Facing a highly fragmented marketplace, these senior-level direct marketers are driven by improved efficiencies and ROI. They achieve dramatic improvements in marketing objectives because they come armed with knowledge of new technologies and new media. Unfortunately, with these gains come a shorter fuse. According to Spencer Stuart, a worldwide executive search consulting firm, the average stay for CMOs at the top 100 branded companies is a mere 23 months. In general, only one in 10 CMOs stays on the job more than three years, and direct marketing is no exception.
Merchandising: Merchandisers also are gaining an understanding of the value of metrics, both offline and online. Instead of coming to the table with purely creative or product development backgrounds, many merchandisers are adding analytic know-how to their resumes and bringing a more bottom-line orientation to the job. Of course, merchandisers with multichannel experience are in greatest demand, but they also are in shortest supply.
Operations: Thanks to major advances in radio frequency technology and skills-based routing, direct marketing technology has come a long way. “Out the door in 24” is the new battle cry for many chief operating officers in catalog companies. So the candidates at the top of the operations game are technologically savvy and can develop highly effective training programs for entry-level employees.
Executive Level: In years past, many of the industry’s top leaders started their own businesses. Names such as Leon Leonwood Bean and Lillian Vernon come to mind. Despite humble beginnings, these pioneers helped shape the direct marketing industry.
Today’s direct marketing CEOs primarily are culled from corporate backgrounds, so they come to the job with strong market and customer knowledge, and are much more familiar with technology than their predecessors.
Various channels can help employers find new employees.
Your network: As a hiring manager, your network probably is much larger than you think. In addition to contacting former colleagues, employees or supervisors, also reach out to your vendors, your clients and past candidates you didn’t hire for recommendations.