Marketing remains an industry that is immensely popular and is steadily-increasing in terms of workers. The growing demand for digital marketers can, in part, be attributed to the increase of new technologies that have been popularised. This tide of innovation calls for adaptable and savvy marketers to succeed in a modern, digital market. By that design, the approach to recruiting talented marketers with essential, up-to-date skills has changed drastically in a few years — just as the marketing industry has.
The necessary skill set for a role in other careers can often be presented in a neat and quantifiable way, however, marketing hiring managers can often feel unsure about the competency of a candidate, even after an interview. But, no matter the marketing role, the key skills needed for an excellent marketer in 2020 are as follows:
Co-ordinate with the sales team
Marketing and sales teams often play quite different roles within the company but align in their shared goal of converting traffic into sales — a practice that relies on the two teams supporting one another. Marketing, to be profitable, is contingent on sales to convert their hard work into turnover, just as sales rely on marketing to provide the traffic.
The talent you hire should have a customer-centric approach to marketing and the ability to think like a sales team member whilst maintaining an open conversation with the sales team. They should have a collaborative mindset and be flexible in their approach to marketing. In addition, they should integrate feedback into their marketing strategy for better conversion rates to aid the sales team by prioritising quality leads over quantity.
Asking competency-based questions regarding the candidate’s previous experiences working with members of another team can highlight their ability to collaborate. In addition, asking them to explain the effects of an effective marketing campaign for the sales team is a great way of evaluating their knowledge on the subject and whether they view it as a priority.
Propose a content strategy plan
Successful marketers already know the importance of content creation and how it can benefit the company. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. These leads are driven by traffic from pieces of content that marketers create including written or visual work.
Marketers who create thorough, well-researched and customer-tailored content generate a higher volume of traffic which can promote brand-awareness and be converted to sales. The best marketers will create a strategic plan for creating and sharing content in order to maximise their outreach and improve conversion rates. In a Hubspot study, 61% of marketers said generating traffic and leads were the most challenging aspect of marketing, but two-thirds of customers feel more positively towards a brand after engaging with them.
Assessing a candidate’s marketing approach is essential. As an employer, you should find out if the candidate understands the purpose of creating a strategic plan and how they would attempt to construct one. In their answer, look out for the key elements of a great content strategy plan including being: cost-effective, customer-based, creative, innovative, organised, analytical and efficient.
Marketing and advertising software such as Microsoft Dynamics and Google Ads (including PPC) are being readily used in marketing as the industry becomes rapidly more technologically-focused. In fact — Facebook’s ad revenues are set to overtake the entire advertising budget for the print industry in 2019, according to a report by EMarketer. The ability to integrate with different software and decipher raw data allows for a more effective marketing strategy.
Adapting to the customer demographic and marketing the product in the most accessible way invites a tech-minded candidate — one who will be able to relate to the 64% of consumers who click on a Google ad when they are looking to buy items online.
Hiring millennials or those with proven technological ability may help you choose a candidate who is passionate about technology. You can include a technology-based test during the interview process or ask the candidate to walk you through their knowledge of a programme or software. In a similar sense, consider hiring interns who are less ‘specialised’ in SEO or content marketing, but more open to learning new skills as the need for them arise.
Analyse, analyse, analyse
Being creative and an effective collaborator are great skills to have in the marketing industry but mean little on their own without the essential ability to analyse what is — and what isn’t — working.
Certain tools, including the popular Google Analytics, can tell you exactly how consumers are interacting with your company. It’s important for a marketer to know how to decipher consumer data to actively make changes which will optimise the marketing campaign. They should prioritise customer preferences and regularly measure performance against ROI and conversion rates.
To find out if a candidate possesses this vital skill, asking questions such as “What factors do you consider before making a big decision?” and “Which metrics do you track on a regular basis (e.g. website traffic, rates of conversion, expenses)?” may deliver good results. Low-quality responses include brief, general and stereotypical answers. In addition, you can present the candidate with raw data and ask them to construct a convincing marketing solution to improve consumer interactions.
A natural hunger for marketing
Lastly, an important trait to look for in your candidate is their hunger for marketing. The CEO of Twitter has stated that one of the most important traits he looks for when hiring is passion as it’s the “only thing that can’t be taught.”
A passion for marketing and generating results naturally leads to hitting targets that spur an employee’s intrinsic reward system. This benefits the employee, the employer and helps with the smooth running of everyone on the team.
While you can’t force an employee to be passionate about their job, you can motivate your marketing team to increase job performance. In a similar way, there are steps your company can take to attract great marketers to join your team and keep them from leaving.