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Are You In Marketing? How to Keep Your Job in 2012

March 8th, 2012

Do you want to stay employed for another 12 months? It won’t be easy. Most of you are going to be asked to do better, and differently, in a worse economic environment, with less money. Keeping your job might be tough, so here are four resolutions that can help you stay employed.

1. Stop blindly following other marketers. We present the same campaigns, repeating them in different times, ways and places, and then present them to one another to copy again. Resolve to break free from this echo chamber: Deconstruct “successful” campaigns so you really understand what happened, or what didn’t. Study what your competition didn’t do, and why. Challenge your coworkers to really examine why an idea is uniquely relevant to your brand, and not to the last two clients to whom they tried to sell it. That way it has a chance of being truly new.

2. Start talking to nonmarketers. Scientists. Historians. Theologians. The marketing industry is particularly parochial, and our conceptual inputs tend to be influenced by our fellow liberal arts types. We need to tap into primary resources and learn more about what we know about large things, like the cosmos, and little things, like the way we human beings work. When was the last time you asked a nonmarketer — a real nonmarketer, not a regular member of our food chain of idea creation — to present at a meeting, or simply to talk to you? The C-suite will take you far more seriously if you stop quoting marketers as support for your marketing. Do yourself a favor and stop reading business books exclusively, too.

3. Throw down the towel and swear allegiance to sales. Admit that real sales matter, and that a sale constitutes a customer giving your company money, which makes everything else that happens — i.e., everything you do — nothing more than prelude and prompt.

4. Learn to let go. The hot premise over the past few years is to pretend that consumers—instead of your business—”own” your brand. Ridiculous! The reality? You don’t own the mechanics of branding and marketing anymore. They belong to the entire enterprise. How much of your brand in 2012 will come from somewhere in the company other than marketing.

Want to know more? Just ask the employment experts at Morgan Hunter. Contact us any time with questions about the job market or finding a new job.

What to Look For in a Marketing Job Candidate

October 6th, 2011

Looking for a strong marketing candidate is a little like looking for a strong sales candidate. You want to find someone who is good at forming relationships and can tell you the strengths and unique features of a product. Since marketing is so web-reliant these days, marketing candidates also need a lot of tech savvy and a talent for analytical thinking. They also need to be creative problem solvers: Anyone can learn to use Google Analytics and to read demographic data, but it takes more to assimilate that data, then propose solutions to challenges and improvements on strengths.

So how do you find the candidates with all of these qualities?

First, ask the right questions:

“How do you define marketing?”
A good candidate will talk about more than just tactics. You want to hear that the candidate understands the importance of gaining customer input, monitoring the competition and allocating resources effectively with your goals in mind.

“How would you define our company’s mission?”
A strong candidate will be able to answer, because he or she will have done his or her homework.
“As a member of the marketing team, how do you see your role in relation to [list various departments]?” You want a team player who can work effectively with everyone in your organization and understands how the role of marketing fits in.

“Tell me about your experience with market research.”
A good candidate will be able to tell you about acquiring, interpreting, and presenting customer data.

“What marketing skills do you bring to the organization?”
You want people with hard skills, so ask if they don’t tell you specifically about their experience producing direct mail campaigns, managing databases, handling press relations or performing other key functions.

Second, ask yourself the right questions:

  • Does he or she understand that business is about being cost effective and understanding your customers?
  • Does he or she have good people/communication skills?
  • Would he or she fit into your organization?

Listen to your candidates’ answers, not only to what they say but how they say it. If they exhibit the right combination of people skills, business knowledge and technological know-how, you know you’re headed in the right direction.