Blog Trends

Now Hiring: Creative Technologist, Travel Required (In a Larger Universe)

Last week, I was fortunate to work with the People Development team at The Garrigan Lyman Group (GLG) on a recruiting event that was truly inspiring. Recruiting events in and of themselves should be inspiring by their very nature. These events represent a chance to meet the movers and shakers on the horizon, and find out what is important to them as they begin their journey. This event was inspiring for a different reason, however.

The movers and shakers—for this event, the computer science department at Boise State University—came as the discussion about the relationship (or lack thereof) between CMOs and CIOs raged on. We have referenced that conversation on these pages before. In the 2014 IBM CMO survey From Stretched to Strengthened, one participant was quoted as saying, “I don’t see how we can continue without moving IT into marketing.”

I’m an Engineer, Not a Marketer

Nevertheless, there was a fair amount of skepticism in our room of uninitiated job seekers. The prevailing question: Does working for a strategic digital marketing agency make sense for a computer science major? I will say that there was some real energy in the room when we demonstrated that the current lack of proper skills in the workforce, the data explosion, and the proliferation of channels and mobile devices were the top three issues for marketers looking to leverage technology—a huge aha moment for our audience.

With that understanding, it was a much easier leap to make for students to see why they should care, and why we in the marketing/advertising space should make a better effort in developing top technology talent. Agile/scrum approaches to work, cross-discipline collaboration, and a host of other factors are breaking down the barriers between the creative, strategic, and technical disciplines. Starting a technology career in a creative place means participating in a larger and more interesting universe, while making a significant contribution to a growing concern in the marketing and advertising space: what to do with all of the technology, and how to make it relevant to brands and their customers.

Enter the Creative Technologist

Coming to a strategic digital agency that serves as an innovation arm for clients also offers these promising engineers a chance to work in a groundbreaking marketplace where they can see more types of challenges, instead of just more challenges. Creative technologists can be more active participants in building roadmaps for solutions, and they can provide the technical skills so needed by CMOs.

GLG is continuing to seek out the best and brightest in this area, so that we can provide our clients with enterprise solutions on an iterative and fast time frame that matches the needs of the market. The students we met really responded to the opportunity to focus and evolve their passions while satisfying a market-wide need for technology skills within marketing and advertising—and to do so inside a creative atmosphere.

We were really excited to meet these very talented students, and we are even more excited about seeing their passion drive our future innovations.