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Marketo didn’t get to the top of its class by hiring mediocre talent. Big technology companies like Marketo have unique needs and high standards, which means it’s not enough to just have the qualifications to be considered for a job there – you need to show that you’re the best. Marketo managers say they’re looking for A-Players. So what does it take to get a job at a marketing technology (martech) giant like this?
Check out our role overviews to get the top-to-bottom scoop on today’s hottest marketing roles.
Landing a SaaS marketing job
If this were school, you’d be an A+ student. You have an excellent grasp of marketing theory, a data-driven practice, good creative chops, and a good grasp of your tools. That’s a good start – but this isn’t school. Competition for jobs at top martech companies is fierce, and being good on paper won’t cut it here. Hiring managers at companies like Marketo are looking for unicorns: Whip-smart marketers who can systematize complex processes but who are still able to roll with the punches.
Competition for jobs at top martech companies is fierce, and being good on paper won’t cut it here. Hiring managers are looking for unicorns: Whip-smart marketers who can systematize complex processes but who are still able to roll with the punches.
The pace of change in martech can’t be overstated. Many of the leading software solutions in this space didn’t exist a handful of years ago and new products are both proliferating and integrating with each other at an astonishing rate. That presents particular challenges for martech customers as well as marketers, as they try to keep pace with the changing nature of their tools and their clients’ needs.
What is the interview process like?
Job applications for martech companies start the same way as many others: With an online application that includes your resume and a link to your marketing portfolio. But that’s where the similarities end, because, for each of these vacancies, a big tech company can expect to receive hundreds – perhaps thousands – of applications from qualified candidates from all around the world. From the phone screen through the final interview, the company will be searching for a very particular set of skills and the ability to thrive under pressure – and they will be hemorrhaging candidates at every step of the process.
The phone screen will seem like the most taxing conversation of your life, with challenging questions about customer journeys, marketing tactics, and your successes. But it will seem like a dream when you make it to the in-person interview. From the minute you arrive in the company’s bustling headquarters, you need to be on. You’re about to be introduced to a dizzying array of people – probably at least five – and expected to answer extremely tough questions with confidence. They’ll ask questions like:
- How did you pivot your tactics and skills to find success at a technology vendor?
- Tell us about how you used creative marketing tactics to overcome challenging conditions at a SaaS company?
Where do you even start with those questions? Do you answer the first part about your skills, or the second, about the environment? It’s tricky – but that’s kind of the point: The parts of the question you focus on and the way you choose to answer them say a lot about your attitude, values, and how you work. The good news is this process is hackable with a bit of research and practice.
When preparing for an interview at Marketo, or any martech company, try to understand their product as well as you can and consider how your experience working in SaaS or another vertical can translate to the skills they need. Play up your flexibility and willingness to roll with the punches. Though Marketo is now part of the Adobe behemoth, it still prides itself on its agility – and that comes from its team.
The marketing skills you need to land a martech job
First of all, you need to know the product. Marketo jobs don’t come up often and with a worldwide pool of top-level candidates to choose from, standing out from the pack will be a challenge. You need to be a master of consistent messaging, with a strong understanding of the company’s value propositions, brand, and key messaging pillars. Hiring managers are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running without much training in the product they’re selling and the technology they’ll be using.
You need to be a master of consistent messaging, with a strong understanding of the company’s value propositions, brand, and key messaging pillars.
For manager-level roles and above, hiring managers are looking for:
- Expertise in a broad range of digital marketing channels and approaches
- Demonstrated knowledge of tactics that convert in the SaaS world, especially B2B
- A deep understanding of how brand and campaigns work in concert to generate leads
- Experience working for a technology vendor
- Specific experience relating to the role
At the specialist level, hiring managers are looking for aptitudinal skills like interpersonal communication, problem-solving, creativity, flexibility, and commitment to the team’s success. Hiring managers will also be looking for candidates who are ambitious and interested in working at the company for the long haul.
Whether you have eyes only for Marketo or you’re looking at another martech startup, you will need a combination of successful technology marketing experience and the flexibility to thrive in a rapidly changing market.