Unicorn Marketer has become one of those terms that shot from relative obscurity to being a bit of an oft coined term.
As companies wake up to the importance of marketing to propel their business forward, they’re often unsure of what that’s supposed to look like. So for smaller companies, the unicorn marketer has become the holy grail – someone who can handle a full mix, basically on their own.
What does a Unicorn Marketer do?
Well, the term has really become a way of describing a high-performance generalist, which means that a unicorn marketer really does a bit of everything.
- They’ll be able to pull together a content strategy that’s optimised for SEO, and they’ll know how to amplify that content for exposure and link-building.
- They’ll be social media savvy, and able to use data to make business decisions on how different platforms are used, how much money is spent on them, and how to influence audience engagement. They’ll be able to design eye catching and engaging content.
- They’ll also be analytical, able to interpret large amounts of data to understand audience preferences and behaviours, as well as evaluating campaign performance and ROI.
- They might also need knowledge of e-commerce strategies for web and mobile, understanding the tried and tested channels for sales whilst also looking for new opportunities.
Alongside this, the unicorn marketer is expected to have a number of soft skills – they’re creative, bringing new ideas to the table and able to spot an opportunity for a campaign.
They’re resourceful and adaptable, able to use all those tools in their toolbox to create winning campaigns and pivoting when needed. They’re collaborative and motivational, bringing other teams on board with their plans and working with specialists to gain the best results.
And of course, they’re leaders – able to direct and inspire others towards a common goal through their experience and insight.
So, unicorn marketers possess a huge number of skills. But are they a pipedream? A best case scenario created by business leaders who want the benefits of marketing but don’t want to invest in a marketing team?
Well, in our experience, they do exist, but they’re rare.
They’re often found working as solo marketers, running the full 360 marketing mix in for a SME. They possess a wide range of skills, but because they handle everything, they only really have time to go into any of them to a certain depth.
Unicorn marketers can fall victim to burnout if they don’t put in place careful boundaries, or if they don’t receive the support they need to keep all the plates spinning.
What do you do if you have a Unicorn Marketer?
If you happen to have one of these incredible, but rare marketing talents in your team here’s our advice:
- Appreciate them. It’s important to make sure they know you see how much they do and the value they add to the team.
- Make sure you’re paying them what they’re worth. These marketers are often doing the work of 3 people. Compensate them well for their skills.
- Give them a support network. Whether it’s agency support to lighten to the load, a mentor, or a marketing network to tap into, make sure they’re not doing it all alone.
- Give them a seat at the table. These sorts of marketers are brilliant at strategic thinking. Let them input into your board or strategy meetings and you’ll get even more value from them and help them feel valued.
How do you get a Unicorn Marketer?
When we come across these talented individuals, there are a number of things we've noticed they have in common. They tend to like autonomy and they prefer a degree of flexibility. As they're high performers, they would rather be measured by their outputs, rather than the hours they are in the office.
They also tend to get snapped up quickly, so if you find one, move fast – if your interview process is several stages long and takes weeks, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out.
Lastly, unicorn marketers are waking up to their own value, so if you get the chance to hire one, please don’t lowball them. It won’t help you to get a better deal, and not only will you lose them, lots of marketers belong to the same networks, so you might end up tainting your reputation amongst other marketing professionals too.