For businesses looking to improve on their marketing efforts, it’s common to search for outside help. As with any big marketing decision, it pays to first have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve.
Like so many other professions, marketing these days is becoming much more specialised. Indeed, the increasing technological sophistication of digital marketing is requiring the development of skill sets that past generations of marketers would find completely foreign.
Knowing which of these specific skills to look out for should depend on what you specifically want to do with them.
One of the most common and traditional marketing goals that a business will seek help with will be content creation; but even this part of marketing involves a multitude of evolving skill sets. Most likely, you'll be looking for someone who is proficient in writing copy, designing captivating images, or shooting and editing video.
Depending on the nature of the project and the amount you have to spend though, you may want to look into someone who can specialise in areas like animation, drone operation, or music composition.
For 'The Conservatoire of the Future', a project we worked on with the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, for example, we opted to work with a professional drone crew to best showcase the conservatoire's stunning concert halls and rehearsal spaces; and we used an original musical score composed by one of their students to allow for a more dynamic edit and to highlight the quality of education available.
The customer experience is one of the most important things for sales-based businesses, and it's important to ensure that their journey – from initial engagements on social media or learning more through your video content, all the way to finally getting in touch with you – is as effective as possible. As Content Marketing Institute's Stephanie Stahl writes:
“No customer (or prospect) wants a disappointing encounter at any touchpoint in their interactions with a brand. And every brand wants contented customers who buy its products or services again and again.”
When it comes to finding someone who can optimise the impact and effectiveness of your current marketing efforts, you would need someone with data analysis skills, familiar with using analytics tools to look at, for example, which content draws the most clicks and where your web traffic is coming from. A familiarity with CRM tools like Hubspot that help to keep track of your long-term customer interactions would also be really useful for accomplishing this goal.
Sometimes the best thing to look for is a good project manager or producer; someone who can ensure you’re spending your limited resources in the right places, and in ways that will maximise efficiency and get the most out of what you put in.
An article from MasterClass outlines precisely why pre-production should be a priority when making any sort of video content – whether a short promo, or a feature-length film:
“Pre-production is when you figure out what you need … how much it's going to cost, and who you can hire to help you. Effective pr-production can help you save time and money (the two most limited resources in filmmaking) when shooting your project.”
Investing some money into someone who's knowledgeable about these aspects of pre-production – sourcing locations and talent, drawing up storyboards, preparing shot lists, and generally dealing with the myriad planning that shooting days demand – can be the smartest investment of all.
Conclusively, the most important thing to remember is to connect your hiring strategy to the marketing strategy for the business. Don’t just hire data analysts, for instance, because you read somewhere that this is where all the cool stuff is happening.
While marketing is changing, a few things haven’t changed. The success of any endeavour will always start with understanding the customer and defining your value proposition. The tools for doing that have evolved, but the central task remains.