The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012: Analytics

Today I’m discussing Analytics. The Inc.com article prompting this series of posts says “smart companies are increasingly making decisions driven by analytics ... we are seeing a high level of demand for analytics and business intelligence professionals who almost act like internal consultants: they help determine what should be measured and then build out the capability for a company.” Exactly.

Those of us from the direct marketing discipline have pounded on analytics forever. My book, Direct Marketing Quantified: The Knowledge is in the Numbers, is foundational for any direct marketer using direct mail media. And while my book wasn’t intended to measure online marketing, many of the principles I’ve been classically trained in, and practice routinely, belong in today’s marketing and sales conversation.

In fact, for some time I’ve pondered adapting my book to the online space. It would work out fairly easily. But honestly, I’m kept so busy with client projects that there hasn’t been time to write it.

Yet, metrics and analytics are our lifeblood when we work with clients. If you don’t like working with numbers, find someone who does. Or better yet, figure it out! You’ll need it.

Our consulting practice has been sought out for years because of our ability to interpret the numbers and bring client’s marketing to greater profitability. We’d love the opportunity to work with you, too.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012: Marketing

Today I’m discussing Marketing. The Inc.com article I’m referring to describes today’s marketing type as “not about old-school marketing communications.” I agree wholeheartedly.

The movement is online. But I think marketers who have rich offline experience can see a bigger picture and are better able to connect the dots in the new world. Not every marketer has shifted exclusively to online. People still read direct mail and magazines. They still watch TV. The best medium for your message should always be driven by your audience demographics. Generally, older customers are more comfortable with ink on paper; younger are at home with their PCs and mobile devices. Cross-media integration covers many bases.

And I would suggest that true marketing professionals are media neutral. Websites are right for most marketers, but a website should include a video component. In fact, I’d suggest that every website must have a video. Research has shown that videos keep site visitors’ attention longer. Our experience is that people are becoming less and less likely to read words, but they will watch a few minutes of interesting video (and we’re now writing scripts and recording the voice-over for client videos).

Social media is the craze, and why shouldn’t it be? The cost is relatively low.

Email marketing should continue to grow if the spammers don’t screw it up for everyone. But even email marketing evolves. Too many promotional emails inexcusably don’t take the reader to a reader-focused landing page. A power-packed strategy is to serve up a video on the landing page (for the reasons noted above).

Sure, there are times when old-school direct mail may be just what is needed. But if direct mail is part of the mix, it can surely be stronger when there is also a push for the user to go online. There are notable exceptions: many in my parent’s generation don’t own computers. For them, it had better be in print (and in large type, at that!).

Bottom line: marketers who “get 2012 and beyond” will be successful. Marketers stuck in the last decade’s approach to marketing – well, maybe they won’t be so successful (depending on the market).

We believe you must evolve. That requires reading, watching training videos, going to conferences, and continuing to sharpen tools, like we do. Hire someone whose doing that, and you’re way ahead already.

 

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012: Product Management

Today I’m discussing Product Management. The Inc.com article I’m basing these posts on describes today’s product manager as “someone who interfaces with customers and defines product strategy and use cases.” I’d go a few steps farther.

Early in my career I was an Assistant Product Manager for a collectibles marketer, later promoted to Product Manager for the flagship product which was First Day Covers (first day of issue postage stamps affixed to an envelope featuring custom artwork and a description of the stamp being commemorated).

I’m thankful to have had that early product management experience. It taught me a lot.

But I think for many companies, product manager responsibilities goes beyond “interfaces with customers and defines product strategy and use cases.” At least it did for me.

I think product management is more expansive and can include:

Strategic product strategy (as stated above) Tactical marketing plans Media plans Internal coordination of everything it takes to get the product created Interface with manufacturing Interface with new product development Interface with creative development

For some organizations, it could go beyond this list, but that is the scope of responsibility that I was trained to handle as a product manager.

At any rate, it was great experience, and experience that serves me well as we deal with our clients.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012: Creative Design and User Experience

If you read my earlier post on this topic, you’ll know that I’m referring to an article in Inc.com. Today I’m starting with my thoughts about the job of Creative Design and User Experience.

According to the Inc. article, “since almost every company is trying to create a highly compelling user experience that keeps people engaged with their product, it is tough to find people who have this type of experience (especially with mobile devices including tablets) and a demonstrated track record of success.”

As an online user yourself, you might agree that there are more websites that need help with navigation and user experience than there are websites where it’s a delight.

Design can be a tricky thing. But for old-time print designers who are skilled at guiding the eye, but aren’t afraid of new technology and tools, creating a superior online design and user experience is a natural extension of their experience.

My design and marketing partner, Perry Alexander, has been in the user interface mindset for his 35+ years of his career. He understands what it takes to engage the user, how to help them navigate to get where they want to go, and importantly, how to close the sale with forms that are easy, intuitive, and a joy to use.

I asked Perry what he considered most important in creative design and user experience, and here’s what he believes are essential for success:

“Know where the user’s eye will naturally fall first, and make sure your most important message is there. Don’t ever leave your site visitor at a dead-end, without navigation to continue through your site. Finally, be sure your ‘call to action’ stands out and is consistent in placement, color, shape, and language on most every page of your site. The design is not about the latest technology employed to make it sparkle—it’s about giving your site visitors what they want, and getting them to take the action you desire.”

Looking for a few examples of his mastery of online design?

Well, at the moment you’re looking at my blog which is an example of his work. He designed my website, www.hennerberg.com. Or look at Perry’s website, www.SuccessMessengerGroup.com.

Here are a few recent client examples:

www.MontreatTomorrow.org – this website integrates email marketing and social media to raise funds for the Montreat Conference Center.

www.TheListWarehouse.com – this website, for an email, direct mail, and mobile list brokerage, includes great navigation and an extensive inquiry form

www.AuditionChicagoTalent.com – the owner of this company was close to shutting down his business, but he trusted us to turn around his business. Mission accomplished. You can read the turnaround story here: http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/article/audition-division-evolves-its-media-mix-turn-around-its-business/1

www.LakesideOutdoors.com – Perry untangled a huge website design mess from a prior designer. The images downloaded slowly, the navigation was a disaster, and the search engines couldn’t find this site. We’re often brought in by clients to fix the design and user experience of their websites.

You get the idea. And when you are fed up with the design and user experience of your online, and offline, marketing efforts, you’ll be in no better hands than working with Perry.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.

The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012

An Inc.com article titled “The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012” is a reminder of how the world of business changes – or maybe it’s more of the same. The full article can be found at http://www.inc.com/keith-cline/talent-shortages-in-2012.html.

There are the 5 jobs the author of the Inc.com article identifies as hardest to fill:

1. Software Engineers and Web Developers

2. Creative Design and User Experience

3. Product Management

4. Marketing

5. Analytics

If you’re familiar with traditional direct marketing, you’d recognize that at least 4 of these 5 jobs have been central to direct marketing success. These 4 are timeless. Even though the primary delivery method has moved from ink on paper to type, pixels, and videos on screen, the same principles endure.

My marketing partner, Perry Alexander, and I have applied the best practices of these 4 jobs since we starting working together in 1996, and have evolved our skillsets with the times.

What’s more, 4 of these 5 jobs fall into our “sweet spot” of work for our clients, which may explain why our services were in high demand throughout 2011 with no let up in sight for 2012.

For each of the next four days I’ll add my perspective on the 4 hardest jobs to find, and on a more granular basis, delve into why these are important for you in your business.

Stay tuned.

Gary Hennerberg

After a lot of years in marketing and sales, this is what I know works:

Stories sell. Think unique. Stimulate emotion. Close deals. And here are a few other gems from my new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code.” Know the persona, interpret your offer and let your prospect give themselves permission to buy. That’s how the brain is wired. It’s how people think.

What else? When I’m not breaking down complex topics (or ones marketers over-complicate) into easy-to-grasp stories that sell, I crunch numbers. Manage projects. Write. Teach. Lead.