Ad Agencies Hunting High and Low for Tech Know-How

If you’ve got a head for marketing and your skills extend beyond pretty words and images to include being savvy with numbers, stats, and analyzing data of all sorts, then your career prospects ought to be very bright right now.

Ad and marketing agencies want people like you, and there just aren’t enough of you. As John Ebbert, the managing editor for a Web site devoted to ad technology, told the New York Times, “There is pain for hiring in digital at all levels.”

Agencies may have one been satisfied with just looking for “pure creatives,” but now they want employees who can code, deal with interactive design, and analyze the response to a campaign on the fly. It’s an ambitious, hard-to-find group of skills, at least in some parts of the country: agencies usually take 2-3 months to fill positions like Yield Optiminization Manager, Digital Strategist, and Director of Mobile Marketing. This talent shortage is sure to be a hot topic at Ad:tech, the digital marketing conference that’s coming to New York from Nov. 8 to 10 — one of the panels will be about helping marketers put together a “brand dream team” with all the digital skills they now consider necessary.

To fix this change in staffing priorities, marketers are launching a two-pronged attack. In addition to rounding up everyone who’s qualified and already looking for work, they also hope to increase the talent supply. One way to do this is by making sure that all those with such desirable skills know that there is a place for them in agencies, as well as at the tech start-ups, software companies, and other more obvious places that can use their skills.