Marketing and communication functions contribute more than ever to business transformation. Teams must demonstrate increasingly sophisticated technical, analytical and behavioral skills which, for some at least, translate into compensation.
Data, acquisition, influence, impact, reputation… These levers, which have become strategic in an increasingly competitive world, call for new skills in corporate marketing and communication teams. In the first edition of CMO Profiles, an observatory of marketing developments carried out by Adetem with BVA and published in June 2022, 42% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) consider that the marketing function has become more important with the health crisis and 76% believe they have a role with a high impact on the business. 53% find that the resources and means at their disposal are however insufficient to support the ongoing transformations…
In middle management positions, two types of skills are highly sought after: those that revolve around marketing (which implement Inbound marketing, SEO, etc.) or analyticswhich includes web analystsable to analyze the return on traffic of websites, digital analysts and others data analysts. “Profiles that require technical skills are over-solicited and candidates know it. For certain functions, we cannot find candidates, because we do not train enough of them”notes Aurélie Bomel, recruitment expert for digital, web marketing and e-commerce functions in the Sales & Marketing division of Michael Page. In its 2023 compensation study, the group notes that digital marketing experts (web development, data science and content management) will continue to be in high demand next year. Just like the very specialized profiles of web marketing: e-commerce account manager, auction manager, content strategist, lead generation manager and product owner.
Digital marketing under pressure
“The trend is for effective marketing to generate leads and turn them into customers. The term growth hacker, which was used more in start-ups, is seen more frequently in marketing today”continues Jacques Froissant, Managing Director of Altaïde. The tension on digital marketing skills is felt on remuneration: “Data marketing, inbound marketing or marketing automation positions are a bit overpaid. With the slowdown in growth, companies will be a little more careful about wages, which have increased quite a bit in 2021 and again at the start of 2022″he advances.
Several trends are emerging among these professionals: “Candidates with very technical profiles are less inclined to be confined to a single task and seek more general positions. Sometimes, before the salary, they look at the freedom offered by the company on the possibilities of teleworking or the flexibility to organize their schedules. The more geeky they are, the more they want to work from home. Companies often have a hard time understanding this…”notes Aurélie Bomel. While young people often enter a large marketing team via a specific subject or skill, the right digital profiles evolve quite quickly. “But if they don’t like something about their position, they are now ready to move on. It’s a reflex that we saw less three or four years ago”adds Jacques Froissant.
Diversity of experiences
“The CMO has become a super marketing director”
Having become multidisciplinary, the marketing department manages, according to the organization of the company, data scientists – data competence has become a minimum requirement -, research teams, customer experience, sometimes CSR…”The CMO has become a super marketing director, in charge of the transformation of the company because marketing drives and influences in all directions”observes Maya Henni, Consulting Director, Projects & Partnerships at Exolys. The bridges between sectors of activity are, according to her, a good way to bring new blood to the teams: “Staying in a single sector does not bring much new. Particularly in marketing, a good CV is built by the diversity of experiences. Someone who has a good base will be able to adapt and make the company benefit from what he has experienced and experienced elsewhere.” The paths built step by step on different aspects of the function open up prospects for development. “After working on business transformation, a CMO can aim for general management positions. Much more than in the past, the CEO of tomorrow comes from marketing”says Maya Henni. Like Isabelle Herman, appointed marketing director of KFC in 2020 and general manager of the brand in September 2022.
Among the communication directors too, profiles with varied experience are appreciated. “In large groups, they manage large structures, large budgets and are very exposed. All this implies maturity, business and functional know-how which is acquired by rubbing shoulders with different environments”assures Yann de Kersauson, associate director of the Arthur Hunt Group. In his hunt for talent, he is sensitive to hybrid profiles, which have gone through agencies and companies, know that communication must obey rules of profitability and boost business. “The ideal profiles touched on the different facets of communication in a logic of business partner. For example with candidates who have worked with the advertiser – and have necessarily worked with service providers -, who know the codes of the company and the administrative complexity, but also the dynamics, the reactivity and the needs of the agency”he summarizes.
Much less penurious than marketing profiles, communication positions are mostly female profiles. “From a certain level of seniority, with equal skills, an employer will undoubtedly be more sensitive to a female candidate. These positions are also a way of feminizing the Comexsays Yann de Kersauson. A large group that wants to secure a dircom that has proven itself in a CAC 40 company will have to offer it Comex compensation levels.
In business as in agencies, influence is one of the most in-demand post-Covid skills. In these institutional communication functions, candidates must master publishing, press relations, all facets of events, sometimes advertising, understand the levers of public affairs to make pleas… They are recruited, for example, in ScPo or business school profiles who have spent 5 to 10 years in a large agency. The internal com skills and employer brandingbut also everything that revolves around commitment and impact are highly sought after. Not to mention financial communication, which remains a pillar of the business.
Remuneration ranges for marketing and communication positions (in K€, fixed annual gross)
Béatrice Grenade (Bel): “The new generation CMO must develop hyper-knowledge”
After various marketing positions at SNCF, Naf Naf, Monoprix and a reinforced data experience at Linkfluence, she was appointed Chief Data and Transformation Officer at the Bel group in 2019.
How does your job title illustrate the transformation of the marketing function?
Few people realize how complex the environment has become and exposes each individual to many dimensions at once. Gathering the sum of available knowledge to make the right decision in a very changing and multifaceted world becomes extremely difficult. The data makes it possible to develop hypotheses, to prescribe the field of possibilities and aid in decision-making. Being able to use it everywhere and wisely increases the power of people who decide and execute. The new generation CMO must have this skill and develop “hyper-knowledge” to open up to the outside world, seek added value in the company from very specialized profiles in their field and connect these areas of expertise to each other. . It is also essential for the state of mind that it can instil in the company to face complexity and make it affordable.
Does your diversified background help you project yourself into this “hyper-knowledge”?
Having this permanent experimental approach for oneself helps to find solutions that only emerge through experience and by opening up to what is happening everywhere. My background has often been considered “unstable”. For some time, it has become more attractive – some even say “precursor” – because the world has changed. Not all companies are yet convinced of the importance of this type of profile, but things are changing. Under the constraint of the market, many are questioning their way of operating and organizing themselves.
Do you think differently about how you develop your teams?
Absolutely. At Bel, the transformation began with marketing, with teams with greatly enhanced skills in technical skills and with people with very human postures, capable of transmitting an experience. A marketer must understand the consumer and the problems of the people in the company so that they can provide solutions to the consumer. You have to work on all these dimensions at the same time.