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Business is Changing: 3 New Roles to Fill in the Gaps

In this guest blog, Becky Krill, Head of Marketing at SchoolKeep, shares 3 on-the-rise roles that are crucial to all businesses to be successful.


No matter what industry your business operates in, now is a critical time to keep on your toes. Across sectors as varied as retail, hospitality, finance, and transportation, technological developments and new business models are changing the game – forcing management teams to rethink the longstanding strategies on which they built and grew their companies.

Yet with the disruption and evolution of so many sectors comes a huge upside: Unprecedented opportunity for innovation. The companies poised to succeed in 2016 and beyond are the ones adapting to new realities of business and finding unique ways to attract new customers without alienating old ones.

How are they doing that? In part, by creating new departments and job roles designed to step up to the plate of the new business ballgame. Here are three on-the-rise positions that may make sense for your company.

Customer Success Manager: We’ve written about CSMs before, and for good reason. For decades, software companies and other technology vendors followed a model set by the hardware companies that preceded them: Sales hands off to Implementations hands off to Customer Service or Customer Retention. But all of those departments are inherently focused on the vendor’s success in the buy-sell transaction – closing the deal, delivering the product, keeping the client. What’s missing from that model? The customer experience!

Success managers are helping build better bridges between companies and their customers. It’s not just about relationship management; it’s about advocacy – serving as a point of contact for clients in order to earn their trust, resolve their issues, get their feedback, and improve the product based on their experiences. As the business world becomes increasingly sensitive to customers’ instantaneous perceptions, reviews, and online commentary, it’s crucial for companies to show clients they care about their success from the very beginning of the customer relationship.

Instructional Marketer: Just as the rise of the Customer Success Manager is evidence of the value of the customer experience, the growth of Instructional Marketing speaks directly to the interconnectedness of Marketing (more specifically Content Marketing) and User Education.

Companies have long recognized the importance of making sure customers know how to use their products, but the 300-page user manuals and in-person training sessions of yesteryear have thankfully been replaced by the online learning management systems of today. As such, quality Instructional Design has become a core tenet of customer onboarding process. Yet as software systems and other technologies become increasingly complex, good design alone can’t cover the bases of customer education. Via the Instructional Marketer role, companies are merging Content Marketing with Instructional Design to deliver more impactful, comprehensive training content to users throughout the customer lifecycle – and to pump more value out of their training content by leveraging it for branding and customer acquisition.

Intrapreneur: Large companies around the world are (finally) wising up to the fact that their upstart competitors possess what they desperately lack: creativity, imagination, and a welcoming attitude toward new business ideas and strategies. Startups possess those qualities because their leaders foster them, so large organizations are increasingly hiring entrepreneurs to help them seize opportunities or adapt to changing market dynamics.

Though the “intrapreneurship” concept has become a bit too convenient of a big-business buzzword, it’s incredibly important; having risk takers and innovative thinkers on staff is vital to keeping any company nimble and competitive. The most successful intrapreneurship programs, however, don’t give entrepreneurs free reign and a wide-open runway to create new products, strategies, and business arms – they task them with solving specific big-company problems with a small-company approach. If some pervasive challenges are holding your company back, now may be the time to bring someone with an entrepreneurial business mind aboard… or else risk letting the folks in Silicon Valley steal your revenue stream down the road.

About the author:Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 1.42.51 PM

Becky Krill heads up marketing at SchoolKeep, a learning platform that enables organizations to train their employees, customers and channel partners.

Josh Webber

I'm the Marketing Manager at Totango, planning events and working to spread the word about Customer Success. I'll see you on the road- at tradeshows, meetups and roadshow sessions. Do you have an event where you would like to see us? Let me know! When I'm not planning events, I like to rock climb, play music, and spend time exploring San Francisco.

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