More than just a warm body

It's the day before our Marketing Forum. I came down to Miami early to sit in on Forrester's Direct Marketing Council meeting, and I was surprised by the different methods marketers use to find the analytics staff they need.  Their overall challenges?  Building a consistent definition of the customer, measuring campaigns and media mix (among other things), and justifying their actions to senior management. Companies look for a combination of skills in modern database marketers:  heavy data abilities and strong interpersonal skills.  That combination -- folks who know data and can translate the numbers and analysis into business language -- is rare. So where do companies find these yellow diamonds?  A few recruit from MBA programs with personal recommendations from academic connections.  Others take antithetical approaches:  some find folks with analytical prowess and develop their business acumen so they can use data strategically; others train skilled business people from outside of database marketing on modeling.  Talent is hard to find, but no official word on which recruitment approach works best.