How to Resource your Marketing Team in a Talent Shortage – our top tips from a recent webinar

How to Resource your Marketing Team in a Talent Shortage – our top tips from a recent webinar

Recently we held an event called ‘How to resource your marketing team in a talent shortage’ where we talked about the massive shift in marketing since COVID-19 hit and how this has made hiring marketing talent really hard. We also shared many solutions, including our new Partner Solutions packages. Missed the session? Here’s some of the information we shared…

Finding it hard to hire marketing talent? You’re not alone. If you’ve got ambitious marketing plans, you’ll need to find the right people to help you make it happen, but that in itself is not an easy task these days.

It’s certainly been challenging times to run a business and out of the past two years of COVID-19 impacts there have been ‘losers’ – those who have struggled to survive, and ‘winners’ – those who have experienced more growth than they ever imagined possible.

Both of these scenarios are challenging, and in our privileged position as a full service marketing agency working with hundreds of clients across dozens of sectors each year for the past 15 years, we’ve seen all sorts of things happen, but never anything quite like this.

As Michelle Klein, Vice President, Global Customer Marketing, Facebook said at the Facebook Marketing Summit in 2021:

“We’ve had 10 years of digital advancement in just 6 months. For many this transition has been extremely difficult. Businesses across Australia all went into the pandemic at varying stages and levels of digital maturity. The one constant has been TOTAL change for everyone.”

We believe the impacts of COVID have elevated the value and importance of marketing in a modern way in line with the changing behaviours of humans. And our behaviours have changed a lot in the past two years due to the impacts of COVID. Some businesses have responded to this challenge by seeking to hire in-house marketing resources. Some do not really know what they need in a hire, how to write the recruitment ad, how to interview and qualify them, and once they are in the hot seat, how to manage them.

In our experience a total entry level marketing hire will cost you $60k+, a mid level marketing hire (around 3 years experience) will cost you $80k+ and an experienced marketing hire (5 years +) will cost you $100k+ and that’s just for one hire, when you may need several people to deliver on a reasonable marketing strategy and plan.

The cost to hire has also gone up exponentially due to mass emigration of skilled workers out of Australia, and no skilled workers coming into Australia. Then we see people trying to hire ‘unicorns’ that is the marketing person who ‘does it all’ which, for anyone who knows how expansive marketing now is, and how deep each marketing discipline goes, will know, is completely unrealistic.

So to respond to all of this we wrote a white paper (which you can sign up to receive below) and also ran a free webinar session on this topic (which you can also sign up for to access the link.

Here are some of our key points from the webinar which was mainly intended for ‘C suite’ executives namely Board members, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chief Operating Officers (COOs) who need more information on board to understand their marketing teams and ‘Marketers’ – Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs), Marketing Managers & Marketing Coordinators who are experiencing talent shortages, and struggling to obtain the education they need, or who have lack of time or lack of skills to deliver on the marketing strategy or plan the C suite want, who need a compelling information to go back to their Board or Management with which will see them outsource some of their marketing requirements to a capable full service creative and marketing agency (like us!)

Alternatively feel free to contact us on any of the options available at: https://www.thecreativecollective.com.au/contact/ 

1/ Access not ownership

In the sharing economy we have seen the prioritisation of access over owners. Just take a look at Airbnb who own no accommodation, Uber who owns no cars, Doordash who owns no restaurants or cafes, and HotDoc who has no doctors.

In the new digital world, access to marketing expertise without the high fixed cost is more important than ever. An agency is only tied to you as long as the contract (generally 6-24 month periods, with some services available on month to month). You don’t need to ‘own’ marketing assets in the form of staff, or perhaps not as many as you thought. You can be more agile if you outsource to a full service agency, and also gain efficiency and increase the outcomes if you select the right partner in your marketing.

2/ It’s an employees market

Prior to lockdown, you could place an advertisement and have hundreds of applicants. Now for some roles you’re lucky to get a handful of resumes, very few that are suitable, and by the time you get a hold of them, they’ve got another job. The bottom line is, it’s an employee market in Australia, and even with borders slowly opening it is likely to remain this way for some time. 

Skilled talent in Australia and ones with significant experience are able to demand increased pay, and packages with previously unseen levels of flexibility. This means it is very much an employee market, and if you want to hire talent, you’ll likely have to hunt hard, and pay well to lure them over. And even if you do get them, there may be no loyalty, with the next headhunter likely prowling all over their Linkedin Profile the moment they step foot in your office. 

When you hire a company and not a person you are ensuring better continuity for your businesses marketing needs.

3/ Consider that the fundamental needs of an employee have changed

The fundamental needs of an employee have gone through a major shift in the last decade according to many sources.

Here are the 3 essential needs of post-COVID employees:

  1. Work-life balance – One of the most important factors in a post-COVID world is the work-life balance provided by the company. Employees have taken stock over COVID and want more time with their families and the people they care about, and more time to spend on the things they like doing. They’re not planning to wear long hours or ‘being busy’ as a badge of honour. They are more interested in part time and flexible hours, and in some cases, even a four day work week which is gaining popularity globally.
  2. Culture – The culture of an organisation a person chooses to work for is now also more important than ever. Many people are seeking to work with values-driven organisations meaning that the company’s mission aligns with their own beliefs and values whether that be helping people, the planet or otherwise, but not necessarily profit. They’ll be interested in the location they’ll be expected to work from (Salesforce recently purchased a retreat to lure their employees back to working in person!), who the leadership team are, and who they’ll work with including what your diversity and inclusion policy is. 
  3. Flexibility – Even before COVID came along, employees had started realising the possibility of working from home and some companies were experimenting with it but COVID thrust HR teams around the world to quickly reconsider, reconfigure and re-communicate their Flexible Work Policies, and some organisations (including us!) have created multiple versions of these policies in the past 2 years.. Today, when you list a new job ad on Linkedin you have the option to select whether the role is remote, in office, or hybrid. And it would be expected that you would outline in the ad what your flexible working policy is, or at least allude to it.

4/ Experience matters more than ever

One of the biggest risks to a company right now, is not fully understanding the market trends, tools and opportunities that are upon us. 

Boards and leadership teams often underestimate the complexity and skill required to deliver marketing results in an ever changing digital world and some hire inexperienced people hoping that they will have the ability to develop and execute on a marketing strategy which in many cases simply isn’t realistic.

However you approach marketing, the fact is you will need someone with experience guiding the ship, be that someone in house, or an external consultant or strategist helping you to identify the trends, tools and opportunities and mapping out your best path forwards. Whilst it may cost you to contract this expertise or create a plan, it will actually save you in the long run if you are able to achieve your marketing objectives.

5/ From ONE to OMNI 

We’ve talked about the multiple marketing channels now available to marketers at various points in this white paper however when we consider these multiple channels, it is our philosophy that we shouldn’t think of these as siloed activities. Yet many people who ask us for ‘help with their Facebook page’, or ‘running some Google Ads’ often do. 

To experience the full power of marketing in 2022 and beyond, you need to move your thinking from ONE channel to OMNI channel. By this, we mean giving strong consideration to what your marketing objectives are, who your target audiences are, and then the channel actually becomes obsolete. Whilst we might deploy initial campaigns on initial channels, using the most modern of technology when it comes to marketing, we will deploy strategies to effectively ‘follow’ people around on the internet, wherever they are. Some obscure blog. An app they just downloaded and are playing a game on. Their email inbox side column. This is where the real power of marketing is at. 

Anyone with a basic understanding of mathematics will understanding that an omni-channel approach is able to deliver significantly more returns than a one channel or several channel approach. Accustomed to the speed and convenience offered by digital, omnichannel consumers have raised expectations regarding everything from customer engagement and experience to price and product options. 

There is a significant mismatch between total ad spend and attention, with 80% spend on Facebook and Google (Adnews, 2020), whilst only 34% of the time online spent on these platforms.

Omnichannel marketing is a multichannel sales approach carefully curated to provide a seamless experience for the customer. The marketing and advertising strategy is based on customer behaviour and interaction, not a universal brand experience. This means a customer’s behaviour dictates the next thing they see. In other words, not every customer has the same experience. This can be a very difficult concept to get your head around, but a very powerful one if you can (and one which we can certainly work with you further on).

As a company we build funnels, in an omnichannel environment to ensure you don’t miss a buyer or a lead. 

6/ The Need to Remain Nimble

We all know now that we literally do not know what Mother Nature or World Events are going to throw at us next, and the benefits of remaining as nimble as we possibly can. By hiring an outsourced marketing team, you are able to become more nimble should you not be getting the results you are seeking, or should your business needs change. 

If your outsourced team is not performing, you could first have conversations with them, on what other talent they may have on the team that you can access if it’s not a good fit on the first engagement, and they may just have someone sitting in the wings who can step up swiftly.  

The same can’t be said for when a staff member isn’t performing. You will often be subject to long drawn out performance management processes, and potentially paying out a redundancy should you wish to terminate their employment. 

Similarly, a larger agency should be able to scale up quickly should your business be growing or wish to mobilise a large campaign, and  to scale down should you be going through a quiet patch, whereas a limited in house marketing team may not be able to manage this growth.


7/ There are obvious cost savings to be ha
d

We’ve already outlined in earlier pages the wages you will likely have to pay out should you wish to secure inhouse marketing talent, and that is if you can secure them, retain them, and achieve ongoing performance from them. In most cost comparisons we have run with our clients, there is actually not only a significant benefit but a significant cost savings for them when they do outsource to a full service agency versus having a team inhouse, or even pursuing a hybrid model whereby they may retain some team inhouse, and outsource the aspects they cannot manage themselves.  

Summary 

We hope we’ve given you lots of things to think about on this large and interesting topic: Resourcing your Marketing team in a talent shortage. Whether the talent shortage remains an issue or not, chances are many of the other topics we’ve discussed will remain, such as the proliferation of digital channels, the need to move your thinking from ‘one to omni’ and the changing needs of employees.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with what to do next, simply book a call with us or consider the following:

1/ Conduct a skill gap analysis 

  • What areas of marketing is your business weak in?
  • Can you hire or upskill and get the depth of knowledge required to fill this skill gap?
  • What will be the cost to get the appropriate talent, with the level of skill/experience required?

2/ Hiring challenges?

  • Is outsourcing a feasible solution in the short-term or long-term as an alternative to hiring in a talent shortage market?
  • What would be the pros and cons for outsourcing

3/ Existing structure

  • What are the cost savings to be had to revert to an outsourced model? Talk to us if you’d like a quote!

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