On the heels of our Hiring Meeting, I felt that this article sums up much of what we talked about. The article talks about how there currently isn't formal training on how to use Automation and Email Marketing, which is why the market is difficult to hire for. The people you are looking for have a broad range of talents and willingness to learn.
I was in a similar situation early in my career. I taught myself Photoshop and Illustrator when you could only undo once in photoshop and layers was your ability to revert to previous changes. At the time everyone thought they could design because it was now easy. Universities, quickly learned that this was a high demand area and started promoting graphic design and flooded the market with those with basic skills. The price for production artists has gone down, but the need for quality designers is still high, as they are rare.
Moving from print to websites, I found a similar situation as I was learning HTML and CSS in the early 2000s. If you could update your Myspace page you could get a job, some in the 6 figures. The supply of those who understood how to code were very small. Unlike with design, few felt they could do it and everyone understood the importance of a quality website. Schools once again saw an opportunity to capitalize and promote web design. The market now has many front end developers, both as the coding as become easier and more are being trained. With more people entering the market the pay for entry level isn't were it once was.
Now Email/Automation Marketing is in same the situation. The market is as slim as the talent is wide in ability. The demand is high as Email and Automation can be tied directly to higher sales and demand generation, by delivering content that is relevant, timely and how a customer wishes. In the next few years, I expect schools to catch on, hire anyone who claims to be a marketing automation specialist and pump out hoards of young adults with basic training on how to create campaigns. Even after the schools find that Marketing Automation is something they can sale, those that have been in the space for the last 5 years, still working solo, or with a partner will now be training teams and you will see even more innovation be the result as more bandwidth will be spent on ways to improve the customer experience and really push the capabilities of the platforms to their limits.
This is an exciting time to be in on the cutting edge of marketing. I expect the next big change in marketing will be data. Look to start seeing marketing departments take control of the data with the creation of new departments around data governance, that are closely tied to marketing. As machine learning and AI are used more heavily marketing departments will need access and have more control over how data is handled. We are just starting to see the beginnings of this take place today. This is just the beginning.
As you are looking for a solid marketing automation specialist, depending on your situation be thinking of how this person will grow with the industry. be looking for someone who can send emails, create campaigns, solve problems, understand databases, be analytical and be able to tell a good story. Then plan for this person in the next 5 years to also have to be a leader training those graduating in the next 5 years to build a team to be able to do all the above, so that they can start looking to improve you instance and start pushing the limits of these massive platforms.