Okay, so I’ve paid attention to some of the marketing and communications trends that have happened over the last several decades as we attempt, in business, to balance marketing strategies and tactics with technology and online tools that will resonate and be accepted/consumed by the people within our target audience.
I’m referring to trends like, when websites first were introduced to the business world, when social media was first introduced to the business world, and now as online community and advocacy efforts are being introduced to the business world as a result of how groups of potential buyers interact with, shop for, and make purchasing decisions about B-to-B products and services.
To build anything new that is effective in relation to these “new” sales/marketing/communications trends hiring someone with previous experience building such a thing is ideal.
Someone with such experience can likely build, in this case, a community and advocacy program more quickly and effectively than someone with less experience.
However, such experience comes at a higher price than someone with less experience. And, quite frankly, building out an effective community and advocacy strategy is a complex task because of the holistic nature of how it touches so many aspects of the business organization that it’s designed to help, not to mention the necessary consideration for your customers’ point of view and experiential habits as they interact with your organization both online and off.
So, my advice to business recruiters who are trying to hire community and advocacy professionals to build out their organizations’ strategy, please keep in mind that doing so is a complex task and those with the experience in this realm will probably be your organization’s best bet towards accelerating your time-to-value with the desired outcome that you’re hoping to get from building out a community and advocacy strategy.
The return on that investment will likely be far greater than the higher salary you have to pay an experienced professional to build out this kind of strategy.
Please do not be surprised when you hire a junior level, less experienced professional, to create and build out your community and advocacy strategy and it takes a lot longer than you expected and isn’t as effective initially as you want it to be.
That is not the fault of the junior professional but rather your organization for not setting them, and you, up for success.
This is not to knock anyone who is junior in this industry who is trying to build their experience to get to that higher level in their career, but rather for the organizations who are recruiting for those kinds of positions to understand, and be very aware, that if your budget is such that you cannot afford someone with more experience to build out what you need more quickly and effectively it is absolutely okay to give an opportunity to someone more junior, and I encourage this — all emerging superstars in this discipline need a break to prove themselves — just understand that their learning curve is going to be greater and you need to be okay with fostering their pursuit to excellence for their own career and your business’ success.
You took the risk on someone with less experience. Set them up for success and together you’ll build something remarkable. If that’s not what you’re after, simply pony up the money and supporting resources needed to attract more experienced talent – they’re worth it.
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