The Integrated Marketer is a juggler of many skills and these continue to grow every year with technology enhancements, changes in customer and consumer buying and usage behaviours and businesses striving for greater efficiencies through combining roles. In recent times the general marketer has always been in the cross hairs of the cost cutters. The Integrated Marketer is the new breed who will find themselves increasingly indispensable because they fill a number of different (and formally separate) roles and responsibilities.
For a couple of years I've had the goal of developing an 'Integrated Marketing' team by bringing the marketing and digital teams together, increasing the skill set and knowledge and reducing the reliance on external agencies. It's not that I'm against external agencies, but I truly believe specific knowledge, experience and skills should be built and not bought, and must reside in the business versus sitting externally.
I've had assistance from an unlikely situation in achieving my goal having to fill 7 maternity leave contracts in the team in the last 18 months. Apart from assisting growing the Australian population it has also provided the opportunity to bring different skills into the team through contract roles.
On a humorous side note - the Executive team have been wondering what's in the water in my team area!
Anyway, back to the purpose of this blog...
When our new mothers return to the workforce, they have the opportunity to learn new skills which have been integrated by a host of talented maternity leave contractors. As an example we've improved: digital data analysis, customer centred design, digital marketing and general skills developed from working in the fast-paced environments found in advertising agency, something which we tend to lack client side. All these new skills are great and provide much added value to the individual and the business however, it still all comes down to the attitude of the individual and if they want to broaden their skill set and experience outside their core.
When interviewing for new marketing talent, I'm keen to understand the candidates attitude and I'm searching for a mix of the following 4 requirements, each of which I feel are core to the success of Integrated Marketing:
The Influencer - being able to discuss ideas with all parts of the business and be able to influence key stakeholders and to understand their drivers.
The Challenger - looking to the future, seeing what trends are working and what's just around the corner and not afraid to try something new by influencing stakeholders to give it a go.
The Facilitator - often marketing requires bringing together a number of different parties to find a solution and as a facilitator you need to be able to influence people in the room.
The Student - this final skill resonates deeply with me. If you think you've learnt everything you can, then you're destined to be obsolete and you'll never be any better than you are today! Watch, listen and learn from everyone and I mean everyone from the Gen Y to the 30 year veteran. Filter out the noise and absorb the parts which you can add to your arsenal of skills and knowledge to draw upon at another time. An Integrated Marketer needs to continuously learn new skills.
The Integrated Marketer is the Swiss Army knife of modern marketing.