Q: What makes a successful Ecommerce leader?

A: Based on my experience placing more than 200 Ecommerce Managers, Directors and Vice Presidents, these are the top four qualities that stand out among the highest achievers:

-They have a strategic mindset. The ecommerce leader holds the company’s ecommerce vision. He or she sees long-term market potential and business opportunities. They’re expert at employing research and customer data to drive the business. They think “beyond the margin, ” as I like to call it.

-They have a strong aptitude for data and analytics.  You can measure what works and what doesn’t, sometimes almost instantaneously.  They are highly skilled at crunching and interpreting data, and they have a deep understanding of ecommerce metrics to measure performance.

-Operational and project management expertise. The best ecommerce leaders are a blend of marketing and technology, or “marketing techologists” as they’re often called. To them, technology is a means to an end- converting visitors into paying customers.

-People management and leadership skills. The ability to hire, develop and motivate a staff of specialists who run the day-to-day of the ecommerce operation is key. In senior-level ecommerce positions, you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

Q: What are the most difficult positions to fill on an ecommerce/digital marketing team?

A: Based on calls we receive from clients, the candidates in greatest demand right now are those involved in search, content and marketplaces (particularly Amazon).  This is largely because these mission critical, labor-intensive functions are often outsourced by smaller online businesses, and as those businesses grow many want to build those competencies in-house. Plus, agencies have a constant need for this talent to serve their clients.

Q: What are the most important job skills required for success in digital marketing?

A. These are the top attributes our clients are looking for in our candidates: Data Literacy, Critical Thinking, Tech Savvyness, Adaptability/Flexibility, Creativity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Skills, Judgement and Complex Decision Making, Collaboration

Q: How does someone enter the digital marketing or ecommerce profession?

A. We’re living in a golden era of digital transformation- there are many ways to get your career started! You can work with agencies, brands or technology service providers (SaaS, for example).  They’re all hungry for digital talent. Many scoop up graduates right out of college for specialized needs, and will pay for required training.  Once you’re in and prove yourself, opportunities to advance rapidly are abundant.

Q; Is it difficult to transition from B2C to B2B as a digital marketer?

A. Generally speaking, no. Many of the same strategies and tactics apply but there are differences, most notably the customer journey.  B2C’ers live in a world of brand building, instant gratification, product based pricing, direct decision making, highly sensitive media consumption, speed to fulfillment and generally lower SKU counts compated with B2B.  B2B’ers, on the other hand, focus on lead generation, higher SKU counts, larger/more complex sales cycles, consumer specific pricing, direct and distributed sales, trigger driven media consumption and speed to fulfillment.  Also, B2B’ers sometimes have to work within regulatory and compliance constraints (think business insurance), as well as product customization (think circuit boards for specific manufacturing applications).  But many successfully make the transition. I see it all the time. Customer centricity is one of the things that is bringing the B2B and B2C marketing worlds closer together.  B2B did not traditionally have the data or the techstack to address things like personalization, but that has changed due to big data collection and insight development.