One Brick at a Time
It takes six feet of material to predict the strength of an assembled wall. Six clay bricks bonded by mortar and workmanship and time. Six Bricks has a nice ring to it. For the past decade we’ve been working with the top companies and helping them realize their revenue goals through the implementation of best practices in marketing. LeadMD, the little marketing consultancy we formed nearly a decade ago, has become the go to resource for companies who want to leverage the latest technology to help them reach potential buyers and convert them into customers through modern marketing techniques.
After over 3,000 customer engagements, we’ve been building a wall, one brick at a time. During this arduous task, two things have become very clear. The first being that a huge amount of investment, both time and money, is being spent on marketing efforts and the business of acquiring customers. The second is that he talent pool is incredibly ill-equipped to support the demand. And due to lagging marketing education the gap is widening.
The Marketing Skill Gap: Searching for Unicorns
"Research has shown that marketing has one of the most pronounced digital skills gap of any industry. In fact, 90% of marketers consider themselves under-skilled in digital marketing functions,” found a recent Grovo study."
You don’t have to dig far beneath the surface to understand why. Marketing has become the junk drawer of the modern organization, which is to say tasks and skill-sets that often have no other home seem to end up there. With the SaaS revolution of the last ten years this has led to some pretty radical diversity requirements. Often we see “unicorn” type individuals with very little traditional education in marketing literally creating the desired resume for these sought after positions. Because of the pace of today’s hyper-growth businesses, marketing has become a haven for equally high performers looking for a lack of barrier and a Petri dish in which to create magic.
Research shows that marketing has one of the most pronounced digital skills gap of any industry. In fact, 90% of marketers consider themselves under-skilled in digital marketing functions.
“The new marketer combines operational and data skills with a grasp of the big picture,” according to a report by The Economist Intelligence Unit and Marketo. Emphasis was placed on these qualities: digital engagement and technology (39%), strategy and planning (38%), data analysis (32%), customer experience (27%), advertising and branding (26%), and creative and graphics (16%).
We don’t ask for such a diverse spectrum of skills from any other area of the organization. In fact, these requirements don’t read like a resume so much as they resemble the type of generalist skills we expect of founders and entrepreneurs in startups.
The new marketer combines operational and data skills with a grasp of the big picture.
Market Driver's for Marketing's Evolution
There are three primary market drivers which have compounded this evolution of marketing. First, the drive for data. With the 2008 recession suddenly everything became about returns you could illustrate with metrics and thus bring a high level of predictability. Suddenly ROIU became not only an ask, but an absolute requirement of the modern day marketer. To say this happened overnight is not an exaggeration. Literally overnight we looked at marketing as if it were a data analyst all along.
Second, the internet. The digital age began with the dot com boom and strangely never really lost steam, it just picked up some common sense along the way. To be in marketing in the last 15 to 20 years is to hear adages like “buyer behavior has changed” and “decision making happens primarily online” until you are literally nauseous with jargon. In marketing there’s only one thing that has effected the migration to digital more than shifting buyer preferences and that’s our third and final driver – money. Or lack thereof.
I mentioned the great recession once so far but because of its influence over modern marketing it actually needs two spots here. 2008 killed anything that was left of traditional marketing. Why? Because it shifted the collective organizational mindset away from marketing as a vendor manager into marketing as a “doer”. Marketers were now faced with shrinking budgets and growing responsibilities.
Today your best marketers are largely self-taught, incredibly high in demand and in a state of constant change.
Welcome to the present. Today your best marketers are largely self-taught, incredibly high in demand and in a state of constant change. To shore up in-house skill-sets the primary source of augmentation are agency partnerships and consultants. We know, because we built a thriving business based on helping businesses design, augment and support their marketing efforts. This isn’t a trend tapering off either, in fact Gartner recently showed that the CMO’s spend is set to eclipse that of the CIO.
We believe that the profession of marketing needs a core and relevant curriculum. We believe marketers need a means through which to demonstrate their expertise. We believe that the marketing profession is built brick by brick with proven strategies and actionable tactics created hand in hand with the world’s top companies.
Together we can build on this strong foundation, modern marketing experts.
Welcome to Six Bricks.