Map Your Skills to Your Goals

It’s hard to know what skills are needed to advance your career given how quickly new channels and tactics emerge and evolve.  To help guide you, we created the RevelOne Skills Map laying out the competencies and functions that make up a marketing organization.

If you want to be a CMO, you’ll need experience across the major functional areas, which could mean making a lateral move to fill in skills. Or, if you are looking at early stage companies where growth is key, you might go deeper on acquisition channels and analytics.  

You should look at your current role to see what skills you need to round out your mastery there. Then, you can think about what adjacent areas to develop to reach your goals for your next role. Those skills might relate to other functions or channels, or they might involve the skills you need to progress in level – like managing people, owning external partner relationships, or budgets & planning.

Pro Tip: We’ve seen many ambitious young marketers who want to skip steps in developing their skills to land a leadership position.   While this sometimes works, it can create risks as some channel depth and management skills need to come from first hand experience. If you focus on building skills strategically and progress at a pace that is right for you, breakout opportunities will follow.   

RevelOne Skills Map – Acquisition Roles

Thinking about Marketing Organizations

This guide can also be used as a template for thinking about org design and how skills and functions should be grouped across the customer lifecycle. The RevelOne Skills Map uses a traditional view of the customer lifecycle as its starting points. Marketing groups are often set up this way because it makes team members accountable for key metrics – acquisition focused on CAC, engagement focused on churn, etc.

But other groupings are possible. A current trend around modern “growth” teams brings together acquisition, product, and analytic functions that used to be separated. This can be driven by company stage or product type. For example, this can make sense in earlier stage companies where product-market fit is still being figured out and a small team calls for cross-functional efforts or in social apps where growth is a more integrated flow of product-driven behaviors than a one time “acquisition” driven by paid media.

Challenges in the Startup and Tech World

High growth tech companies face some commons challenges which impact how you think about your own skills and progression.

  • Rapidly changing channels and technologies mean that skills and even titles can change over any 2-3 year period.
  • Growing companies have to evolve from generalist roles to more specialization as they scale. But, deciding when and how this happens in each area is not always obvious and can cause disruption. It also can create dissatisfaction (and turnover) with individuals who enjoyed having their hands in multiple areas and resist a narrowed focus.
  • Similarly, team members vary in their ability (and desire) to step out of day-to-day execution and manage. The process of elevating existing team members or bringing in more senior people from the outside is tricky too.

Within the marketing function specifically, rapid change has driven some challenges around skills and roles, a few examples:

  • Channels like Facebook blur across Acquisition and Engagement, forcing organizations to decide whether they separate those lifecycle stages, or have a channel specialist who can span both.
  • While “Growth Hacker” has become a buzzword, it can describe roles where marketers need more diverse skill sets than in the past – bringing together paid acquisition campaign skills with product management around activation, viral loops, and other product feature driven growth.
  • B2B marketers who once focused on product marketing and sales support now manage marketing automation and lead nurture programs that require them to be more quantitative  and accountable like their B2C peers.

We intended the RevelOne skills map to help provide perspective on these topics on multiple levels, helping you think about individual skills you should consider building, what roles to pursue, and how to think about your org as you grow as a marketing leader.