A few weeks ago, I ran across this visual in my LinkedIn feed from a fella named Larry Kim, CEO of Mobile Monkey:
The notion of the “unicorn” marketer is nothing new. It’s a concept that’s been discussed for years now. All companies want one, and most have a very hard time finding them.
I’m here today to tell you the modern day unicorn marketer is a complete myth.
They don’t exist.
Oh, you might hear people describing themselves that way in an interview. You might see this language used on a job description on LinkedIn. But, make no mistake about it, the modern day unicorn marketer is complete fake news.
Allow me to explain.
This whole unicorn thing started popping up just as social and digital started gaining prominence in the marketing mix. Influencer marketing. Social media marketing. Video editing and production. Mobile skills. They were/are all in demand and companies are increasingly looking for a complete package. After all, it’s cheaper to get one person who can perform many job tasks than someone who specializes in just one or two areas, right?
Hence, your demand for the modern day unicorn.
But, here’s the big problem. Take a peek at Larry’s graphic above. And, let’s just look at the lefthand-side. Do you know ANYONE who is proficient in all five of those areas? No way. Just look at the disciplines.
Someone who is proficient in social media marketing and content strategy is most likely either: 1) A former journalist (they increasingly are making great social media marketers–just ask Sue Serna and Kevin Hunt), 2) A former PR counselor (typical fit), or 3) A former marketing comms person who gravitate toward digital. All those folks are WORD PEOPLE. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find someone like that who’s also well-versed in analytics, mobile and e-comm. You’re just not going to find it. Time to embrace reality, folks.
Let’s just take one discipline named above: Social media marketing. To be proficient in social these days you really have to specialize. To be among the stronger social media marketers, it MUST be your full-time job.
Why do I say that? Because it’s damn near a full-time job just keeping UP with social media marketing. Platform changes. New tools. New trends. These are all things that happen WEEKLY. There’s simply no way you could stay up-to-date on most things in the social media marketing world if it wasn’t your full-time job.
Don’t believe me? Go try hiring someone for your next social job who did it for 50% of the time at their former job. Let me know how that goes.
No, the modern day marketing unicorn is a myth. It really never existed early on. And, it definitely doesn’t exist now.
Call me a liar. I’d love to hear it.