Any good marketer will tell you that buyer personas are crucial to a digital marketing strategy.
Now let us turn the tables on marketers by using marketer personas to help your hiring process along.
The three types of marketer personas
I recently read that Laura Patterson and her team had identified three types of marketer personas as follows:
- Campaign Producers: are the most “traditional” marketers, those who create content, build campaigns and websites, manage events, etc.
- Sales Enablers: see themselves “in service” to the sales team, and their job is all about generating leads with their primary focus on the pipeline.
- Value Creators: are focused on how to align marketing to the overall business strategy, to create and extract value, and to move the business needle.
All three personas are vital to the marketing landscape.
The kind of digital marketer needed for a specific business would vary, depending on the role requirements in terms of skillsets and marketing functions.
Here are my extended interpretations of the personas defined by Laura and how to use them in hiring your next digital marketer or digital marketing consultant.
Marketer persona #1 – Campaign Producers
These digital marketers are usually experts in specific marketing channels. Some of the roles I categorize under this persona are:
- Social media marketer
- Email marketer
- SEO specialist
- Media buyer
- Event marketer
- Content marketer
- CPC specialist
These marketers have developed expertise in their chosen areas with the capability to strategize within those areas and leverage those channel strengths.
These ‘tactical’ digital marketers are usually strong on the communication side with 1-2 years of experience in their niche. Except maybe for the SEO experts who probably have stronger technical skills as they need to be well-versed in website improvements, like page speed tweaks.
Hire this marketing persona if your:
- marketing efforts are strong in certain areas and you need to augment those strengths or develop expertise in individual marketing channels.
- business shows dependency on specific marketing channels, e.g: you depend on webinars for a majority of lead generation activities.
- marketing needs are focused on channel tasks rather than an integrated marketing strategy.
- digital marketing strategy and direction are in capable hands already.
- business and marketing units are relatively mature and your business is consistently profitable.
Marketer persona #2 – Sales Enablers
These digital marketers straddle multiple digital marketing channels to support sales. They have about 2-4 years of experience in marketing and are comfortable with both the communication aspects as well as the technology aspects.
Since these marketers have experience with various marketing areas they are also in a position to provide strategic input across channel pipelines. These marketers are usually more focused on conversion data than campaign producers who focus primarily on individual channel metrics.
Some common job titles under this persona are:
- Digital marketing and communications coordinator
- Digital marketing specialist
- Marketing automation expert
- Demand/lead generation specialist
- Conversion specialist
The resumes of these digital marketers will probably show the acquisition of marketing skillsets through the years. They usually start with a communications background. Their aptitude for adapting to the technology landscape expands their knowledge across diverse digital marketing channels and tools.
The more technically inclined individuals who make up this persona can be found administering the marketing pipelines across CRMs like Salesforce and marketing automation platforms like Pardot. They also tend to have a good understanding of analytics and the advertising technology (ad tech) ecosystems.
Hire this marketing persona if you:
- are trying to improve revenue and customer acquisition efforts.
- want to develop an integrated marketing strategy.
- see digital marketing as an integral part of your marketing efforts.
- want to reach customers across multiple online channels.
- have a fast-paced and dynamic marketing and business environment.
- have a strong digital marketing strategy in place and want to double up on conversions.
Marketer persona #3 – Value Creators
These marketers bring 7-10 plus years of experience in marketing as well as business. They have highly developed personal brands and expertise in several areas of digital marketing. Their skillsets span across those of the other two personas thus making them master strategists.
In addition, these marketers have an entrepreneurial drive and well developed management abilities. They know that their job involves educating both vertically and horizontally across the organization.
The years of experience have seen them design and implement technology stacks to grow businesses. These digital leaders use lean startup principles to help organizations navigate big data and algorithms in the era of the hyper-digital customer.
With an ability to work across business units, they can innovate on business models and lead digital transformation efforts throughout the organization.
As unapologetic champions of the customer experience, they guide business strategy and direct organizational growth.
The Value Creators focus on business outcomes more than channel-level and conversion metrics, but understand well how those lower level metrics feed into broader business goals. After all, they have a history of working in the tactical trenches of digital marketing.
Common job titles held by these personas:
- Chief Marketing Technologist
- Marketing director
- Marketing strategist
- Growth hacker
- Digital transformation leader
The Value Creators regularly connect the dots between visual arts, communications, technology and business to create new opportunities. They are extremely effective as business consultants.
They are strategic-doers with the ability to build, lead and inspire teams. High energy levels are another common characteristic among those in this persona group.
Hire this digital marketing persona if you:
- intend to operate ‘lean and mean’.
- want to leverage marketing strategy across your complete business ecosystem: customers, staff, partners, suppliers and all.
- are urgently in need of business direction and profitability.
- intend to disrupt the business landscape.
- know your business is in danger of being disrupted or becoming obsolete.
- need to grow your revenue and business rapidly and efficiently.
- ensure sustainable, data-driven, long-term growth for your business.
- build marketing and business ‘centers of excellence’.
- maximize opportunity while minimizing risks.
Marketing metrics across the different marketing personas.
It is perhaps easier to understand these different personas by the metrics they are likely to focus on.
Campaign Producers are likely to focus on consumption and engagement metrics. These metrics are often ‘stand-alone metrics’.
- page views
- bounce rates
- total visits
Sales Enablers are likely to focus on metrics that have an increased affinity to the bottom line and conversion outcomes. Unlike metrics in the previous section many of these metrics are ‘derivative’ in nature. They can overlap multiple marketing channels.
- Conversion rates
- Lead to close ratio
- Number of new leads
- CTRs (click-thru-rates)
Value Creators focus on business outcomes and usually speak the same language as the c-suite.
- Net Promoter Score
- LTV:CAC (my favorite)
These metrics are even more derivative compared to consumption and conversion metrics, and overlap various marketing channels as well as business units.
e.g.: The Lifetime Value of a customer: Customer Acquisition Cost ratio (LTV:CAC) is a metric that can influence not only marketing but also other business units.
If the ratio is too low, 1:1 or less, you need to increase the LTV or decrease marketing spend.
On the other hand, a value of 2:1 implies a viable business but perhaps not sustainable over the long-term. Here one of the possible solutions is that the sales team and the customer service team increase efforts at up-selling and retention to increase the LTV. The product development team could help to add features that retain customers too.
A value of 3:1 or more implies that there is an opportunity for greater growth in customer acquisition and perhaps additional product development and innovation.
Matching tiered marketing metrics to marketer personas.
If we were to put all these different metrics into three tiers as in the visual representation above we find that the lower tiers feed into and support the upper levels.
We can also assign marketing personas to each level to determine the scope of the role within a business. Thus providing additional clarity to the hiring process.
I will admit to leaning on broad characterizations to make my case here. Obviously the range of skillsets I’ve allocated to specific categories can vary across roles and different organizations.
A ‘Campaign Producer’ may be required to double up as a ‘Sales Enabler’ and may focus on conversion metrics. Similarly a Marketing Technologist in one organization may be focused on conversion metrics instead of business metrics in another.
Nevertheless, I do hope this high-level look at marketer personas has provided insights on finding the right fit for your organization.
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