Egads, have you ever read some of the job descriptions for marketing people? Some of them are downright cryptic. And for companies who are looking for "results oriented" people, I'm amazed at how jargon laden and crappy some of them are. Cases in point from just a little quality time with CareerBuilder:
From a big fat Fortune 500 company:
Collaborate with field and other cross-functional partners to identify potential revenue generating gaps or barriers in building infrastructure for any given alternate channel.Is this jargon for "figure out what's working and what's not?"
From a big department store retailer:
Planning and execution of a multiple cutting edge business and strategic relationship marketing programs supporting the extension and development of online and direct-to-customer channels for XYZ company. Forming partnerships with internal business for expansion of value-added services and capabilities. Forming strategic partnerships with external partners to create new services, adding value to the XYZ customer experience.Ready for buzzword bingo, anyone? Using the old trick of removing the buzzwords to reveal the essence of the sentence, we're left with little of substance. No wonder this company is struggling mightily.
From another retailer, this time in office supplies:
...this position is accountable for building, maintaining, and expanding the technical infrastructures and analytical skills pool required to consistently deliver timely insight to key decision makers as well as for building strategic relationships with merchandising, marketing, and sales to foster a fact based decision making culture.As opposed to making decisions based on a bunch of BS? And I'm not exactly sure I'd like to go swimming in an analytical skills pool.
I could go on. (If you're a serious masochist, just head to career builder and type in "marketing". Start reading. Prepare the Advil.)
So how should people find great marketing talent?
You have to be willing to turn convention on it's head a little bit. The essence of great marketing is clear, compelling communication with the people that want to know you. You can't have this be an integral part of your strategy and then recruit people with this drivel.
Start paying attention to the aspects of your potential Marketeers that are the intangibles. I promise you'll find lots of people with adequate qualifications. But pay attention to a few other things:
- Are they personable? Funny? Gregarious? If not, their projects aren't likely to be, either.
- Can they hold an engaging conversation? This translates, trust me. Ever met a great marketing person with a wilting personality?
- Do they have interests outside of work, and do they participate in other activities and communities, either online or off? Great marketing is a good dose of insight and instinct, and only those who are involved in communities will know what it's like to talk to one.
- Is their resume or cover letter full of the same jargon that's in these job descriptions? Red flag.
Smart marketing people are immune to these kinds of appeals, and will often skip right to the next company. Remember, you're selling them the appeal of working with you too, not just doing them a favor by giving them a job. Smart marketers are savvy and in demand, and unfortunately mediocre ones can be found in droves. Which are you searching for?