In my position, I often read CV and interview people who want to join our team. The amount of CVs and interviews I read/conducted must be in the range of hundreds already. However, we only managed to ask a few to join our team. I have to admit I often ask the same set of questions. Basically what i am after are people who are:
- Solid background in marketing
1. Logic vs Creative:
Logically way of thinking is important. If you don’t have a logic approach, you would find yourself facing lots of challenges with my team. To find talented/creative marketers in Vietnam is extremely hard. It is needed everywhere from coding, design, copy writing, etc…
There is a distinction between “blind” creativity (people who think their solution is “creative”) and real creativity. “Blind” creativity is when you try to find creative solution to a problem without even understanding the full aspects of the problem. People rush through the data gathering process and try to do brainstorming on a poorly done set of information, requirements or people without much life experience trying to do creative work in a totally unrelated field. I would say sometimes having a totally new pair of eyes looking at the same old problem might be good because that person is not hard-wired by the norms. I find it extremely rare in practice in our industry in Vietnam though.
Copy cat is so common now in digital marketing in Vietnam. I don’t mind copy cat really, but you need to do some work to make it your own, not just blindly copy someone else in the same market place. I often stress to my team that knowing what the competition doing is vitally important. However, you need to come up with better solution even if the client doesn’t need it because every day we need to do certain thing better than yesterday.
Having said this, while it takes time to find creative marketers, we would settle with people who have logical way of thinking.
2. Solid background in marketing
I can’t stress this enough. Digital marketing is a form of MARKETING so you must know some basic concepts of marketing. At least this is what we prefer in our team. Of course depending on your desired position/career you may not need to have a university degree in marketing to practice in Digital marketing well, however, some self learning is needed if you want to succeed.
This is particularly true in Vietnam while the majority of the money is being spent on traditional marketing. To help making the transition from traditional to digital, we need people that can speak both “languages”. Technical “mumbo jumbo” are non sense to traditional marketers.
Also, without any background in traditional marketing, you would find it hard to do a 360 degree plan.
Do you need marketing background if you are a designer? I would say YES. If you just want to be in an entry level designer forever who would do exactly what is told, then of course you don’t need marketing background. However, if you want to move up to senior levels, to think of a good design concept to fit the plan, you would need to understand consumer insights, competitors’ imagery, deep understanding of the requested products/services and their Unique selling points etc…
Passion dies with time. Unfortunately this is true in life for most people and you can quote me on that later on. It’s not only because Digital marketing changes so fast that you need passion to keep up with it. Like Steve Jobs used to say “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
People who want to do just enough to earn a pay check, we don’t need them in our team! We want to partner with talented & passionate people who want to do great work.
Due to social and economical reasons, people with family and other responsibilities tend to be “less” passionate somehow. When you get older the fire burning so brightly during your youth seem to die out as well. I find this so painful if this is true generally in Vietnam. Because if passion is out, we have little hope for any kind of good work including Digital work. Without passion, there is no continuous self learning, which is essential in a global world. There won’t be any new innovation without passion unfortunately.
That’s all from me really. What do you think? Do you agree/disagree? Feel free to drop any comments below.