My inbox is full of resumes of good marketers that I’ve been fortunate to come to know or work with over the years. Solid people, with great experience who are now having a challenging time finding new opportunities in this incredibly difficult economic environment. Many of these people could have had their pick of jobs as recently as last year. Given the situation, I thought I’d try to help by providing a viewpoint on what skills set, background and experience companies will be seeking once they start hiring again. I’ll use two data sources to make the case.
Last month, I was given access to a database of senior level marketers (SVP and up) to do some analysis for the organization that owns it. We looked at the background and experience of over 800 marketers with the following titles:
- 50% were CMO’s
- 32% EVP’s of Marketing
- 8% SVP’s of Marketing
- And interestingly enough 10% had CEO titles but had recently been the head of marketing
They came from large, medium and small companies including start ups:
- 25% – Large (over $500M)
- 32% – Medium ($100-$500M)
- 23% – Small ($50-$100M)
- 22% – Start up or under $50K
We were interested in assessing their area of expertise, experience and tenure.
Although executives with Product Management and Sales Enablement/Demand Gen experience represent only 27% of the total group, they represented a disproportionate amount of executives with the longest tenure. In fact, they were twice as likely (as a representative percentage) to be in the 2-5 years tenure category than those with Brand, Advertising and Corp Comm backgrounds. And they made up half of the individuals in the more than 5 year category.
Another interesting thing we picked up is that markerters in the NYC area were more likely to be new in role versus other regions (higher than average churn…probably attributed to a higher supply of talent).
Spencer Stuart has for many years reported CMO tenure rates (less than the life of a gold fish) but I’ve never seen them look at tenure by background…which makes a difference based on our assessment.
Finally, let’s look at Supply & Demand.
The Top 20 Advertisers in the US have been decimated. Think about…half of the Top 10 advertisers in 2007 were automobile manufactures. As a result, agencies have put hordes of people on the street.GDP in Q4 2008 is estimated to have declined by 6.2% from Q3 that declined by 0.5%. Revenues are down on average of 30-40% from the prior year in most firms (at least the ones we work with).
As a result, there are a slew of marketers with advertising, branding, and corporate comm backgrounds (73% of the database that we analyzed) in the market.
Let’s put it all together:
- CEO’s measure marketing effectiveness by revenue growth and market share
- CMO’s see the greatest need for new talent being driven by the integration of sales & marketing
- A large supply of “above the line” marketers exist in the marketplace
Conclusion– potentially high demand and a low supply of marketers who can drive revenue. The marketers that will be in the highest demand coming out of the recession will be the ones who have been aligned or have had direct responsibility for growing revenue. Marketers that can speak the language of sales. Unfortunately, it will be a slow process for folks with a Brand PR and Corp Comm or the Ex-Agency/Media guys.Marketers with backgrounds in Product Management/Marketing who have owned a P&L, folks with sales backgrounds and/or marketers who can show that they can drive revenue/growth will be in demand first.
The challenge for the other groups is that of supply. It’s not to say that good Brand and Agency folks won’t find positions it’s that it’s going to be hard. Expect that you will be competiting with many other qualified candidates and it may be difficult to differentiate yourself.