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Is There a Marketing Skills Gap – You Bet There Is!

Let's face it; the role of the Chief Marketing Officer has changed vastly over the last few years. While the creative side of marketing is not dead, it's no longer enough for a CMO to provide the guidance and oversight to roles such as branding, PR, or website development.  The marketing department must step up and be part of the revenue generation process – not just the feel good part of the business.

Closing the Marketing Skills Gap – Knowing What to Look For

Historically it has been difficult for some marketing organizations to accurately assess the ROI of their actions and campaigns. Being able to attribute revenue achievement to specific marketing actions has been tough in the past but that is all changing through the accelerating adoption of marketing automation technologies and associated best practices.  Marketing automation technology is here to stay and it's increasingly unlikely you will see highly successful companies NOT using it or in the process of implementing it.

The problem is that most marketing organizations have a long way to go before they will be able to use these new technologies effectively and successfully.   This is where the marketing skills gap is so pronounced and addressing it is as important to revenue growth as any other single marketing or sales task out there.

The challenge faced by many companies when it comes to deploying marketing automation solutions is that there is a huge shortage of the highly skilled people needed to design, install and manage these game-changing technologies.   For those looking to hire their way to closing the marketing skills gap we have put together a real-life job description that we hope helps illustrate what kind of resource you should be looking for.   This description is from an actual client engagement, shortened and sanitized to keep client information confidential, but it still provides a good feel for the type of talent needed to get the job done.

Lead Generation Director – Position Summary

The XYZ Lead Generation Director will engage with and participate in all inside sales activities, including lead nurturing design, lead qualification process and social media engagement strategy.  This role involves preparing for and creating Mid-Management, VP and CXO-level conversations about the needs of prospect organizations and how XYZ can meet those needs.  The position requires excellent communication and writing skills; as well as well-developed skills in forming online and offline relationships to strengthen XYZ's brand and presence online.  He/she will also be expected to keep up on relevant industry trends and to share this knowledge internally.  A background in _______________ is highly desired.

Position Responsibilities

Marketing Automation

  • Selection, design, and implementation of a marketing automation tool
  • Develop and manage target database
  • Design nurturing and drip marketing campaigns
  • Develop lead scoring model
  • Develop lead qualification / sales hand-off process for promoted leads
  • Build all necessary CRM interfaces
  • Build and manage reporting dashboards

Social Media Engagement

  • Design and implement strategy for the growth and management of an online community focused on key issues and trends related to ______________ industry
  • Identify and develop relationships with key influencers, bloggers, market and industry analysts
  • Monitor and comment on relevant blogs – individual, key partner, customer, and professional
  • Monitor and comment on online community discussions

Lead Qualification

  • Build and develop initial prospect relationships with marketing-generated leads
  • Follow-up and further qualify new prospects from marketing-generated leads
  • Research accounts, identify key players and use marketing collateral to nurture prospect interest in XYZ
  • Move qualified prospects to the appointment stage for the XYZ Field Sales Team
  • Disseminate opportunities to appropriate Field Sales Team Member, educating rep as necessary about the opportunity.  Include assessment of XYZ needs, prospect behavior to date and areas of need/interest
  • Manage and document lead cycle interaction in CRM system
  • Promote, develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of XYZ's services, industry trends and competition

So if these skill sets are in short supply but needed right away how do you obtain them? If you are lucky enough to find a person with the skills needed – hire them right away even if their work location is not optimal. Having the right person in a virtual office model is much better than a second string player in your target city.  This person can become your master MA architect and also knows what other critical skills and positions will be needed to mange your program successfully. While sourcing this role, also focus more on hiring a new era marketing technologist rather than a traditional brand marketer.

Where to Go Next

If you are a senior B2B marketing executive or CMO it's important that you recognize these trends now and begin to make the changes needed in your organization to embrace the Sales 2.0 world.  Your company's survival may very well depend on it.

If you are a CEO it's important to heed the advice and counsel of your CMO as additional investments and time are going to be needed to fuel your new engine.

If your are new to marketing or just frustrated that your current marketing initiatives aren't working?   Consider our Lead Optimization Review for ideas on best practices and ways to get your program into high gear.

Want to know more about how marketing automation can "put a tiger in your tank"?  Let's connect, we would love to help!

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1 Comment:

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Robert Hunt
At 12:41 pm On July 3, 2012
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So very true and well said.

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