Solutions Marketers: What Are Companies Looking For?
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Over the last decade, the move to solutions by global companies has been steadily growing. More and more B2B companies – in nearly every industry – have realized that merely producing and selling good products will, sooner or later, hamper their growth and profitability. Customers can no longer afford to buy products that simply offer a faster whiz-bang or the latest technology. Instead, they want and need integrated solutions that solve important, often critical, business problems.
An Analysis of Job Descriptions for Solutions Marketers
Solutions Insights has developed a solutions marketing competency model that lays out the skills and competencies we believe are required to be an excellent solutions marketer. As part of our research, we decided to compare our model with the qualifications and experience companies listed in current job postings. To do that, we randomly selected and analyzed 25 solutions marketing job descriptions recently posted on LinkedIn. The results were interesting -- and a bit surprising.
Examples of the companies in the survey:
Profiles and Demographics
To put the research in context, here are some important demographic breakdowns:
Two other important demographic factors were company size and whether the hiring company was primarily product or services-based. While we couldn’t tell in all cases, since some of them were private, it appeared that the large majority of the companies represented had revenues greater than $1 billion. Of those we weren’t sure about, 2-5 may have been small businesses or start-ups. In terms of products and services, five or six companies were pure services businesses. The rest were a combination of products and services.
Who is the Best Fit for the Solutions Marketing Jobs of Today? To net it out, what we learned from this brief – and admittedly unscientific – analysis is that if you’re looking for a solutions marketing job today, the main skills, competencies and experience that most companies seem to value are:
And while it wasn’t overtly stated in any of the job descriptions, we would strongly suggest one more essential qualification – the ability to articulate what a solution is, and how it needs to be marketed and sold differently than products and services. If you can focus on this, as well as the other capabilities listed above, you’ll jump to the top of the candidate list.