July 19, 2018

Has Marketing Become a Trade?

Jeff Marcoux | VP of Product Strategy, TTEC
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Jeff Marcoux | VP of Product Strategy, TTEC

You used to have to go to four years of university to come out with a degree that would get you a white-collar job.  Hours in computer or chemistry labs, all-nighters studying for final exams, group projects, –these were the necessary evils and rites of passage to get a good paying job in the modern world.  However, the times are changing and we have seen the rise of programs like Code Fellows, Coding Dojo, and others to turn the white-collar job of computer programming into a trade.  You can learn in a few months what used to take your four years to learn because to do the vast majority of coding jobs need you to code and they do not need all the extra stuff one learned in college.

The same is starting to be true with a career in marketing. The majority of university-trained marketers I run across at best know the four P’s (Product, Price, Place, & Promotion) and the four C’s (Customer, Cost, Convenience, & Communication) with a sprinkle of strategy on top.  The unfortunate reality for many students is that modern marketing requires a broad understanding of digital channels, technical and analytical know-how, and tools that they were never exposed to in school.  Many of the marketers coming out of college never have set up and run a social campaign, do not understand the ins and outs of a marketing automation platform, and heaven help them if you ask for a modern account-based marketing campaign plan.  Add on top of that the jargon and acronyms, marketing can appear to have its own foreign language that is difficult for outsiders to understand.

Today, most of the modern marketing education is done through reading great books, educational content marketing provided by the MarTech vendors like Marketo and Moz, analyst firms like Sirius Decisions, and a few rising marketing focused applied learning programs like GreenFig. For someone who is looking to learn and become an effective marketer, you cannot stop learning given the pace of change in the tools and technologies available.  So, the question comes in, how can one build a fundamental foundation involving the tools, strategies, and hands-on experience to be valuable to any business on day one? Where can someone learn the key tools and modern marketing strategies like:

  • Account Based Marketing
  • Sales Enablement
  • Demand Generation
  • Marketing Automation
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Analytics & Targeting
  • Marketo
  • Google Analytics
  • Other tools of the trade

This is the reason I spend my time outside of my day job teaching.  Smart marketers and businesses will recognize they need to educate their teams on modern marketing and that will not come from traditional schools.

So, has marketing become a trade like coding? I believe it is well on its way to doing so.  The pace of innovation and change in MarTech blended with the demand for well-trained modern marketers is driving this transformation.  Only boot camps and micro degrees will be able to stay up to date with the rate of change in the industry and train enough bodies to fill the market demand.

By Jeff Marcoux

Click below to watch Jeff’s quick videos on:

  1. The New ROI for Marketing
  2. Why I get Excited About Digital Marketing
  3. The Marketing Reality Check
  4. Customer Experience and Why It Matters


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