Measuring the demand for specialist marketers
by Charlie Green, Managing Director, tml Partners

Charlie reveals the demand for specialist marketing talent despite highly publicised reorganisations of marketing departments in several industries. 

20th July 2022 Read time: 5 minutes Watch time: 37 minutes

Layoffs in marketing departments of high-profile brands have received some attention lately. There is a belief that the effects of inflation and possible recession could mean more layoffs are on the horizon. Recently, brands like Netflix, Co-Op, TikTok and Klarna have had some highly publicised reorganisations of their marketing departments. However, Charlie Green from tml Partners reports that the demand for specialist marketers and investment into marketing budgets is high despite the economic tightening of belts.

Charlie is the Managing Director of tml Partners. To get a big picture view of the opportunities available for marketers and what’s possible for specialist marketers, we welcomed him to the What’s Possible Community.

tml Partners are a team of highly experienced marketing recruitment consultants who specialise in finding the right talent to fill senior marketing positions across the globe. They help organisations find their next Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Customer Officers, Marketing Directors, Marketing Communications Directors, etc.

Increased scrutiny of marketing departments

tml Partners found that, throughout the pandemic, marketing departments were thrust into the spotlight. Marketing was called on to play a much more critical role higher up in the sales funnel.

With the spotlight being shone on the marketing department like never before, there is increased scrutiny of the department’s performance and measurability. Showcasing return on investment and measuring the impact of marketing is paramount. Consequently, Charlie reports, the demand for marketers who can help businesses grow is rising.

Demand for highly specialist, highly commercial and creative marketing specialists remains robust and remains high. Notwithstanding some of the headline corporate restructures, organisations still recognise the value in marketing and the scope and opportunity it presents to drive a business forward,” he said.

Are brands bracing for a possible recession?

Some brands are bracing for a possible recession. Five out of six brands independently surveyed by a What’s Possible Community member reported they are considering limiting advertising spend to avoid redundancies.

Specific industries, Charlie says, will be impacted by the slowdown of consumer spending, the cost-of-living crisis, and the overall impact of confidence due to the conflict in Ukraine. However, he remains optimistic, thanks to marketing budget surveys like the IPA Bellwether report. The IPA revealed that in the first quarter of 2022, over 43.8% of surveyed brands expected growth in their marketing budgets for 2022/23.

There is a general consensus that circa 10% of businesses will be looking at some level of headcount correction, but a lot of businesses are looking at heightened investment in overall marketing spend,” Charlie explained.

Marketers must develop multidisciplinary skillsets

To avoid redundancy, Charlie recommends marketers equip themselves with multidisciplinary and specialist skillsets that can make them invaluable.

The most important thing is that you can ultimately drive the strategic ambition of the business as a whole and act as that business partner to the organisation. The first thing is aligning your go-to-market strategy to the overall business objectives of that organisation. To be very clear in terms of all the activities, the campaigns that you are running, that they ultimately align to that headline strategy,” Charlie explains.

Marketers should also be focusing on their data management skills, says Charlie. Data is the special sauce for marketers and their businesses; it can evidence marketing efficiency and be used to drive better return on investment.

Charlie says when tml Partners is recruiting a CMO, they should also be able to display their knowledge of the latest digital trends. With the arrival of new marketing channels all the time, having a finger on the pulse of new developments is important.

Charlie says the increased scrutiny of marketers has become most apparent in the interview and hiring process. He says in 2022, there has been a hybrid blend of virtual and in-person interviews for CMO or Marketing Director roles. The typical three-stage interview processes are becoming speedier and contain more significant levels of scrutiny of the applicant.

Charlie says one of the stages of the interview process will undoubtedly have a presentation and assessment requirement attached to it – so organisations can assess whether the marketing appointee is fit for the role. In the event that a marketer has been made redundant, Charlie says tml Partners stands ready to help them secure their next chapter. 

If you’ve been made redundant, first and foremost, it is important to realise that is not a reflection of your personal capabilities or the extent to which you were driving value and creation for that organisation. As we know, many organisations go through many significant cycles,” Charlie explained.

We would be very happy to engage with any marketer at any stage in their career looking for a challenge. I would advise individuals to get in touch. We would sit down in person, over a cup of coffee, discuss your great successes to date and reflect on what you’re looking to do next.