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As the talent chief at a digital and data-savvy customer engagement agency, I’m often asked about modern marketers’ hiring and development practices — especially how they differ from those at a traditional advertising agency or in-house marketing department.
 
The data-driven aspect of loyalty marketing is often what draws new people — whether developers or account executives, strategists or copywriters. Most are enthralled with the ability of targeted marketing to reach customers in increasingly personalized and relevant ways we couldn’t imagine even a few years ago. That’s also what keeps many professionals working in this space, thanks to the increasingly tech-forward, omnichannel nature of loyalty and customer engagement marketing.
 
If the siren call of Big Data has resulted in lots of competition for analytical types, it is also attracting bright new talent from disciplines other than marketing. Graduates with financial and economics degrees, plus those who specialize in information systems and statistics, are interested in our business. It helps that, today, smart is cool. Geeky is cool. Those are the cool kids hiring managers are looking for. And add a growing number of forward-thinkers who are earning advanced degrees in marketing data analysis. For example, the University of Minnesota offers a multidisciplinary master of science degree in business analytics; program graduates transition well into data-driven marketing environments. The Lacek Group also offers a popular analytics-development program for graduate and undergraduate new hires. The employees are excited to apply the principles they’ve learned to enhance customer engagement with great brands.
 
Professionals with traditional marketing, advertising or creative backgrounds can also find great success in loyalty marketing. The best fits happen when brand marketers join those of us who love technology, welcome change, and are passionate about learning one-to-one communication strategies plus omnichannel media-messaging platforms and tactics.
 
Finally, loyalty marketers understand, well, loyalty; and that holds true for employees too. At The Lacek Group, we have higher employee engagement and lower turnover than are typical of traditional agencies and some corporate marketing shops. It is the interesting work, close client partnerships, smart coworkers, and commitment to keeping and developing people that keep us growing in a tight market. Now, that’s cool.
 
Chris Hoffman is senior vice president, Human Resources and Corporate Communications, at The Lacek Group in Minneapolis.
 

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