and training is key to keeping top employees satisfied. Millennials, in particular, need to be continuously challenged and inspired.

Webinars, workshops and conferences are great resources for your team. However, training isn’t restricted to formal programs and courses. When supporting the development of employees, on-the-job training is even more valuable. The in-depth, hands-on expertise and knowledge leaders can provide drives professional growth, and improves employee morale and engagement.

Whether it’s internal or external training that’s offered, make sure the resources available to your employees are well-communicated, encouraged to be taken advantage of, and tracked.


If your marketing is falling behind, it’s hard to get caught up. That’s why keeping top marketing talent on your team is so important to stay ahead of the digital curve. Prioritizing the development of your employees is vital in attracting and retaining great talent.

Don’t let yourself fall behind – your employees are your greatest asset. If you treat them well and help them grow, they will undoubtedly take your marketing to the next level.

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