You’re considering ramping up your marketing results by implementing a marketing automation system, but know you’ll need to find someone to get things going. This article will explain why it might seem hard to find someone with the right skills, where to look for candidates, and what to do when you can’t find someone with experience.
Why is it so hard to find someone with the skills I’m looking for?
Marketing Automation barely existed 10 years ago and since then around 5,000 companies (give or take a few thousand depending on who you ask) have started using it. The problem? The majority of these implementations took place over the past few years. Since so many companies have made marketing automation a staple in their toolset so quickly, and because it’s a new industry, it can be difficult to find those experienced for open positions.
Where can I find someone with marketing automation skills?
If you are looking to find someone with previous marketing automation experience, here is what I suggest doing:
Post the job in MA user communities. The larger (better?, cooler?) marketing automation solutions have built robust user communities to allow for knowledge transfer, self-service solution finding, and networking. Posting your position in these communities is probably the best place to start your search. A few things to remember:
- Post in multiple communities, regardless of the solution you selected as skills often transfer pretty well between platforms.
- Some communities are closed to postings (or even viewing) if you are not already a customer. Marketo’s community is an example of this. When this happens you can typically email asking for the post to be added. Here at Marketo you can simply email [email protected] to have yours shared.
Post the job in LinkedIn groups. When I have a new job requisition open I post it in the Marketo group and in general topic groups, like the Marketing Automation Experts group, The B2B Lead Generation and Marketing Automation group, and The Marketing Automation Association (MAA) group. More general groups, like the MarketingSherpa group, the Marketing Operations group, and the Online Marketing Experts group.
- Note: Make sure that you post in the jobs section of the group, not the discussion section of the group to avoid any frustration.
Network, and ask for Referrals (including social media). The best candidates often come from referrals or networking. Don’t know where to start? Post the jobs on your social networks. At Marketo we use a recruiting platform called Jobvite that helps automate and track job referrals generated from social media. Though don’t rely on social connections only, be sure to visit local marketing and CRM related user groups to make connections, and pick up the phone to reach out to those you’ve connected with in the past.
Use a Recruiter. Recruiters can often help fill tricky-to-hire positions. There are some that specialize in high tech marketing, who likely are connected with those that will be a good fit. Feel free to email me if you need referrals to the recruiters I use (maria at marketo dot com)
Use LinkedIn InMail. Found the perfect candidate on LinkedIn, but see that they are aleady employed? You can use LinkedIn InMail to send them messages asking if they are interested in discussing the role.
- Tips: Don’t send spammy messages one after the other. Do a very targeted search and then send notes specific to each individual to ensure maximum replies.
Try posting on public marketing communities. Mashable, MarketingProfs, ClickZ, and the AMA all have job boards where you can post your positions. MarketingSherpa has a good list of job sites related to marketers (though I’m not sure when last updated). I’d advise to not post in communities that require payment to join and see listings. It’s one thing if you have to pay to post a listing, and if only a limited set of users can see the listing, then it’s probably not going to get a ton of eyeballs.
What do I do if I can’t find someone with the experience I want?
No Experience? No problem. Well, maybe no problem. Some marketing automation solutions are trickier than others. If you’re using a solution that requires a centralized structure with power users then I would keep using the methods above until you find the right person. If you are an easier to implement platform, then focus on the skills for success instead of previous marketing automation experience. On the Demand Gen team here at Marketo, Marketo experience is not a requirement, and almost all of those who now use the tool every day on the Demand Gen team had never used Marketo prior to joining. Instead we look for those with the raw materials, and then show them how to use the technology just like a new customer. What are the raw materials we look for?
- Analytical. Look for people that ask why, and understand cause and effect. Super critical skills for marketing automation experts.
- Creative. Look for people that don’t just implement based on a list of instructions, but those who want to push things further than the status quo. Creativity goes far beyond design, and extends to database structure, communications with sales, and program execution.
- Exploring. Look for those that tinker with things, and are looking for more than one solution to a problem. Those that aren’t scared to get their mental hands dirty will be most successful when using marketing automation to the fullest.
- Hardworking. At the end of the day, I truly believe if people are smart and hardworking that every challenge can be conquered. Those that are willing to put in the extra work, and not just go with good enough, are going to get the most mileage out of marketing automation.
Great points, Maria!
I would like to point out to anyone reading Maria’s article and considering Marketing Automation should also consider the assistance of an MA consultant. The bottom line is that while cloud-based solutions are easier to deploy than in the past, they are still effectively IT implemantations, and like any IT implementation, it can fail if not planned and executed correctly.
If you’re a traditional marketer who has a full plate already, a consultant can help you put things in perspective, establish the processes that will work in your organization, and get sales and marketing “rowing in the same direction.”
The adoption of Marketing Automation involves a transformation of how you do business- this should not intimidate you, and a Marketing Automation expert will help you avoid the common landmines and steep learning curve that intimidates marketers.