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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fundster Hiring Wars Have Started, in Marketing

Reported by Tommy Fernandez

Know marketing, will travel.

The fund firm hiring wars have started this year, with firms of all sizes snapping up marketing experts in order to position themselves for aggressive asset gathering later in the year, according to CTPartners vice chair Joe McCabe. This is a good sign for hiring in the industry because hiring in sales, and then in other functions, then follows, he says.

"Marketing is the leading functional role for adding growth at firms. Marketing leads the charge. Hiring for the marketing function has been very active, which is always a great leading indicator overall for the direction of the industry," he told MFWire.

McCabe said that. based on the kind of role and organization hiring, compensation on average is easily up by 20 percent, or more, compared to last year.

"Overall, there have been no issues with comp. There has been no squawking whatsoever on the subject," he said.

Firms, he said, are starting to appreciate the role of marketers in developing brand and positioning the firm for aggressive asset gathering by sales folk afterwards. Firms that didn't have chief marketing officers are now hiring them. Firms that already have CMOs are sparing no resources to significantly broaden their benches.

And the more sophisticated firms are getting very particular in the kinds of skill sets they are looking for. There is a deep demand for experts in digital marketing, data gathering and analytics of all kinds, as well as customer experience.

Firms want to develop their brands in the cloud and also want to get as much data as they can to pinpoint sales targets. They want to slice and dice this data as finely as possible to evaluate potential returns on investment. They also want to know, in real-time, what customers and potential customers think about the firm's products so they can adjust their strategies as quickly as possible.

And the more marketing-savvy firms want to slice and dice this data mighty fine.

"The appreciation for how the marketing function contributes to the organization continues to grow across the board," he said, noting that many players are starting to "appreciate the value marketers deliver in setting the strategic direction of the organization."

Depending on the firm's plans in marketing, hiring in sales could then follow in the next quarter or in the next few years, McCabe said. Some firms have very comprehensive marketing and brand strategies which take several financial quarters to implement. Others have simpler goals that can be achieved much sooner.

Now, there is a challenge that firms face in finding top marketing talent, according to McCabe. Everybody wants them, not just firms in the financial industry. Competition to nab this talent is becoming fierce.

The lengths that firms will go to get top talent extend beyond dollar figures. Many firms now are open to the idea of evolving the marketing positions within the firm to make them more interesting to desirable candidates. That includes offering more responsibility and authority as well as functions that markets would find fun and interesting.

"Organizations that appreciate and highly value top performers are willing to attract this talent both through career opportunities and economic awards. They are also willing, in some cases, to restructure roles to attract candidates. Changing what is in the job to bring the candidate on board. This is fun to see," he said. 

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