Survey: Marketing Leaders Responsible for More Than Ever

The early results from our Marketing Leadership Survey are in, and a shocking percentage of marketers say the job has changed dramatically in just five years. Marketing leaders have acquired (or been loaded with) more responsibility in almost every area.

The early results from our Marketing Leadership Survey are in — there’s still a week to go, so don’t forget to take it yourself and enter to win a $100 AMEX gift card! — and a shocking percentage of marketers say the job has changed dramatically in just five years. Marketing leaders have acquired (or been loaded with) more responsibility in almost every area.

Have the roles and responsibilities of marketing leaders changed in your organization over the past 5 years?
Credit: Target Marketing and NAPCO Media Research

More than half of respondents say marketing responsibilities has changed greatly or completely over the past five years. And five years really isn’t that that much time, essentially since 2013. All this change has happened in less time than Snapchat’s been around.

Looking specifically at how responsibilities have changed, the movement has only been in one direction: up. In fact, after our first survey email, the “much less responsibility” answer column has yet to be touched, and even “less responsibility” has only been selected a handful of times.

Notice that orange does not appear on this chart, and there are only slivers of light blue. | Credit: Target Marketing and NAPCO Media Research

The area of marketing responsibility expanding the most is technology, where over 80 percent report increased responsibilities. That comes as no surprise, as marketing technology is expanding and marketers are controlling, or at least demanding, more and more enterprise technology spending.

Metrics/reporting and data responsibilities aren’t far behind, with over 70 percent of respondents saying those responsibilities have increased.

Surprisingly, none of those lead the “much more responsibility” column. That went to Innovation, where over 40 percent of our respondents say they now have much more responsibility.

How do those answers stack up to your own evolving roles and responsibilities? Take the survey and let us know, and you’ll be entered to win $100!

And keep an eye out for the final report we’ll be putting together from this research. These are only two of the insights we’re developing; the final report will include how marketing leaders are spending their time, how they’re spending their money, how they base their KPIs, whether or not they feel respected in the corporate hierarchy, and more!

From Summer Jobs to Sunset Jobs: Time to Redefine the U.S. Workforce

It’s been an interesting week in labor news. First, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics detailed that there’s a chronic shortage of skilled labor to fill data and computer jobs here domestically. CNBC reported, “By 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer science–related jobs available in the U.S. but only 400,000 graduates with the skills necessary to fill them.”

Business meeting, reviewing dataIt’s been an interesting week in labor news. First, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics detailed that there’s a chronic shortage of skilled labor to fill data and computer jobs here domestically. CNBC reported, “By 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer science-related jobs available in the U.S. but only 400,000 graduates with the skills necessary to fill them.”

Second, the Economist noted that teens having a summer job for spending cash, saving up for a car or school, or other purposes peaked in 1978 – with 72 percent of U.S. teens holding such employment. In 2016, the figure had fallen to a paltry 43 percent, primarily for two reasons: First, “parents tell their children to study, take courses, volunteer or practise for sports that might help them compete for college places.” Second is a changing job market — namely higher minimum wages force employers to look for more permanent employment and a safer (proven) worker, often not a youngster.

And third, and perhaps the most profound of all, the 21st Century in America is introducing an entirely new “life” stage, “the new old” or “pre-tirees”– who are beginning to change and challenge the 20th Century pattern of education, work, retirement. Last century’s three-stage pattern for work made sense when life expectancies were not much extended after useful employment. Today, forcibly retiring folks at 65 is unsustainable and breeds resentment. Why should older able workers have to retire, when such people still want to contribute professionally — and increasingly need to do so — from 65 to say, 70, 80, 85 and onward? Stressing here, should they want to do so.

Everything needs to change in society to meet this pattern … pensions, of course. But also management. We should reset labor workforce expectations — “peak earning years” do not need to presage full-blown work stoppage. Many over 65 would willingly choose to work at least part-time, because they either have to financially (many retirees are ill-prepared with savings) or simply don’t want to be idle — and they can’t seem to switch gears from professional work to volunteering or hobbies and being alone and isolated.

So all those Baby Boomers working in summer jobs in the 1960s and 70s, well perhaps it’s time to have this generation in sunset jobs in their fields in the 2010s and 20s. With Generation X and Millennials doing so behind them.

Instead of kicking higher-salaried mature folks out the door whole scale, why not offer them, or incentivize them to “pre-retirement” jobs — instead of “early retirement” and no job. Unleash a consulting economy. Enterprises benefit from multi-generational decision-making, institutional history and business experience — innovation is hardly the domain of only the young and less experienced. Innovation belongs to everyone, and work in one’s profession is for the most part enjoyable.

Look, we have a huge shortage of computer science and data professionals in the U.S. economy — and probably other fields, too. We can either find ways to fill the education gap so that these jobs and skills — and well-paying jobs — stay at home. We can allow undocumented and foreign students graduating with these skills to stay in America– and ensure they are welcomed here. And, we can lessen the haste to show older workers the door. Reverse that mindset entirely: it’s time to keep near-retirees in growth fields — perhaps all fields — engaged and working for the health of the bottom line.

And for the health of a whole lot else.

How to Beat Ageism and Get Hired

Ageism — age discrimination — in the job search is a reality that’s hitting both ends of the spectrum. As a job seeker, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to it (especially when you don’t get the job you’re after) if you don’t have the right attitude.

Can you guess which generation I’m describing?

  1. Old school. Stodgy. Unwilling to change.
  2. Lazy. Entitled. Selfish.
  3. Pessimistic. Disillusioned. Skeptical.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are pretty prevalent, and my guess is most of you had no problem identifying A as Baby Boomers, B as Millennials or C as Generation X.

Ageism — age discrimination — in the job search is a reality that’s hitting both ends of the spectrum. As a job seeker, it’s pretty easy to fall prey to it (especially when you don’t get the job you’re after) if you don’t have the right attitude.

A friend of mine — a young-looking 55 year-old — is coming up on the two-year anniversary of being in transition. He has had lots of interviews and been the second choice a couple times, so clearly he’s able to generate interest. However, when you ask him why he can’t seem to land the offer, he’ll tell you it’s because of his age.

Do you believe he’s right? I don’t.

You will experience ageism in your job search, but it’s not the cause of everything going wrong in your job search. Once you accept that it will be an obstacle you can’t control and change your focus to things you can control — your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, interviewing skills — you will no doubt land faster.

Avoid Looking Your Age on Paper

Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, cover letter or resume, chances are hiring managers or recruiters will first meet you on paper (or online). A Millennial, GenXer or Baby Boomer “star” will either sizzle or fizzle with how they present themselves in writing.

Star Millennials will pounce on the opportunity to showcase their writing ability in their cover letter. It makes an impact because, unfortunately, most people don’t even bother writing one. It’s also a good way to debunk the myth that Millennials are only able to text and cannot write in complete sentences.

A star Millennial’s resume WILL NOT include the following:

  • Lists of tasks: Just because you’re a doer by the nature of a lower-level role, doesn’t mean you didn’t make an impact to your employer. What results did you help achieve?
  • Smugness: No jokes, irony, Millennial buzzwords or exaggerations. Just professional in tone and presentation.
  • Language errors and typos: “Your” and “you’re,” “there” and “their.” You get the point. No mistakes!
  • GPAs: Anyone that’s been out of school more than three years needs to scrap it from their resume.
  • Self-centered summaries: You need to focus on what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you.

Gen Xers are in the middle of their careers — and in the middle of the workforce, so one strategy to take in your cover letter is to indicate how you serve as a bridge between Millennials and Baby Boomers. It can appeal to a hiring manager who may be older or younger than you.

When it comes to your resume, Gen Xers should quantify achievements with numbers and results. Many members of this generation have had managerial experience, so it’s great to highlight any organizational results here as well. A star Gen Xer’s resume WILL NOT include:

  • Overdone, meaningless cliché’s: “Results-oriented,” “passionate” and “guru” should be deleted.
  • Basic technical skills: Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are assumed skills and should be left off the resume.
  • References: “References Available Upon Request” should be left off because it’s assumed and having it there, just dates you.

When it comes to a star Baby Boomer’s cover letter, clearly illustrate how you’re willing to embrace new things and how you can help mentor younger employees. Highlight your unique qualifications and recent accomplishments (not from 10+ years ago). You might even tackle difficult issues here — things like resume gaps or why you’re coming back to a corporate environment after running your own business.

A star Baby Boomer’s resume WILL NOT include:

  • Volumes of your life story: Keep it under two pages at the most, focusing on your most recent 10 to 15 years. Anything prior to this can be included in a summary paragraph with dates left out.
  • TMI: Every single job you’ve had does not need to be clearly described and listed. Only relevant ones to the position you’re offering.
  • Descriptions of outdated skills: Outdated technology and skills should be simply documented as part of a job.

Avoid Appearing Your Age in Person

Now that we’ve got you looking good on paper, the next step is to look good in person – the interview. According to a survey of 2000 bosses, 33 percent claimed that they know within the first 90 seconds of an interview whether they will hire someone. That means first impressions really count.