Five Must Have Skills to Work in MarTech/ AdTechAdTech/ MarTec/ Opinion
9 months ago by Andrea
In this opinion piece, co-founder and head of technology at The Lumery Alastair Johnson shares his view of how recruitment in the MarTech & AdTech space has changed and the capabilities required to be at the forefront of MarTech/ AdTech development in 2018.
Over the past decade, I have been fortunate to work with leading technology platforms and brands and work with some amazing talent and teams. Across this time, I have had to adapt and work in a myriad of ways including managing back-end and front-end systems, co-locations, mastering the advent of cloud and SaaS software at scale and building teams to cope with the speed of innovation and business uses – and of course, hacking things to get them to work no matter what.
Additionally, data has emerged as a huge part of what drives customer and marketing success. To achieve and maintain competitive advantage, I found this pillar was something additional that brought my work and teams closer to the brands financial success. As data and MarTech combined at scale, I’ve enjoyed seeing it deliver on the promise of making decisions faster and faster.
However through the last few ‘digital waves’ as more and more technology is integrated into our everyday lives, I have found that great technical talent is key to delivering successful outcomes – the people scoping, managing, developing and advancing the use of data and technology.
While leading a team of MarTech development experts is fast-paced, dynamic and hugely rewarding, it can be difficult to find great talent with the right level of capability. Presently, people who have worked deeply with tech in the MarTech space are few and far between.
How Do I Assess Talent?
Even though MarTech/ AdTech is now a recognized ‘thing’ and the stacks are well known and used, there simply is no training, education or other ways for formal experience to be gained – it’s just not taught in a formal way, and with the over 5,000+ MarTech software choices currently available according to chiefmartech.com it’s not really possible.
As I continually expand our domestic and offshore development and delivery teams at The Lumery, I am often asked what are the skills necessary to work in a MarTech development role?
Here are the top five skills I look for in my review of talent:
1. Technical Creativity: This might sound a bit different, but it is a critical aspect of any talent I look at. It’s the ability to think through complex challenges and resolve them while understanding the business need and outcomes. The more outstanding talent can do this and understand how to apply business mechanisms across different businesses. This is a critical skill and one I consider the most important when hiring.
2. Understanding Marketing: If you want to get into the MarTech space – understand the context and even do some work in marketing. Nothing beats standing in the shoes of a digital marketer and having hands-on experience. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to understand the decisioning around what communications to send from a brand’s perspective. You need to be able to understand the possibilities and take customers on a roadmap journey. It is rare to find someone who has the knowledge and understanding of how to apply the tech in real life marketing scenarios.
3. Intersection of Big Data: How data flows between AdTech and MarTech, and how it needs to be managed in and out of analytics, CRM, channel delivery (email, SMS) and then finally reported is such a critical part of the modern skill set. We are well past 1:1 digital communication and are moving from channel focused communication to managing data across MarTech and AdTech platforms.
4. Specialist Skill Set: In most cases, a brand will use a variety of well-known and not so well-known vendors across their stack. To work in a MarTech and AdTech agency, it’s important to understand what the technical enablers are for the customer to integrate their stack. Encouragingly many technical skills are transferable between platforms and in some categories if you know the most complex version you can transfer skills.
5. Continual Learning: For anyone considering a career in MarTech or AdTech, it’s essential to have an appetite for learning and understanding the everchanging MarTech and AdTech landscape. The real talent knows that continual training and understanding never end as the changes in the digital world show no signs of slowing down.
For anyone who holds this unique set of attributes – the payoff is truly worth it. The work we do is at the leading edge of MarTech working with leading enterprise brands. The exposure to the full MarTech stack, the variety of work and sophistication of what we do would be hard to beat.