If your business is marketing itself online and using email, automation or any number of other marketing solutions, you’re using “MarTech” or marketing technology. And as businesses embrace MarTech solutions, they increasingly rely on the skills of talented staff who have strong skills in marketing technology.
Marketing technologists help companies maximise ROI from technology investments - and by the end of 2017, CMOs are projected to spend more than CTOs on technology. So technology spend is mission critical to the success of today’s marketer.
About the Role
The MarTech industry has grown enormously. Thousands of companies offer products, platforms, and solutions to meet the demands of modern marketing. Solutions exist for data mining, insights and analytics, sales and commerce, social media and customer relationships, customer experiences and content, advertising, and more. They require varying levels of technology and marketing skills to implement and apply. This massive technology market is now driving the need for marketing professionals who can leverage that technology to achieve business goals.
Such talent typically have unique educational backgrounds, certifications, and experiences that allow them to provide value for specific company needs. Job descriptions vary, but certain overarching activities cover the general work they perform. Some of the most common responsibilities of a Marketing Technologist include:
- Provide strategic technology support. This specialist is a technology-fluent coordinator and marketer with a broad view of how technology fits the organisation. Hiring managers often look for experienced, educated, and driven professionals who can work with in-house teams toward specific business outcomes. In addition to using the title “marketing technologist” or “marketing technology specialist,” companies may also look for a “chief marketing technologist” to lead strategic efforts, based on advanced experience and leadership skills.
- Offer in-depth knowledge and experience with specific technology solutions. Most companies rely on several integrated and standalone solutions to create user-friendly and omnichannel marketing experiences. Few professionals will offer experience in every one of the solutions companies use, but high-quality candidates should demonstrate matching experience or complementary experience (work with a similar product) with some of the most heavily-used technologies.
- Streamline processes. Marketing technologists offer strategic value to the companies they serve, but they also offer on-the-ground support. These professionals work to optimise processes and outcomes to ensure each piece of content and campaign launches in accordance with expected timelines.
Unlike traditional marketing and IT roles, this person is tasked with helping business leaders break down silos between departments and foster business agility. They must demonstrate a well-rounded set of both hard and soft skills to succeed in the field.
“Must haves” of Marketing Technologists
To hire the right marketing technology specialist, look for these positive candidate qualities:
- A relevant degree and/or certifications. While a specific degree does not always translate to marketing technology skills, it can signal a career commitment to a certain field. An MBA or Bachelor's and advanced degrees in computer science, marketing, IT, or a related certification in online marketing subjects will serve a professional well in this role. Candidates with certifications in your core technologies can also add value to your team.
- Stepping stone experience. Look past the job title and into the everyday workflows of candidates to discover experience. Search for experience cues about coordination, technology rollout experience, strategy development, troubleshooting, and campaign optimization to find the right fit. Ask candidates specific questions about their roles to find the right fit. Prior experience in marketing technology can go a long way towards the growth of your company.
- Industry connections and involvement. Networking can set a technology-driven company apart from the competition. Gravitate toward candidates who attend industry conferences and participate in professional organisations. Connected individuals may learn about and implement value-driven changes faster than workers who prefer to work in a silo.
- Passion and drive. Many professionals are naturally adept at learning and using technology solutions. If a marketer can demonstrate a willingness to learn, he or she can specialise in your company’s solutions and grow with the business. A candidate who cannot articulate their trusted resources for gaining knowledge and growing their experience is unlikely to continually add value to your organisation for the long term.
- Agility. Diversity in experience and a willingness to adapt easily and quickly can prove a great asset. If a candidate demonstrates experience with multiple marketing tools and platforms, they are likely learn new and legacy systems faster than someone who specialises in particular products or solutions.
Expectations largely determine if a business needs a candidate with 10 years of experience in management, marketing, and/or technology, or if someone without as much experience but who demonstrates the ability to learn will fit the bill.
Hiring in a Competitive Job Market
Martech represents one of the fastest growing fields in business. Gartner research from early 2017 suggests that marketing technology expenditures in business now rival or exceed information technology expenditures in business. The demand for technology is growing faster than the pool of qualified job applicants.
Businesses must use proactive hiring strategies to find and retain employees, and anticipate their future marketing technology needs in order to make the right hiring decisions. For some companies, on-the-job training for promising professionals may create more value than competing for a handful of highly specialised talent. Regardless of hiring strategy, organisations often need to invest in marketing technology talent to keep pace in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
To attract the best talent for your company, you need a clear understanding of what you have to offer. Are you integrating exciting new technology? Do you have a particularly interesting puzzle to solve to increase your marketing performance? Is there paid opportunity for continuing education? Package the full opportunity and make sure everyone involved in the hiring process is well versed on benefits to land top candidates.
Finding the Right Candidates
Understanding what you’re looking for in a candidate can be fairly straightforward. Finding the right person who fits your job description and company culture is harder. Businesses often struggle to find the right candidates through conventional online job boards and social media posts - even referrals from your network can be tough, since the space itself is so new.
Instead of relying on these low-return recruiting tactics, many modern businesses turn to specialised recruiting firms with global access to high-quality talent pools, and sophisticated screening processes. These firms can streamline the vetting and hiring process so businesses can find marketing technology specialists faster.