The 2012 CMO Survey by the American Marketing Association and Duke University. In terms of both department size and budget, Marketing is on the rise. They report that the size of business’ marketing departments has more than doubled — in fact, almost tripled – since August 2011 …
Which is why perhaps I know have three times the amount of work to do… as it’s just me
As they report, as the role of marketing grows, it also continues to evolve. Today’s marketing department, for example, looks very different than it did even just a few short years ago. In fact, a collection of new roles has emerged, and they’re growing in importance within many marketing teams.
Let’s examine what each of these roles consist of, and why you might want to consider adding them to your growing marketing team.
New Marketing Roles of Growing Importance
Marketing Operations / Pipeline Specialist
Marketing operations professionals are charged with monitoring, measuring, and analyzing the effectiveness of marketing initiatives as they relate to the overall company’s goals. Marketing operations staff work closely with Sales, and sometimes also have a sales operations counterpart. Together, they manage the relationship between Marketing and Sales to ensure that both sides are optimized to deliver (Marketing’s role) and work (Sales’ role) the highest quality leads, something HubSpot has grown fond of calling “SMarketing.” Marketing operations staff make projections about the quality of the sales and marketing pipeline and find efficiencies that will make the company work better as a whole.
Customer Evangelist / Customer Experience Professionals
In 2011, Forrester released a report called “The Rise of the Chief Customer Officer.” The report detailed a trend existing among B2B and B2C companies alike — hiring an individual to oversee customer communications and customer happiness. While the report focuses on a formal, executive-level role (“CCO”), we’ve seen this trend at all levels in companies.
Roles under this subset include community managers, customer experience designers, and customer communications officers. Skills and focus areas range, but the customer evangelist is essentially the internal voice of the customer within a company. Sometimes measured by Net Promoter Score surveys or user testing, their role aims to keep customer happiness and loyalty high by making customers’ experiences with the company easy and rewarding. Beyond being “the right thing to do,” creating a positive customer experience actually drives results. In fact, according to Nielsen’s April 2012 Global Trust in Advertising report, 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. In a socially driven market, the role of a customer evangelist becomes all the more critical.
Inbound Marketing Strategist
It’s no news to us, but recent research from SiriusDecisions underscores the shift that B2B companies are making toward inbound marketing as a core strategy, and the need for more inbound marketing talent. “More than any other new approach, inbound marketing is rapidly becoming a standard part of the marketing mix,” writes Jay Gaines, who leads SiriusDecisions’ Demand Creation Strategies advisory service. Inbound marketing strategists must have a comprehensive mix of skills including search engine optimization, content strategy, and content mapping against a lead’s decision-making process. Gaines writes: “SiriusDecisions expects the inbound marketer to become a fixture in the majority of b-to-b marketing organizations in the next one to two years.”
Lead Nurturing Specialist
As most savvy marketers will tell you, attracting traffic and converting those visitors into leads is only half the battle. All too many potential customers get stuck in the middle of the marketing funnel, never continuing on to make an actual purchase. Professionals skilled in lead nurturing help marketing teams deliver highly tailored content to guide leads to a point of decision. And research shows that personalized marketing leads to more customer conversions than generalized communications.
The lead nurturing role in an organization is steeped in customer and lead data. According to that same AMA/Duke University CMO Survey, “The ability to leverage information about customers in order to deliver and demonstrate value opens the door for marketers to fill the role as analysts and ‘data whisperers.’”
Documentarian / Videographer
Technology has lowered the barriers to creating high-quality videos, making creation and distribution more affordable for companies of all sizes. As a result, video as a form of content is on the rise. It’s no surprise then, that 87% of online marketers use video content, according to Outbrain’s State of Content Marketing. Not to mention that Social Media Examiner reported earlier this year that 76% of marketers planned to increase their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers would invest in for 2012.
Partnership / Co-Marketing Manager
Co-marketing is the practice of two, complementary companies collaborating on content or marketing initiatives. As a result, co-marketing brings fresh perspectives to your marketing initiatives and helps each company reach an audience that might not otherwise have found them.
Changes to Existing Roles
In addition to the growing prominence of some newer roles, a number of existing marketing roles have begun to change and adapt as well. Here are some top trends we’ve noticed.
Social Media as a Core Skill
Five years ago, a marketing department might have hired a young graduate to head up its social media strategy. But according to the 2011 Webmarketing123 State of Digital Marketing report, with an average of 68% of marketers generated leads from social media sites, social media is no longer a specialization but rather a core marketing skill. As such, new marketing hires at every level should be expected to understand and contribute to social media strategies.
Analytics as a Core Skill
As you may have noticed above, analytics and data are playing a big role in emerging marketing positions. In fact, the AMA/Duke CMO survey cites that spending on marketing analytics is expected to increase 60% by 2015. As marketing departments grow in size and marketing budgets increase, the ability to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and channels will become more and more essential. Read more about how to cultivate a data-driven marketing team in this blog post.
The Technology CMO
In a Gartner study, Vice President of Marketing Strategies Laura McLellan asserts, “By 2017, the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO.” Her assertion is backed by survey data in which 90% of respondents said that the marketing department is either solely responsible or leads a cross-functional team that sets the strategy for technology purchasing decisions. Marketers have more and more say in the technology they use to do their jobs. Enough said.
Media Relations: Less Pitch, More Support
According to the AMA/Duke University CMO survey, only 53% of companies are using marketing staff for traditional public relations activities, which is a significant step down from 65% in 2011.
In all of these developments and newly emerging roles, there are a few overarching trends: The importance of data, useful content, and relationships are on the rise.