Research from Hays has suggested that over half (54 per cent) of today’s marketing directors started their career in a different field. The recruitment business believes the factors that drew them to marketing can inform candidate attraction strategies today.
Of the marketing directors surveyed for the recruiter’s recent DNA of a Marketing Director report, 41 per cent have worked in marketing for most of their career and 13 per cent for part of their career. Many started their career in more general commercial roles such as sales, customer service or management consulting, while others started in the creative sphere in journalism, graphic design, advertising or events.
What made them change direction? The most common factor was a love of numbers matched equally by their creative nous. For these marketing directors, the ability to be both creative and analytical at the same time was appealing.
Others progressed naturally from a sales career where they had worked closely with marketing and came to appreciate the wider influence they could have. One respondent told us they found business development to be more of a one-to-one exchange, whereas marketing gave them the opportunity to foster further relationships and more broadly impact revenue growth. Another said there is more scope to make an impact on a business through marketing than in other roles.
For those who started out in journalism or corporate comms, it was their fascination with consumer behaviour and interacting, engaging and telling stories that motivated their career change. “For these Marketing Directors, the inroads into marketing are varied but in general it was their commercial acumen and passion for creativity, strategy and consumer behaviour that enabled them to reach the top of the marketing function,” said Susan Drew, senior regional director at Hays. “Employers could focus their attraction strategy on these areas when looking to draw new talent to the industry or overcome existing skill shortages. A love of numbers, a desire to influence and impact revenue growth, an interest in consumer behaviour and a desire to engage and tell stories have all helped to attract today’s top talent to marketing, and can be used to do so again.”
According to the latest Hays Jobs Report, for the July to December 2018 half, skills in demand include:
- Digital experts including Digital Project Managers for contract roles, Content Managers and Writers for permanent roles and Content Writers and Producers with an understanding of UX for online channels;
- Data Insight Managers and Analysts with both technical and soft skills, who can use digital tools and pull data together while also managing stakeholders and telling the story the insights reveal;
- Hybrid Marketing Managers, Senior Marketing Managers and Digital Marketing Managers with a blended generalist and digital skillset who can create and implement strategies, use data to make evidence-based decisions, possess strong SEO and SEM skills, lead a team and prove ROI from strategy;
- Marketing automation skills;
- Campaign Marketing Managers as organisations are increasingly bring campaign management in-house;
- Marketing Coordinators with both traditional and digital skills;
- Digital Marketing Analysts who can implement a full marketing strategy;
- Marketing Executives and Assistant Brand Managers with strong experience in inventory and product management;
- Marketing Communications experts;
- E-commerce candidates in retail to help in-house teams meet high online revenue targets;
- E-commerce Coordinators focused on content.