Wed 8 Jul, 2015

Changing Gears To Hatch Careers

It started with a common challenge for many companies — a lack of candidates with in-depth skills in performance marketing. We were struggling to fill roles at our last employer. We had the kind of knowledge we were looking for in new hires and also had a solid network of experts across the key performance marketing channels. Why was it so hard to source the right people? An idea sparked in our heads and we began sketching out the solution to the skills challenge that would become Hatch. Three months later, we have just graduated the first batch of performance marketers in the skills they need to be experts at Facebook advertising.

Finally with enough time for a quick breather, we’d like to share why we threw in our successful jobs to start Hatch.

SKILL SUPPLY TO FILL DEMAND

The digital marketing industry generates enormous value for both the national and global economy and there are rich career paths for its practitioners. However, acquiring the skills to pursue and progress down those paths is tough. Where do you start, what’s most important and who can help you learn the ropes?

For those already in the industry, many training companies purport to offer advanced training but most fall short of that aspiration. We believe the industry deserves better-quality training in the key channels and buying methods in performance marketing. The better the training solutions in the market, the higher the level of expertise in its practitioners and the faster we can all develop advanced techniques that move the industry forward.

That’s why we started Hatch — we want to help people develop the sharpest skills in digital marketing and do so in a fun and engaging format. We want to play a role in fuelling the growth of the industry by bringing more people into it and helping them start or accelerate fulfilling careers.

How? Practitioners need somewhere that offers them the right skills to help them get started and get further ahead. Companies need people with advanced capabilities in performance marketing. Therefore, at Hatch, we’re building a curriculum to cover everything from Search and Social to Programmatic and Mobile. They are the skills that advertisers, and hence practitioners, need. It’s really a case of ensuring there’s the right quality of supply for the clear demand.

DISPEL THE MYSTERY TO REVEAL THE MAGIC

For those a step apart from the industry, digital marketing is cloaked in mystery. For practitioners within it, it’s extremely difficult to ever truly master any channel given the speed of change and level of complexity. Why is that?

Firstly, it’s due to the nature of roles our practitioners have. An advertiser will gain in-depth knowledge in the use of channels to obsessively meet their specific business and marketing goals. But it can then be tricky to translate their knowledge of how Facebook can help ship low-cost holidays, for example, to using the same channel to sell consumer electronics.

Conversely, most ad agency teams have to provide opinion and activation across a broad swathe of media options for a number of clients, rather than focusing on just one client’s set of challenges. They don’t spend all day absolutely obsessing about the finer detail of driving performance in one area using one or two main channels. So both audiences need help to either port their knowledge across vertical or layer in the most advanced layers of detail.

The second point builds on the first. There’s no established and respected guide to the digital marketing craft — channel by channel — and few training practitioners offer impartial advice. Hence, for people entering the industry, it can be difficult to know where to start and who to turn to. For those looking to develop their existing skills, they need authoritative guidance but it’s really hard to find.

These are the issues we aim to tackle. At Hatch, the common foundation for of all our courses is a clear definition of best practice in the channel. Then we take people from a discussion of key concepts right through to training in the most advanced techniques that our course leaders have learnt over the years.

Each course offers a variety of client scenarios across verticals so that attendees can apply the learnings to different types of client challenges. And it’s not death-by-Powerpoint — we workshop everything, taking a learning-by-doing approach to ensure that people are really immersed in the how of the discipline.

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DATA

We’ve mentioned a lack of the right training solutions and you may be thinking that there are a lot of suppliers out there. To be more specific, these are the reasons why our courses are different to those currently offered by the market:

Firstly, our course designers all have years of experience, earning their stripes as data-crunching executional experts and progressing through the ranks to lead teams. When designing the course, they partner with respected industry figures who act as consultants to ensure the material covers the most important topics in the right level of detail. Together, from the founders who have worked at media owners, ad tech startups and mobile app companies to the course designers and consultants, we are able to bring greater rigour to the do’s and dont’s of the discipline.

Secondly, we understand that numeracy does not mean the absence of creativity. We take an analytical approach to course delivery that combines numeracy with tried-and-tested creative techniques to problem-solving. It’s not just about being into data — you need to be able to find the nuggets within it that will be help drive improved performance. Course attendees learn how to work with large data sets and systematically get to the learnings hidden within.

Thirdly, our independence from media owners and other interested parties ensures that instructors can offer impartial advice and opinion. Therefore, we’re not wedded to a Google- or Facebook-centric view of the world, for example, but rather understand that there can be greater learning-value for the client in us painting a level field for all media owners.

Finally, we cover the main disciplines in performance channels, as well as offering a catch-all bootcamp model. Few other solutions combine our expertise, depth and breadth of offering.

Josh Goldsmith leading our recent course in Facebook marketing. He has spent 5 years running direct response campaigns across social, search and display. For the past 18 months he has been an integral part of the campaign management team at Nanigans, advising large advertisers in gaming and ecommerce on how to get the most out of their Facebook campaigns.

ELEVATE THE EXECUTIONAL

Companies undervalue the contribution that executional people bring to their bottom-line through great acquisition programmes. They typically place emphasis on those higher up the chain, often with a target against their name, and pay them handsomely. However, it’s the operational people who devise, create and report on a campaign that’s returned a 5x ROI. It is their skills that grow their employers’ business by growing those of their clients. So, if a positive ROI brings greater client investment, why do we not better invest in those who drive the ROI in the first place?

At Hatch, we have been and still are those executional people. We are their champion and promise to evangelise the great value they bring to the industry. We believe they are the real powerhouse of performance marketing and deserve greater recognition. In the coming months, we shall begin hosting meet-ups for campaign-builders in which we debate the trends, challenges and opportunities of the performance marketing industry. Through such forums, it is our hope that we can cast the spotlight on the rising stars and promote a career as an executional performance marketer as a top choice for the brightest in the industry.