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Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing and the Impact on Talent

The impact of hiring inbound marketers

The numbers paint a compelling picture. Inbound marketing generates three times the leads per dollar spent as outbound. Customers gravitate toward content that advises them during their buying process and ignore both sales calls and unsolicited emails. For those keeping score at home, inbound marketing has destroyed outbound by a knockout.

What’s not always as clear to many enterprises, is the impact this change has had both on Marketing and Sales teams and the talent that they need to recruit. The transition from outbound to inbound is far deeper than simply changing a marketing technique; the entire view of the customer has changed. Instead of viewing a customer as someone to ‘sell’ to, marketing views their role as creating awareness, demonstrating thought leadership, and gently guiding the prospect towards a decision or sale; through content and nurture campaigns driven by marketing automation and analytics.

As you shape your marketing teams, the candidates you need to mobilize are storytellers who can attract strangers to your site, take them on a customer journey, convert them, and hand them over to the Sales team to close. These individuals understand the customer’s pain points and will create marketing programs that solve the problems keeping customers up at night. They are tech savvy, understand the personas they are marketing to, and have a solid grasp on the data.

Sales, in the meantime, has evolved as well, with an emphasis on qualifying leads, outreach to prospects already in the market and warmed up by marketing, providing advice and guidance about the prospects’ business needs, and with a greater focus on guiding them towards a decision.

It’s time you met your new marketing team.

Inbound Marketing Talent

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Strategy will always lie at the core of your CMO’s responsibilities, but effective strategy in an inbound world requires a tech-savvy CMO. According to Gartner, nearly one-third of all marketing spending is allocated to technology in the form of productivity platforms, content management tools, and analytics.

Your CMO needs to be customer-centric, focused on delivering a customer journey that informs, advises, and guides customers toward a buying decision, and be able to interpret analytics. Successful CMOs follow the data’s lead, but they also need to understand accuracy limitations within the data they are given.

Successful CMOs are open to experimenting with new ideas and channels. They aren’t afraid to fail cheaply and learn from that experience.

Perhaps most importantly, as telemarketing disappears from the Sales organizations and Sales teams become more reliant on marketing for qualified leads, the successful CMO must demonstrate a proven ability to work across organizational divides, including partnering with Sales teams to understand how best to deliver relevant, actionable leads.

Head of Customer Experience

Today’s B2B buyers expect a seamless customer experience (CX) as they learn more about your offering. Your head of CX needs to deliver on that expectation, ensuring that every touchpoint between your company and your customers delivers value.

CX leaders are powerful storytellers, capable of turning your brand’s promise into content pieces that connect with customers.

Your head of CX lives and breathes in your customer’s shoes. They understand the varied challenges and pain points coming from different types of customers and develop different user journeys designed to meet the specific needs and expectations from different types of customers.

They are guided by data, stay on top of the latest tools and technologies, and have an empathic view of the customer. Blending those skills together, they have the ability to create personal, relevant, and engaging experiences by leveraging marketing technology.

Marketing Automation Specialist

This specialist brings together marketing strategy, automated workflows, and data to create automated marketing programs that support the customer journey.

This position requires an individual with a technical background who can map the step-by-step marketing processes , who will work with marketing managers from across the company to identify lists of target markets and drip content in a manner that moves individuals deeper into the marketing funnel.

The marketing automation specialist must adhere to data integrity rules, such as GDPR, integrate data from multiple sources to create full pictures of individual customers, and execute complex project workflows for multiple stakeholders.

Ideal marketing automation specialists are multitaskers who need to be strategic, operational, and tactical in their day to day marketing operations activities.

Search, Social, and Content Managers

Content is the key driving inbound traffic to your site. Without it, your prospective customers won’t find you on social media channels or through search engines.

Your search, social, and content managers will collaborate with one another to create effective content that delights not only customers, but search engines and social media algorithms as well.

Search Engine Optimization Manager

Your head of SEO is responsible for ensuring that prospects googling information find you instead of your competitor. For starters, they need to be familiar with how search engines crawl and index sites and understand that an optimized page is one that answers the customer’s question as quickly as possible.

These candidates should be well-versed in different approaches for keyword research, building backlinks, and know which KPIs indicate SEO progress.

Social Media Manager

Your social media manager is responsible for developing one-on-one relationships between your brand and your followers. It requires a deep understanding social media channels, the type of content that followers are looking for on each of these channels, as well as paid and organic social activity.

Candidates for social media manager positions need to have excellent communication skills, as they are often the first people customers engage with when interacting with your company. They track online conversations about your industry (social listening), create and curate content, and engage in growth hacking to further your messaging.

Content Manager

Content managers craft the content your customers will engage with during the customer journey. They work closely with other members of the CX team so they can develop the necessary content for each step the customer takes. They also work closely with the Search Manager and utilize SEO keywords to make their content easily findable.

A content manager must have excellent writing skills coupled with a strong grasp of the user experience. They typically have a strong proficiency in new media and are capable of understanding web analytics as a driver for their content creation.

Building the Right Inbound Marketing Team

Due to the explosive need for inbound and digital marketers, there is a skills gap in the market right now. These positions typically take 16% longer to fill than traditional marketing roles, making it ever more important to have a solid understanding of the role you need to fill and the skill sets you are looking for.

AC Lion has a long history of connecting digital Marketing talent with companies looking to hire marketing and sales roles. Talk to us to find out how you can access our unparalleled network of top tier, innovative talent. Let AC Lion focus on finding the right inbound talent for your organization.


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Alan Cutter

Alan Cutter founded New York City's premier digital media recruiting agency, AC Lion International, and continues to lead the growing company as their fearless CEO. For over 20 years, AC Lion has been the trusted provider of revenue generating talent in the digital and technology landscape. Our reach spans from innovative venture-backed startups to enterprise level organizations. AC Lion is a proud member of the Lionseye Group, a collective of brands furthering talent acquisition through Venture Capital, HR Technology and Thought Leadership.