When I first started at my current company (an LA-based tech startup), my brand new workmate –a software engineer about my age– came up to me and said: “So, you’re the new marketing big-shot uh? You know, we developers think that marketing is a bunch of crap… but you seem ok… know what? I’ll teach you how to work with engineers so those you deal with in the future take you seriously.” And thankfully, that’s what he did.
On one hand, I’m grateful this person made me realize that just plain marketing wasn’t going to cut it in 2013. On the other, the comment left a bitter taste in my mouth, the same bitter taste I get when web developers self-proclaim themselves wizards and superstars. Why is it that a very serious profession that requires years of education and double the experience to even start to master, got wiped clean by a giant geeky hand?
Kyle Tibbits provides what I think is the most well-informed answer to this question. Over time, marketing got cocky: it kept on talking but it stopped doing. And so it earned its bad name. Software engineers, who are all about product, delivery and speed, got annoyed at all this useless talking. Meanwhile some of them were building miracle-growth companies. Fair enough. But what they need to realize is that marketing IS the product, and that even as they dismiss the trade, what developers are effectively doing when designing their product is just that: marketing. But more often than not it’s just hit and miss.
I could not care, mind you. But As Marcelo Calbucci rightfully states in the piece that initially opened the debate, everybody and their grandmother claims that they can do marketing, and marketing can mean anything and everything. That makes it extremely hard for someone like me to sell their skills and land the job. So how do you show a recruiter or potential co-founder that you’re the doing (rather than the talking) type? You acquire hard skills and harness the most modern techniques.
In comes Wade Foster with his comprehensive list of skills that define a full-stack marketer. I will dedicate a post to each of these topics, but more importantly I will follow Wade’s advice to learn by doing, so that by the time I’m finished, this blog boasts thousands of daily visits and I can claim any 1st marketing hire position in the Silicon Valley.
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