These days, marketing hires are in charge of more than just creating a pretty brand. They’re expected to track the numbers behind engagement strategies, analyze the ROI on campaigns, and so much more.
With this in mind, we asked nine founders the degree to which they expect marketing hires to have this expertise, and what skills in particular they were looking for. Their answers are below.
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Excellence in one Aspect
I need people who have a firm handle on the basics -- not a slight understanding of a bunch of different areas. I think it's more important to be super strong in at least ONE aspect of data and analytics as opposed to being somewhat proficient in more areas. I need people who know what they're talking about.
– Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
2. Analytics Skills Are Critical
In today's business climate, marketing hires are expected to have fluency in data and analytics. This proficiency can be demonstrated in many ways, whether it's expertise with statistical tools, metrics, data analysis or market research insights. Candidates with experience in Google Analytics, email software and website testing tools rank higher for me when it comes to marketing.
3. Data Skills Are Essential
For startups, marketing and growth have to occur in the context of data. It’s the only way to sensibly prioritize efforts and experiment. So marketing hires must have the interest and skills to be quantitative. Look for experience with platforms like Google Analytics or Mixpanel, a willingness to crank out spreadsheets and a desire to learn.
– Bhavin Shah, Refresh
4. They Need to Know a few Tools
With so many plug and play online tools, it's inconceivable that new marketing hires wouldn't know the basics of data and analytics. At a very minimum, they need to be able to use existing tools or plugin tools that effectively do all the data mining and crunching for them. You should know Google Analytics, one social media analytics tool and the native analytics tool for your commerce platform.
5. Data Analytics Are Teachable
I don't expect all marketing hires to be data scientists because data/analytics isn't hard to teach. Look for well-rounded marketers who are hungry to learn new skills. Just because they never had the opportunity to explore Google Analytics or perform A/B tests doesn't mean their experience is useless. If you feel someone has potential, developing their skills could pay off big time.
– Robert De Los Santos, Sky High Party Rentals
6. Analytics Isn't Everything
Caseable’s marketing team has an array of different backgrounds and skill sets. For example, rather than looking for a specific analytics-based marketing degree, we value a creative mindset and natural aptitude. This isn’t to say that a working knowledge of AdWords isn’t a plus, though.
7. Expertise in Data/Analytics is Non-Negotiable
This is a requirement. We’re a results-based organization and the first thing we do in any process is benchmark and set goals. Often candidates say, “I met my goal’ when talking about previous positions, but what effect did that goal have on revenue? Most marketers can’t answer that because they’re compensated on the number of leads. But for us, we want people to prove their results.
8. Being Well-Rounded Is More Important
Any marketing hire needs to understand data and analytics, but we look for well-rounded candidates who can also write well and think creatively. Marketers need to have great ideas, and then be able to test them and evaluate their success.
9. It's Mandatory
If a marketer can't measure his returns, he's no marketer. He's a copywriter, an evangelist or something else. Marketing hires must have a clear understanding of the cost of their actions and their outcome: visits, leads, revenue, etc. That means being proficient in tools like Google Analytics, Salesforce, Kissmetrics, etc.