Automation is one of the most in-demand skills in marketing and all of business heading into 2017. That has big career implications for professionals who have acquired and honed relevant skills in recent months and years.
More and more businesses are realizing the potential value in a streamlined, well-automated marketing operation. Demand for this talent is rising, but supply isn’t keeping up. If you’ve been adding automation to your marketing stack in any capacity, you have the opportunity to translate your experience into better pay, a higher-level job, or a more exciting role at another company.
The automation skills in highest demand
I work at a marketing recruitment agency. That gives me a firsthand look at which automation skills employers seek, both in dedicated specialists and as tertiary skills for professionals with other expertise. If you have automation experience yourself, or are looking to stay on top and add some more, consider looking into one of these areas for career opportunities.
- Email is one of the oldest and most mature areas for automation. They’re a natural fit for each other. Yet despite how well-developed this discipline is, professionals are still highly sought-after. Smaller organizations and growing businesses find the low barrier to entry and manageable costs highly attractive. Larger marketing operations are actively seeking automation professionals who are highly analytical and innovative, who can find incremental improvements through platforms like GetResponse that add up to big ROI.
- E-commerce is another especially hot area for automation experts. As online shopping becomes more and more prevalent, customers have developed growing expectations for a seamless, streamlined experience. Automating transaction workflows and personalized resale/upsell messaging improves customer experience and grows sales.
Finally, general CRM automation and integration is huge and growing. There are more than 3,500 pieces of technology available to marketers to help them better reach their audience. But making all those myriad tools work in concert for maximum effectiveness is incredibly difficult. Adoption of major CRM integration platforms is rising quickly, and mastery of any one of them tends to translate well to any of the others.
Proving your automation aptitude
Say you’ve got some marketable automation skills. How can you turn them into active career opportunities?
Step one is to polish up your resume and make sure that it’s up-to-date with the automation experience you want to promote. Given how well they might be able to market a brand or product, it’s amazing how many marketers do a poor job at marketing themselves on their resume.
Explaining automation experience on a resume is a delicate balance. You want to be detailed enough to fully convey your understanding of automation, but brief enough not to hog up too much sparse resume real estate.
The most important thing to do with your automation resume is to tie your experience directly to significant, meaningful contributions to the business and, ultimately, ROI. How did the automated processes you set up affect conversions and sales? Make sure to avoid simply listing your responsibilities—businesses hiring automation experts want to hear about results.
A well-developed and active LinkedIn account is one of the best ways to find new career opportunities or even have them fall right in your lap. Here you’ll have the opportunity to explain your work history and automation experience in greater detail. Make sure to strategically integrate appropriate keywords throughout your profile.
If at all possible, you’ll also want to link to direct examples or a portfolio of your work. This might be as an automation expert, but anything you can do to visualize your efforts goes a long way to impressing recruiters.
Many automation platforms offer some kind of courses and certification, often for free or complimentary with a subscription to their services. For instance, GetResponse offers a List Building Program that includes tutorials, course assignments, and certification upon completion.
If you haven’t already, take advantage of these programs with any automation tools and software you use. Then list them on your resume, LinkedIn profile, and portfolio. These certifications stand out to marketing recruiters and show employers that you take your discipline seriously.
Unconventional career paths
When you think about moving your career forward, you probably imagine methodically moving your way up the corporate ladder, taking promotions when they’re available or occasionally moving to another company when you hit a ceiling.
There’s nothing wrong with that, and automation experts in marketing and elsewhere can do quite well taking those traditional routes. However, there are a lot of opportunities to fast-track your career and reach higher tiers of compensation if you’re willing to take the road less traveled.
Non-permanent roles available through contracting and consulting can be extremely lucrative, and open doors into businesses that might otherwise be very difficult to get a foot into. We’ve encountered many clients that for various reasons are unable to commit to adding full-time automation staff, but entirely willing to pay a premium for interim assistance for months or even years. This work might be less reliable than a typical salaried position, but often offers far better compensation per hour of work.
Make 2017 your year for growth.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about great marketers and automation specialists during my time at a marketing recruitment agency, it’s that most of them are incredibly busy. They’re dedicated to their job, and fill the rest of their lives with family, hobbies, and other pursuits.
Because of that they often lose sight of their career path. With so many other priorities, looking for career opportunities tends to fall off the radar.
There’s a huge demand for marketing and workflow automation specialists right now, yet many people with experience don’t even realize their talent is so desired. If you haven’t checked the job market recently, now is the perfect time for a revisit. You might be surprised at the opportunities you find.